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Digital Trends / Tech - Game

Winter Wonderland returns to ‘Overwatch’ with skins, snowballs, epic yeti hunt

'Overwatch's annual Winter Wonderland event returns with new skins, map variants, and another a-Mei-zing new gameplay mode.

Blizzard’s wildly popular hero shooter Overwatch is again getting into the holiday season with the return of the “Winter Wonderland” event on December 12. As with the game’s other limited events, Winter Wonderland brings with it seasonal map variants, special gameplay modes, and — most importantly — those precious legendary character skins.

The first Winter Wonderland in 2016 introduced “Mei’s Snowball Offensive,” a special snowball fight gameplay mode for the ice-gun-wielding scientist Mei. The Snowball Offensive returns, both on the original Antarctica map and also now on a new, seasonal variant of the Black Forest arena map.

This time around we also get “Mei’s Yeti Hunt,” in which teams of 5 Meis will take to the Nepal Village map to hunt down a single Yeti (aka Winston). As the Meis search for Winston, he scours the map for meat power-ups, which eventually put him into his Primal Rage mode. The Meis want to kill him before he gets a chance to do the same to them. It’s basically Blizzard’s spin on the gameplay of Evolve, and also one of Overwatch‘s first attempts at a real “boss fight,” as lead designer Jeff Kaplan describes it in a video. Several other maps will also receive wintry variants for the duration of the event.

As with the Halloween and Summer Games events, skins that were introduced the first time around will almost certainly be returning for the new Winter Wonderland. For other annual events so far in the game’s second year, new legendary skins cost 3,000 credits to unlock outright, while those introduced the year before were discounted to the standard price of 1,000 credit.

Kaplan promised new legendaries for Junkrat, Roadhog, and Hanzo, plus a few unspecified others. The only hint he gave for particulars is that Hanzo’s skin is something we’ve seen before in a comic. Fans have determined that he is almost certainly alluding to Hanzo’s casual outfit in the holiday comic Reflections from last year (which most notably confirmed Tracer’s LGBTQ status). Fans have since petitioned for Hanzo’s modern, casual look from the comic to enter the game. As for us, we’d just be happy with a fun, new skin for Orisa, whose weird, quadruped model is totally underutilized by her current options. Winter Wonderland returns to Overwatch for a limited time on December 12.

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