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Overwatch’s holiday update arrives with new loot, new game mode

Winter Wonderland update brings festive skins and an all-Mei snowball fight

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Overwatch’s holiday event — Winter Wonderland — is here, bringing with it wintertime loot boxes filled with new character skins, emotes, victory poses, highlight intros and other cosmetic items.

Blizzard Entertainment released the seasonal update today for PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One. Winter Wonderland comes with more than 100 new cosmetic items that players can earn by unlocking winter loot boxes. As with previous Overwatch events, the contents of those limited-time loot boxes will be random, but players are guaranteed at least one Winter Wonderland item in each box.

For a peek at what’s available from winter loot boxes during the Winter Wonderland event, check out the gallery below, which shows new skins and costumes for Lúcio, McCree, Mei, Pharah, Reaper, Roadhog, Sombra, Torbjörn, Tracer, Winston and Zenyatta — who, somewhat unexpectedly, makes an amazing nutcracker. You’ll also get a look at wintry versions of two existing Overwatch maps: Hanamura and King’s Row.

Blizzard is also adding a new brawl to Overwatch called Mei’s Snowball Offensive. It’s a 6v6, single-elimination brawl where everyone’s Mei — but with a twist.

Here’s Blizzard’s description of the Winter Wonderland brawl:

In this brawl, Mei's Endothermic Blaster no longer unleashes a stream of frost or shoots icicles. Instead, it’s been modified to fire a single, super-powered snowball. Taking down an enemy only takes one hit, but a miss can be costly. Once your weapon is empty, your enemies will have the advantage as you search for the nearest snow pile to reload, so don’t forget to cover your retreat with ice walls and cryo-freeze to block their attacks—and when the battle starts to heat up, you can activate Mei’s Ultimate, which turns her blaster into a semi-automatic snowball launcher, allowing you to fire continuously as your enemies scatter.

Overwatch’s Winter Wonderland event runs from Dec. 13 to Jan. 2.