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Everyone can try the latest ‘Overwatch’ map for free next weekend

'Overwatch' Beginner's Guide | Character Tips and Tricks
If you haven’t jumped onto the Overwatch bandwagon just yet, Blizzard is giving you a chance to check out its team-based shooter for free on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The Overwatch doors will open to all starting September 9 and will close on September 12, giving hopeful customers plenty of time to test the game’s roster of 22 heroes, 13 maps, and a number of gameplay modes like Quick Play and Weekly Brawl.

“You’ll also be able to level up, earn Loot Boxes, and unlock different customization options via the Hero Gallery. If you like what you see and decide to buy Overwatch: Origins Edition, you’ll also get to keep whatever progress you made during the weekend,” Blizzard states.

Blizzard indicates that Xbox One owners will need an Xbox Live Gold membership to participate in the free weekend while all PlayStation 4 owners can download and play for free: no PlayStation Plus membership is required (although it’s needed for Origins Edition). There’s also no code needed to gain access to the Free Weekend deal, nor do players need to sign up to reserve a seat.

The Free Weekend will introduce players to the game’s 13 maps that are spread out across four different game modes: Assault, Escort, Assault/Escort Hybrid, and Control. Like the “retail” version, Overwatch will support 12 players in a 6v6 configuration. However, players who want to hone their skills before facing real people online can choose the Play vs. AI play mode to practice against a team of AI-controlled opponents.

The game’s first DLC map, Eichenwalde, was originally scheduled to launch late next week, but it appears to already be available. The game’s second season of competitive play has also launched, giving prospective buyers a chance to roll up their sleeves and pretend they’re on an eSports team.

According to a provided FAQ, the PlayStation 4 client will require 9GB of internal storage whereas the Xbox One version will need 15GB. The Free Weekend event will also support 10 languages across both consoles: English, French, German, Castilian Spanish, Polish, Italian, Russian, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, and Japanese.

When the Free Weekend begins, PlayStation 4 owners simply needed to search for Overwatch in the PlayStation Store and click on “Download” in the game’s “Overwatch Free Weekend” section of the product page. For Xbox One owners, go into the Xbox One Store, search for “Overwatch,” and then click on “Free Trial” in the “Overwatch: Origins Edition Free Weekend” portion of the product page.

Blizzard’s Overwatch landed on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Microsoft Windows on May 24, 2016. It’s a first-person shooter that relies on team-based gameplay, pitting a team of six players against another team of six. As we’ve seen with other team-based titles, players take on specific roles to help their team win the match, including Support, Tank, Offense, and Defense.

That said, the roster includes six offense characters (Genji, McCree, Pharah, Reaper, Soldier: 76, and Tracer), six defense characters (Bastion, Hanzo, Junkrat, Mei, Torbjorn, and Widowmaker), five tank characters (D.Va, Reinhardt, Roadhog, Winston, and Zarya), and five support characters (Ana, Lucio, Mercy, Symmetra, and Zenyatta). Again, all of these will be playable during the Overwatch Free Weekend trial.

Blizzard lists the actual start times for Europe, The Americas, and Asia right here. In the U.S., the Free Weekend starts at 11 a.m. PT (2 p.m. ET) on September 9. Have fun!

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