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Assault gorillas and militarized architects mix it up in Blizzard’s new shooter, Overwatch

Blizzard has announced Overwatch, a team-based multiplayer shooter with Pixar-esque graphics. This is Blizzard’s first new franchise since introducing Starcraft in 1998. The class-based, first-person shooting gameplay is reminiscent of Team Fortress 2 and Gearbox’s upcoming Battleborn.

A cinematic trailer reveals that the titular Overwatch were an international peacekeeping force that helped enforce stability during a time of global unrest. The group waned and then disbanded entirely as ostensible peace settled. Their work was far from over, though, as most became mercenaries and independent agents.

Teams of six players battle it out in Overwatch across a variety of futuristic locations around the world. Blizzard aims to strike a balance between easy-to-learn and hard-to-master in an accessible FPS that reaches a wider audiences than core fans of the genre while still providing depth for aficionados.

A gameplay trailer shows off the characters from the cinematic in action. Classes run the gamut from the heavy, melee assault gorilla Winston, to ranged specialists like Japanese archer Hanzo or support characters like the architect Symmetra.

According to sources at KotakuOverwatch was once part of Titan, Blizzard’s massively multiplayer follow-up to World of Warcraft which was cancelled recently. That game’s PvP elements were reportedly isolated into their own game some time in 2013.