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Gaming Week in Review: ‘Overwatch’ anniversary event, ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ delayed

Blizzard is celebrating one year of ‘Overwatch’ with a special anniversary event featuring new maps, skins, emotes and more

May 24 marked the official one year anniversary of Blizzard Entertainment’s hit game “Overwatch” — and what a year it’s been. Since the game was first released last spring, three new heroes, a weekly game mode rotation and countless cosmetic items and skins have been added to the game through updates and seasonal events. The game even dipped into some co-op gameplay with its Halloween and Insurrection events, deviating from its multiplayer focus.

To celebrate a year of success, Blizzard has released three new maps for the Arena game mode and more new skins and cosmetic items. They are available in a new, limited time loot box.

The three new maps are Necropolis, Castillo and Black Forest, each based on previous “Overwatch” locations. Necropolis places players in the secret base of the sniper hero Anya, hidden away in an Egyptian oasis. Castillo has players return to Mexico, where they visit Sombra’s graffiti-tagged hacker den. Black Forest features the ruins of a secluded forest village in Germany, located outside Eichenwald Castle, the former home of Reinhardt before the first Omnic Crisis.

Heroes fight in Black Forest, one of the newest maps in the latest “Overwatch” update. (Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment)

More than half the roster have received quirky new costumes, from a beekeeper suit for Mei to a Kamen Rider-esque set of armor for Genji. Each hero has also received their own dance emote, except for Reaper of course, who just kind of awkwardly taps his foot.

Sentai Genji in his home map of Hanamura, looking like a Kamen Rider. (Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment)

What might have fans most excited are the small tidbits of “Overwatch’s” elusive, drip-fed story subtly sprinkled throughout the new maps. With the new update also comes an announcement for Season 2 of the “Overwatch” animated shorts and comics, which makes one wonder when Blizzard will finally make the leap into making its own animated films.

You can check out the Emerald’s review of “Overwatch” here.

Learn more on the game’s official website and watch the trailer for the “Overwatch Anniversary” update below:

Rockstar Games has moved the release of “Red Dead Redemption 2” from Fall 2017 to Spring 2018

If you’ve been itching to roam the wild west once again, it looks like you’ll be waiting a few more months before saddling up again in the “Red Dead” universe. The highly anticipated sequel to Rockstar Games’s “Grand Theft Auto”-like open-world Western “Red Dead Redemption” has been delayed a whole quarter. “Red Dead Redemption 2” will now release in Spring 2018, not Fall 2017 as initially planned.

Rockstar apologized in a blog post announcing the change, but promises more details about the game soon in exchange:

“We are very sorry for any disappointment this delay causes, but we are firm believers in delivering a game only when it is ready. We are really excited to bring you more details about the game this summer.”

Not much is known about the plot or new features of this new installment so far, but just the name drop alone warranted a nomination for Most Anticipated Game in 2016’s The Game Awards. All we know so far is that it’s a third-person, open world shooter that has both substantial single player and multiplayer components. Newly released screenshots show trains, towering redwoods and muddy candlelit towns, truly evocative of the Western Frontier theme.

An in-engine screenshot of a train traveling the countryside from “Red Dead Redemption 2.” (Courtesy of Ubisoft)

“Red Dead Redemption 2” is currently only set to release on Xbox One and Playstation 4, but hopeful fans have been vying for a PC port as well.

You can watch the latest trailer for “Red Dead Redemption 2” below:

Gaming Week In Review is a semi-regular column by Mathew Brock devoted to recapping recent news from the video game world each week.

You can follow Mathew on Twitter: @MathewQBrock.

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Mathew Brock

Mathew Brock