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A Tribute To One Of Overwatch’s Most Beloved Maps Has Killed The Original

Hanamura has tragically fallen

The release of Overwatch 2’s latest season also brings with it a friend from the past – or at least a somewhat familiar face, if you were to squint.

One of the most iconic maps in the history of Overwatch, and one that rightfully nested in the minds of fans was the beautifully Japanese-themed Hanamura – a locale that served as the backing for the Overwatch Animated Short “Dragons” and was also a release day ‘control point capture’ map. With some stunning cherry blossoms and traditional architecture, it was a huge keystone to what people visualised when they thought of the first days of Overwatch.

Sadly, the ‘2CP’ game mode was eventually retired – many players felt it was too flawed to stay in a regular gameplay queue – and so Hanamura was banished to custom queues on the isle of misfit game modes.

But a spiritual successor to the map is now available to showcase the ‘Clash’ game mode – a sister map, known as Hanaoka:

All of the gorgeous visual styles of that particular map tileset return as a proper tribute to what people really liked about Hanamura.

Only it has a dark secret, because players have discovered that the birth of Hanaoka apparently came at a price – it cost us access to Hanamura. Players using the custom game option to load into the classic map have found that it is entirely broken, becoming a non-Euclidean mess of tortured geometry:

Hanamura is now unplayable in custom games, heres what it looks like now
byu/Twurti inOverwatch

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Players have already theorised the cause of this – with the common idea being that Overwatch maps are made of particular building blocks, and the act of amending those building blocks to create Hanaoka has had a ripple effect that any change is now present in Hanamura.

A little like forcefully replacing LEGO bricks in a playset, the finished product was never designed to be built that way.

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byu/Twurti from discussion
inOverwatch

This may well be a temporary outcome, give that the appearance of Hanaoka at this time is purely as a preview and playtest of the new Clash game mode – this may be a simple, hacked together way to get the map into the hands of players quickly.

That, or it may send a terrifying message that Blizzard intends to eventually kill off all of the original 2CP maps – which include other classic locales such as the Temple of Anubis (Egyptian themed) and Volskaya Industries (Snowy Russian area).

I personally hope it is a short term issue, because Hanamura still has a place as a silly gimmick map for special events – much like the “Pachi Marchi” event.

And Overwatch just isn’t Overwatch without Hanamura.

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Have you had a chance to check out Hanaoka? What about the new Clash game mode? Let us know more in the comments or on social media.

Written By Ash Wayling

Known throughout the interwebs simply as M0D3Rn, Ash is bad at video games. An old guard gamer who suffers from being generally opinionated, it comes as no surprise that he is both brutally loyal and yet, fiercely whimsical about all things electronic. On occasion will make a youtube video that actually gets views. Follow him on YouTube @Bad at Video Games

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