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Overwatch Archives 2021 revisits first three stories... again

Overwatch Archives has returned! And by that, we mean the first three sets of Overwatch Archives missions are back with no new lore to be found.


Before Overwatch can jump into its future, Blizzard must revisit the team's past. Once again, it's time for another round of Overwatch Archives, the annual event that spotlights the game's lore, specifically its past. New skins, along with other rewards, will be made available over the course of this event, though the manner in which players earn these rewards will undergo a few changes.

If you're looking for all-new lore-based missions, you're likely to be disappointed. As was the case last year, this year's Overwatch Archives will not offer new story content. Instead, players will once again experience the Uprising, Retribution, and Storm Rising missions. The variants that debuted last year will return along with one new modifier for each set of missions. Here's what players can expect:

  • Week 1
    • Double credit for Overwatch Archives: Uprising
    • Molten Cores: Enemies drop Lava on death
    • Glass Cannon: Players have 50% less health and increased damage
    • Bulletproof Barriers: New for this year, this modifier features invulnerable enemy barriers.
  • Week 2
    • Double credit for Overwatch Archives: Retribution
    • Surgical Strike: Only critical hits do damage to enemies
    • Close Quarters: Enemies can only be damaged if a player is nearby
    • Sympathy Gains: A new modifier for this year, damaging enemies will heal other other enemies.
  • Week 3
    • Double credit for Overwatch Archives: Storm Rising
    • Blood Moon Rising: No Support heroes and healing is reduced. Heal yourself by doing damage.
    • Storm Raging: Some Enemies are enraged. Killing them spreads the rage.
    • Thunderstorm: New for this year, enemies that deal damage will also deal damage to surrounding players.

Rewards will be available throughout this three-week event. However, instead of winning games, players will have to earn stars, which they get by playing through Overwatch. Missions do not necessarily have to be completed to earn stars, so if you fall short, no worries. Each week, players will earn a player icon at 10 stars, a spray at 20 stars, and an Epic skin at 30 stars. The first week's skin will be Corredor Lucio, the second week will offer Subaquatic Zenyatta, and the third week will feature Camouflage Mercy. Five more Legendary skins (Cavalry Tracer, Mousquetaire Widowmaker, 1776 Soldier: 76, Polyanitsa Zarya, and Bushi Genji) will also be available through the standard loot boxes.

While the cosmetics look cool, Overwatch players will undoubtedly be disappointed by another year without new Overwatch lore. But anything lore-related looks to be on hold until the eventual release of Overwatch 2. Unfortunately, Overwatch 2 still isn't coming anytime soon, so for now, just enjoy what's out there. Updates on the sequel's progress will eventually come and Shacknews will be here to cover them, so stay tuned for the latest.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
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    April 6, 2021 11:00 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Overwatch Archives 2021 revisits first three stories... again

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      April 6, 2021 12:57 PM

      honestly im hyped to play these with my nephew. he's got some basics of FPS games down (he plays Black Mesa DM with his dad and I), but he still gets a bit lost in overwatch with team dynamics, paying attention to team fights, the objective, etc. playing regular vs AI games is ok, but gets pretty old pretty quick.

      some coop vs some more structured missions with specific hero pool will be fun i think.

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        April 6, 2021 12:58 PM

        i mean ive played them all alreayd, of course. but i think it will be much better for my nephew than the regular vs AI.

        also i wish they'd allow AI in the deathmatch mode; nephew would dig that as well.

    • Zek legacy 10 years legacy 20 years
      April 6, 2021 1:20 PM

      I still enjoy playing Overwatch, though as always I'm very disappointed in their decision to postpone any and all new content until Overwatch 2, which comes out who knows when. It should have been a PvE expansion with the PvP game content being rolled out over these last couple years. Basically that's already what it is, they just decided to put the existing game on ice so they could market it as a sequel instead.

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        April 6, 2021 1:23 PM

        they have to consider the pro scene when making changes, so perhaps for these larger changes they felt it would make less problems for the pro scene to kind of bundle it together as obe release

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          April 6, 2021 1:27 PM

          it seems like some of the pvp changes kind of stemmed from the pve stuff and then there turned out to be such large changes. im sure they had to baalnce test all the major pvp hanges against each other and ehat not.

          they cant do big revamps of a character vs the current overwatv state, and then revamp them again together in OW2

          "why make OW2" for PVE and building lore and fanbase and sales.

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      April 6, 2021 1:36 PM

      Overwatch still my most played game each week. Can't say I'm super pumped for this event, skins are meh.

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