It wouldn’t be a major holiday without an Overwatch event, and the desperate grind for time-limited loot that accompanies it. Prepare to face your greatest fear (if your greatest fear is missing out), you have until November 1st to take part in this event: so pack a pumpkin, put on Micheal Jackson’s Thriller and prepare yourself to get spooky with Overwatch Halloween Terror 2017.
That said, the brawl will seem more hauntingly-familiar than scary this time around: last years Junkenstein’s Revenge event has effectively been raised from the dead. Once again teams of four will be playing as Soldier 76, Anna, Mcree and Hanzo and trying to defend the castle gate from hordes of zombie robots, very frustrating tire-bombs and the occasional boss character. Where this event differs from last year is the addition of a new boss, Symmetra, and the inclusion of an Endless mode, which gives you more heroes to pick from (Zenyatta, Widowmaker, Torbjorn and Genji) where you will find yourself fighting till you drop. While fun and a great way to earn those vaunted Halloween Terror loot-boxes, this will be a disappointment to some who were hoping that the mode would be fleshed out a little more, bringing it into line with the Uprising event that happened this April, which offered a slicker, more exciting PvE than last years Junkenstein’s Revenge and, crucially to my enjoyment of it, offered a play-any-character mode too.
But why focus on the negatives? Events like Halloween Terror help to keep the player base active and, similar to the 2017 Summer Games event, it not only sees a returning mode and an opportunity to get the skins you missed last time, but also a slew of tasty new skins as well! There’s a vampy-camp Reaper outfit, a demonic Symmetra, Viking Torbjorn, 80s fitness video Zarya (no, seriously), Mei looking like a ghoul from Chinese mythology, pirate Ana, vampire slayer Mcree (Van Helsing, not Buffy unfortunately) and my personal favourite: Lovecraftian squid-monster Zenyatta.
I’m pumped to get this skin, and likely to spend my accumulated in-game currency if I don’t have it by towards the end of the event. If, like me, you are desperate for at least one of these skins but unwilling to pay IRL currency to get them, I’m happy to offer you this tip:
Every week you can earn a set number of loot boxes for winning arcade-mode matches. The easiest ways to do this right now are to either beat Junkenstein’s Revenge on easy, if you are confident with any of the pre-selected characters, or by beating enough Endless waves on easy, which is not difficult with a Torbjorn on your team. Rinse and repeat, it might feel a bit grindy, but hey, it’s not bad target practice either.
Something that will come as a genuine fright to many players is the manner in which hidden among all of the pageantry of Halloween Terror, something more sinister has slipped by with little notice: a balance patch. That’s right, Jeff Patch-happy Kaplan has snuck some gameplay changes into the game like a healthy snack in the bucket of a trick-or-treater. Ultimates has been nerfed to make the interactions between ults and stunning/hacking more consistent, and players now lose their all of their ult charge if they are killed during the casting time of ults, which will presumably force player to be more cagey with when and how they use their ultimates. These changes amount to an indirect buff for hacker-hero Sombra, and are in my opinion a good thing, as the list of interactions and exceptions between abilities was taking up valuable brain space that can now be given over to the eldritch mysteries of the cosmos as revealed to me by Zenthulhu.
Are you keen on any of the new skins? Have any novel strategies for Junkenstein’s Revenge? Let us know in the comments below!