Overwatch launches spooky update, still no sombra

Overwatch's update included 12 special holiday character skins, a redesigned map and a brand new Halloween-themed game mode. (BagoGames/Flickr via Creative Common)

‘Tis the season to be spooky, and even Overwatch is getting in on the fun. As of last week, Blizzard’s massively popular online multiplayer game released its eagerly awaited holiday update, with everything Halloween taking center stage. The update included 12 special holiday character skins, a redesigned map and a brand new Halloween-themed game mode.

The character skins that were introduced spanned the majority of Halloween clichés, some incredibly successful and some slightly disappointing. Regardless of execution, however, the skins breathed life into the supernatural vibe of the game.

The skins range from horrifically awesome to tastefully foolish: Soldier: 76, an archetypal soldier, is zombified; Junkrat and Roadhog, an Australian crime duo, take on the personas of Dr. Junkenstein and Junkenstein’s monster; Mercy, a Swiss doctor, dons a racy witch outfit; Zenyatta, a robotic monk, gets a skeletal paint job; Reaper, a ghostly assassin, switches his skull mask for a pumpkin; and many more skins that encompass a vampire, a tombstone, a ghoul, an ice man and a demon.

Also included in the update was a Halloween theme for one of the existing maps in the game. Very fittingly, the game’s ‘Hollywood’ map takes on an eerie ambience—day switches to night, regular props in the map are replaced with pumpkins, hay bales and candles and a mysterious purple fog covers the ground. Playing on this map during this time of the year is sure to get anyone in a macabre mood and ready for the Oct. 31.

Probably the most interesting part of the update is the introduction of a new, Halloween-themed game mode that players can participate in. Titled ‘Junkenstein’s Revenge,’ the holiday minigame features four players defending a castle from Dr. Junkenstein and his creations.

The plot is simple—zombified robots and several holiday-themed characters try to attack the castle doors that players must defend. The game, in essence, is just like any other strategy-and-defense game out there, but Overwatch puts a new spin on it and really showcases the best points about the Halloween update. ‘Junkenstein’s Revenge’ is a nice break from the main game modes and provides a fun and festive way to get into the spirit of Halloween.

With all of these great additions to Overwatch, players noticed one thing that was missing among all the ghosts and pumpkins—Sombra, the long-awaited and currently unannounced character whose whereabouts have been circulating around the Overwatch fandom for months.

Sombra is rumored to be a Mexican-hacker who is one of the playable antagonistic characters, similar to Reaper and Widowmaker, but no details have been confirmed by Blizzard as to when she will be released for the games. Many players speculated that she would arrive amidst the ghoulish additions of the Halloween update, but her absence has left disappointment in the fandom.

Now, speculation has turned to Nov. 1, the day that the Halloween theme for the game will come to a close—and the day that Día de los Muertos begins, the Mexican holiday celebrating those who have passed. It is rumored that Sombra will make an appearance during the celebration, but it is also likely that she will be revealed later that week, during BlizzCon, Blizzard’s annual convention.

As for now, the Halloween train takes off for Overwatch, and all of the new themed items are bound to occupy players in the spirit of the season.

Ryan Amato is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at ryan.amato@uconn.edu.