Blizzard Entertainment has released a brand new map into Overwatch as players can experience the free for all action in Malevento. Taking a futuristic page out of Italy, this is a cliffside villa in a hilltop town by the waterside, which won't be as peaceful as it looks when you dive into it against other players. The map has plenty of winding roads, indoor mansion-like rooms, and alleyways to explore as you're avoiding being taken out or stalking your opponents before taking them out to earn a victory. The map is live in the game as we speak, but we have more info on it below direct from Blizzard along with some commentary from a senior level designer only known as "Thomas".
Malevento's design history begins in Rialto, an Escort map first introduced to players in the "Retribution" Archives event. The team originally considered making Malevento an extension of the existing map, but pivoted away from the idea when another concept was proposed: an idyllic hilltop town nestled in the quiet Italian countryside. "We looked at medieval towns for inspiration," says Thomas. Picturesque Tuscan villages like Montepulcian and Pitigliano, renowned for their lush landscapes, maze-like streets, and tucked-away feeling, inspired the artists and designers seeking to capture the same quaint atmosphere with Malevento. Like each map before it, Malevento is an experience packed with little details and hidden references–particularly for players looking forward to Overwatch 2.
Gameplay-wise, Malevento offers unique experiences for players seeking new Deathmatch thrills. The verticality of where the town sits, poised upon a rustic Italian hilltop, provides airborne heroes like Pharah and wall-climbing roster picks like Hanzo and Genji the ability to gain high-ground advantages over their enemies, while the winding alleyways and building interiors give flanking heroes enough cover to sneak up on their targets.
One of the goals while iterating on Malevento's design was to keep the map centralized and contained; in doing so, combat became more fast-paced and action-packed, full of areas that cater to players who love to shoot first and ask questions later. While different portions of the map favor certain heroes, the overall aim, says Thomas, "was to try and create a rock-paper-scissors balance with the flying, hitscan, and flanking heroes." This forces players to consider if the risks outweigh the potential rewards: Is utilizing a flanking route near a sheer drop worth a potential Concussive Blast that'll send you spiralling to your death? Should you take flight in an area that provides good line-of-sight to shoot down your enemies, but also gives them the ability to shoot straight back?
As the second Overwatch map created entirely by developers working remotely, Malevento is a love letter to many team members' dreams of post-pandemic trips and a means of transporting players into those Tuscan summer fantasies alongside them. Whether it's slinking through the town's mid-renovation cathedral, trying to glean new bits of lore from the bric-a-brac in Talon's secluded base, or scoping out each of the prime boop locations, there's something new for every type of player to enjoy (between bouts of high-octane brawling, of course) on Malevento.