Overwatch 2 devs discuss what makes a map great

The game will feature some gorgeous new locales.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard has shared an official blog post describing the philosophy behind Overwatch 2’s map and level design.

In the post, the team used examples from four different maps—New Queen Street (Toronto), Colosseo (Rome), Midtown (New York City), and Circuit Royal (Monte Carlo)—to illustrate how they combine strong, thematic art direction with level design to create engaging and memorable experiences for players. All four of these maps will be available to players in the upcoming beta test, which begins on April 26.

New Queen Street and Colosseo will be used in the new Push mode, where players must work together to push a robot from the center of the map toward the end of a path. Push maps must be mirrored since the two paths the robot takes can’t be fundamentally different from each other or the match could be unbalanced for one side.

Game director Aaron Keller described Push as “inherently faster paced than other game modes.” He also said that Push maps are easier to flank on and heroes must be ready for attacks from all sides when escorting their robot. While both sides of Push maps are the same path-wise, there will be unique art, color schemes, and other flairs on each side to differentiate them.

Midtown, a Hybrid map, and Circuit Royal, an Escort map, take more cues from established Overwatch maps. Their visual design is more about using big landmarks and the properties of flow to guide players toward objectives, in this case, capture points and payloads. Outside of game design, art also has a heavy hand in these maps, making players feel like they’ve stepped into a locale right as it’s experiencing its “Golden Era.” Each map draws from several different inspirations, including local culture, historical periods, and art styles, in the goal of creating consistently fun maps for players to look at and play.

Overwatch 2’s PvP beta launches on April 26.