It’s almost time for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, and in the gaming world that means three things:
- There will be a new Mario and Sonic track and field button masher.
- Someone will ask when eSports will join the Olympic programme.
- There will be lots of spurious and tenuous (and tenuously spurious) Olympics-themed DLC and content.
Ubisoft were first to break cover with the delightfully-named Rainbow Six: Siege Skull Rain update (that has nothing whatsoever to do with the Olympics, but features two new Brazilian operators) and now it’s Blizzard’s turn to deliver some Overwatch Olympics content.
What’s in the Overwatch Olympics content? Very little of interest, to be honest. There’s the usual suspects of Olympics-themed and Brazilian-style cosmetic updates – including themed sprays, emotes, victory poses, highlight intros, player icons, and some “very special skins” – that can be found in Loot Boxes that you’ve earned or purchased.
“Very special skins” is super-secret Blizzard code for “an opportunity to get Tracer in a skimpier outfit” in case you were wondering.
There is one aspect of the Overwatch Olympics content that does look like it could be genuinely novel, however: Lúcioball, a 3v3 ball game brawl somewhat resembling football (or soccer, if you’re located in the Americas) named after Overwatch’s Brazilian character, Lúcio. Football is a sport in the Olympics, after all.
Alright, so Lúcioball is basically a rip off of Rocket League, but instead of cars everyone plays as Lúcio and uses his melee attack to punch the ball around the field, but what more can you expect? It’s a free brawl, being delivered as part of a free set of content that’s only running until August 22 – when the Rio 2016 Games close – so we’ve done pretty well to get something that resembles a new and exciting way to play, over and above that cosmetic nonsense.
The Overwatch Olympics content is available to all players now, and will run for the next three weeks, until the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.