New Overwatch 2 map, Antarctic Peninsula, transports players to Mei’s home away from home, challenging them to best turbulent snowstorms whilst popping heads and taking names. Given that the FPS game‘s latest location is a control map, though, how is the Overwatch 2 team going to ensure it doesn’t become the site of Paris and Temple of Anubis-style massacres?
Once the home of adorable but deadly ice queen Mei, the Overwatch 2 team has been excited to explore the lore of her home away from home for some time, calling it a “step in the process” of exploring the multiplayer game‘s overarching narrative.
Featuring underground caves, a frozen ship, and interactable penguins that the team are very excited for us to meet, I ask what the design philosophy behind the map was; is it one that champions teamwork, or one that with long corridors that’s perfect for dirty Widowmaker mains like me?
“Generally we like to make a nice balance which makes you feel like you have a chance to play a bunch of different heroes,” level designer Trey Spisak tells PCGamesN. “For example, on the Icebreaker point (the one with the big ship) it’s a little more flat than others so heroes like Reinhardt, Solider 76, and characters that are more boots on the ground with not as much mobility might be a little bit better.
“But when you get down to the sublevel under Point A where they’re doing the ice drilling, for example, there’s a lot of verticality – especially around the point. That’s perfect for someone like a D.Va, or Winston, or Genji, or Pharah. We try to find a nice mix.”
I also asked how the team has incorporated community feedback into Antarctic Peninsula, especially given how vocal fans have been about past assault maps like Paris and Temple of Anubis – both of which were removed coming into Overwatch 2 following constant backlash.
While not strictly the same – Antarctic Peninsula is a control map after all – the modes are similar enough that tight choke points and sites with one entrance could still be problematic. Thankfully, Spisak has sated my concerns.
“When we’re designing these new maps we’re careful not to create these super gnarly, impossible to get through chokes with no other options,” Spisak states. “We’re trying to make it so that we don’t have to go back and fix things like that, so we’re trying to stay super focused on ensuring everything feels balanced. We use a lot of the feedback from our team to find out about a lot of these issues.”
As someone who has some truly horrible memories of playing on Paris, this makes me very happy. Antarctic Peninsula looks gorgeous, is rich with lore, and is a brand new look for the game’s icier locations. Oh, and it also has literal penguins – what more can you really want?
Antarctic Peninsula launches on the Overwatch 2 season 3 release date, which is coming in hot. Ahead of the new update, make sure you check out our Overwatch 2 tier list to stay ahead of the competition, as well as our rundown of the Overwatch 2 Ramattra abilities – just in case you haven’t quite mastered him yet.