The Chinese New Year is upon us again and with that, a new Overwatch event called Year of the Dog happening alongside the actual Year of the Dog. Last year was the Year of the Rooster and though there were no skins and themes to go along with that properly, we were given skins to a few heroes that were in line with Chinese characters from lore and myth for this year.
They also introduced last year a new game mode called Capture the Flag. Which is something many first-person shooters have but maybe wasn’t the best fit for a hero shooter? At first, it was on a map that was usually a capture map. Funny enough the map of choice, Lijiang Tower, was also stationed in Asia so it gave the development team a reason to adorn the map in decorations revolving around the new year. Going on to the mode itself, last year it was poorly executed. The game would usually end in standoffs where both teams would fail to capture the other team’s flag at all. Another problem was that you had various heroes with different abilities, which could greatly take advantage of their skills to capture and deliver the flag. For example, someone like Tracer or Sombra was able to teleport with the flag back to their base and easily score. It was matches like these last year that was especially a pain since the team that was on the wrong end of this strategy would be stomped completely and there was no way to fight against that strategy or even prevent it.
Moving on to this year, they have now added a map that is specifically made for the capture the flag. Which I would say is an improvement, but I still find problems with the mode, being that this is still a hero shooter. They have eliminated the ability to use movement to enhance Skills to move the flag. So you can for example as Tracer try to teleport while holding the flag but you will then instantly drop the flag. They have also changed the rules when it comes to draws, with Jeff Kaplan himself saying they have eliminated draws and now the maps will be moved closer to each other in an act to quickly end the game with one side being a definite winner.
The last new addition to capture the flag is a competitive mode for it, which I feel at this point may have been a bit early to try. They have only one dedicated map to the game type and this isn’t exactly the Lucio Ball mode (which heavily emulated Rocket League). Where the stage doesn’t matter because it’s the action that makes it. With this game type, a competitive mode will quickly go stale having the same stage over and over with no refreshing change in sight.
Hopefully next year the mode will welcome new additions to it and make it, an even more, interesting concept. But for now, it’s a decent distraction and a flash in the pan.