Open beta dates have now been released for Blizzard’s new team based shooter Overwatch. The open beta is running from the 5th May to the 9th and will be open to all. There will be an earlier start on the 3rd May for those who have pre purchased the game. If you’ve missed all the hype for this game and want to know what it’s all about then read on.

Overwatch is a team-based shooter whereby the player chooses from a number of roles: offense, defence, tank or support. Now you might ask, like me, what the difference is between defence and tank, or maybe you’re more enlightened than me and already know. Well, I’ve taken a little look at the two roles and defence seems to specialise more in crowd control whereas the tank seems to be the more traditional high defence and damage mitigation. The offense role I think speaks for itself and the support role seems to range from abilities to shield and heal your comrades to being able to set up teleport pads. If you want to check out the full range of heroes and abilities then you can do so here.

Missions seem to be split between escort missions, protecting a target during transportation or assault missions involving an all-out battle for control over a specific area map. These missions will be done in a team with other players, so if you indent to have a go then I hope you have plenty of friends. What do you mean that counts me out? I have people who are friends… somewhere.

The maps also look fantastic, and all appear to have a very individual look. I can’t make any promises in terms of optimisation but the game certainly looks the part. I have to confess, I’m quite excited to try this one out and as soon as I get my beta access, I’ll be sure to feed back in more detail.