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Overwatch gets Hearthstone-style 'weekly brawls' in latest update

Blizzard gives players a new reason to keep playing Overwatch

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

Blizzard released a substantial update for the ongoing Overwatch closed beta this week that adds a host of new character skins, new achievements and a new map based on the historic U.S. highway Route 66. The developer also introduced a new gameplay option called Weekly Brawls, which is are inspired by another Blizzard game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.

Weekly Brawls, inspired by Hearthstone's Tavern Brawls, are rotating game types that feature "a set of unique (and sometimes crazy) rules" from Overwatch's Custom Game system.

Here's how Blizzard describes it:

In one Weekly Brawl, you'll only be able to play Soldier: 76, while in another Weekly Brawl, a random hero will be selected for you each time you respawn. Other Weekly Brawls will restrict you to Support heroes only, or Tank heroes only, or Defense heroes only...

Blizzard calls the new gameplay option "a work in progress and something we consider more of an experiment for now." Currently, Blizzard is rotating the new game type out on a daily basis, so it can test the feature. One of the earliest Weekly Brawls is called "Super Shimada Bros.," which features faster cooldowns for abilities and slower cooldowns for ultimates, and limits players to just two hero choices: Genji and Hanzo.

Overwatch's latest update also adds a dozen new legendary skins for certain characters. Here's a look at what's new.

For a full list of changes, additions and balance update, check out Blizzard's beta patch notes for Overwatch's March 22 update.

Overwatch is coming to PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One May 24. The game's open beta kicks off May 3.

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