Time to gear up in your Legendary best, because there’s another Overwatch Event coming just around the corner. This year sees the return of the Winter Wonderland, an appropriately winter themed event that sees both a natural focus on Mei and another suite of icy Legendary skins to become briefly obsessed with. Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan confirms skins for Junkrat, Roadhog and Hanzo, as well as promises that there will be more on their way. The Winter Wonderland event returns on December 12, new loot and all.
In addition to new skins, a bunch of the maps will also be getting winterized makeovers, and we’ll be seeing a return of Mei’s Snowball Offensive from last year. For those that need a refresher, it’s basically a snowball fight, where players have to go recharge their snow at strategically placed snow piles
The most interesting addition this time around is called “Mei’s Yeti Hunt,” where a team of five Meis team up to take down one bad Yeti, better known as Winston. It’s a boss fight, but everyone here — boss and Meis — is controlled by players. The Yeti character is tasked with going around collecting powerups to trigger a “primal rage” mode, where the Mei’s have to team up to take him down before he can take them all out. It’s weird, but I’m excited to see how it plays out as a light distraction to the main game.
Mei’s Yeti Hunt should sound a little familiar to anyone who has been paying attention to video games over the past few years. It’s basically Evolve, a game entirely built on a similar asymmetrical boss fight concept. Like in Overwatch, a team of human players competed to take down one superpowered creature controlled by another player before it was able to consume enough resources to become too dangerous to kill. The whole thing was much more complicated than Yeti Hunt, of course, but the inspiration is pretty clear.
Evolve was a neat idea, if a little thin on content and a little “ahead of its time” when it came to aggressive microtransaction systems in $60 games. It didn’t really pan out, but it’s nice to see that kernel of an idea carried forward into a much more popular game. We’ll see how well it works on December 12.