Blizzard Overwatch launching in 2015
Blizzard has announced Overwatch, a new competitive, multiplayer, first-person shooter set to launch in 2015Blizzard

Blizzard has announced Overwatch, a new competitive, multiplayer, first-person shooter set to launch in 2015.

Speaking at BlizzCon, held in Anaheim, California, Blizzard franchise Vice President Chris Metzen revealed Overwatch alongside lead designer Jeff Kaplan.

It will feature various character types, including Winston, a glasses-wearing ape who serves as the heavy, tank-variety, and the Reaper, a villainous character who carries dual pistols and is able to turn invisible to sneak up on enemies.

Other player classes include a sniper, a mage, a quick character not unlike the Scout from Team Fortress 2, and an archer, who can scale walls and silently eliminate foes using a bow.

Destiny-like

Overwatch marks the first new franchise for Blizzard since the launch of Starcraft, in 1998. It's also a rapid departure from the role-playing and tactics-based games that the company is known for, particularly World of Warcraft, which currently boasts around 8 million subscribers.

Not that Overwatch seems completely bereft of tactics-orientated play. Viewing the footage, which as of writing is not available online, the game seems similar to Destiny, which was published by Blizzard co-owner Activision in September.

In Overwatch, using a mixture of weapons and special, sci-fi leaning abilities, a team of players assembles defences while the opponents try to destroy them. There are certainly hints of Destiny, especially in the slick, colourful visual design, but also Starcraft, which involves this type of base defence gameplay.

Kaplan acknowledge that a first-person shooter was new territory for Blizzard, but said he was hopeful the company could "do the very best with the genre."

Overwatch will be playable on the BlizzCon show floor and IBTimes UK will be bringing you a hands-on preview.