Monday, February 6

Overwatch 2 Brings Back Freezing For Its New Holiday Mode

Doomfist is seen charging up a punch while Bastion is frozen. Cassidy is walking behind him to unfreeze him.

Prepare to be frozen in place once more.
Screenshot: Blizzard

Overwatch 2’s various reworks and balance changes have fundamentally altered several characters from their original forms, and that shift means a lot of mechanics that were once key to the original game no longer exist in the sequel. This came as part of a larger change in the game to remove or alter crowd control abilities like Cassidy’s Flashbang and Brigitte’s Shield Bash which make the game altogether faster and more frantic.

The changes include removing Mei’s original ability to freeze her enemies in place with her primary fire (though her ultimate still has the freezing effect for those caught in it), which has been replaced by a slowdown effect. If you were feeling nostalgic for one of the most frustrating mechanics Overwatch had back in the day, Blizzard has put out a new mode for its returning Winter Wonderland holiday event that entirely centers around stopping players in their tracks. If you miss that part of her kit as a Mei main, I get it. If you miss it as someone who was once on the receiving end of her endothermic blaster, I have to ask, “who hurt you?”

Freezethaw Elimination is part of Overwatch 2’s 2022 Winter Wonderland event, which is running up until January 4. The arcade mode is what Blizzard describes as the hero shooter’s version of freeze tag, where your team’s goal is to freeze all your enemies by eliminating them, then they’re left to helplessly watch from their icy prison until thawed by a teammate. The new mode launches alongside returning Winter Wonderland modes Mei’s Snowball Offensive and Mei’s Yeti Hunt, and it really brings home that Mei and her icy disposition will, by default, always be the star of Overwatch’s annual winter event. Unless she gets removed from the game, again.

D.Va is seen wearing a holiday outfit and leaning on her mech, which is adorned in holiday decorations.

D.Va’s holiday cosmetics will be available through Twitch drops.
Screenshot: Blizzard

As with all Overwatch events, the 2022 Winter Wonderland event includes themed cosmetics, such as a new Ice Queen skin for Brigitte and an Ice Angel skin for Echo alongside the smaller stuff like weapon charms and sprays. Some of these, including the Brigitte skin, are unlockable through playing Winter Wonderland modes and completing event challenges.

All of this is happening as a prelude for some holiday-themed D.Va cosmetics that will be unlockable by watching Overwatch 2 Twitch streams from December 25 to January 4. This includes a Festive victory pose, which has D.Va’s mech adorned with Christmas lights, and the Sleighing skin, which has both the hero and her mech dressed up for the holidays. Hopefully these Twitch drops don’t fall prey to the same troubles previous events have had, as some players were reporting not having unlocked promised in-game cosmetics after watching Overwatch League streams last month.

Overwatch 2 is in the midst of its second season, which added Ramattra, a new tank hero who’s the leader of Null Sector, one of the antagonistic forces in the game’s upcoming PvE mode set to launch next year. Ramattra is the second unlockable new hero in Overwatch 2 after Kiriko at launch, who was made part of the battle pass, much to the chagrin of long-time players who got heroes for free in the first game. After this pushback, Blizzard made Ramattra slightly easier to unlock on the free battle pass. Still not much happening regarding feedback on its monetization and battle pass grind, though.



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