Retribution, the new PvE mission in Overwatch, is available to play today.
The three-player co-op mission, as well as last year’s PvE mission Uprising, will be available to play from today until May 1.
Blizzard announced that both of these missions are part of a new PvE focused mode called Archives.
Archives will allow players to experience key moments from the lore of the game. Game director Jeff Kaplan indicated that new installments were expected to release annually.
Last year’s Uprising told the story of Tracer’s first field mission, which took place on the Kings Row map and was set soon before Overwatch was disbanded.
Retribution is set on a brand new map in Venice, Italy, called Rialto. It tells the story of a mission executed by the Overwatch special forces team, Blackwatch.
In the story mode, you play as Reaper, Genji, Mcree, or Moira, as they attempt to covertly arrest one of the higher-ups of terrorist organization, Talon. This pivotal mission in the story of Overwatch tells a key moment in Commander “Reaper” Reyes’ downfall from hero to villain.
It is possible to play both of these missions in an all-heroes mode, in which you can play as any of the game’s heroes.
At the announcement of Archives, Kaplan discussed some of the improvements the team had made to PvE missions with Retribution.
Kaplan said many players didn’t understand how actions in Uprising connected with the story, such as when you had to each stand on a switch which he explained shut down anti-aircraft guns.
As a result, the development team leaned more into avenues of storytelling they thought were more effective, such as dialogue between characters. A cool feature of this mode is that the more you play the mission, the more lines of dialogue you will hear.
Kaplan also said that the team didn’t think having Overwatch heroes as the enemies in Uprising worked, like the Orisa boss, for example. So, for Retribution, they created new bosses from scratch.
These bosses – the Enforcer, the Heavy, the Sniper and the Assassin – have move-sets inspired by Overwatch heroes, but each has been designed from the ground up for this mode.
Further refining the PvE experience, Retribution also introduces a new PvE dedicated tab screen and end of match flow.
With this event, all of the skins from Uprising last year will be available, as well as number of new skins.
The Rialto map is also an escort map, and is currently available to play in the PTR.