One of the great things about Overwatch is the long-term plan for tons of free content, the next bit of which is a new map. Going by the name of Eichenwalde, it's set in a beautiful German city and sees attackers storming a castle. Overall, it serves well as a unique addition to the already strong and varied lineup.
The map is available now to try out now on the Public Test Realm (PTR), alongside a ton of balance changes, but if you can't be bothered with that, this article is for you.
Map Design & Hero Picks
Quizzically, Eichenwalde is a standard Control-Payload hybrid map. Given the payload itself is a battering RAM that breaks down the door to a castle, you'd think you'd start with it, and once you get inside, it would switch to Control, and you would attempt to lay claim to the castle. But nope, you must capture a point first, then just keep on trucking with the payload until it ends up awkwardly at the feet of a fallen king.
Outside of that, the map design is strong, offering an early chokepoint to attackers with two flanking routes, one accessible only to highly mobile heroes (D.Va, Winston, Pharah, etc.), and the other to everyone. The first instinct, as it always is in the early days of a new map, is to fight through the choke, but it heavily favors defenders, so you don't want to commit too much to it.
To compensate, flankers and highly mobile heroes are incredibly effective at helping the rest of the team punch through, as they can get past the choke easily and quickly start causing chaos, or they can travel even further over the building behind the choke and get to the point just a short distance away, drawing the enemy back to it.
From the defenders' point of view, you're still in a strong position as the choke gives you a wide view of what the enemy is up to and you have lots of cover. The trick is to be disciplined enough to not have too much of your team drawn off the choke by decoys (one or two is usually enough).
Flankers are still very effective once you capture the payload as it's here the outskirts of the castle show up, and there are a ton of routes and verticality to take advantage of, more than on any other map. For defenders, medium-long range DPS (damage per second) heroes like Soldier 76 and Hanzo are tremendous along the higher castle walls (for maximum flavor, put six Hanzos up here and fire away). The challenge for both teams is to stay grouped despite how open the area is.
Once you're actually in the heart of the castle, attackers seem to be heavily favored as there's little cover for defenders, no choke point, and the flank routes are too close to spawn to be relevant on defense. Given defenders are likely favored overall on the first section of the map and given how real sieges worked, this isn't a bad thing, however.
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