The colossal Symmetra rework recently added to Overwatch‘s public test region was accompanied by a sizable update to the Horizon Lunar Colony map. Not only did the map update make the arena more competitive, it also introduced a number of teases about one simian character who may end up being hero number 28.
While the layout changes are more overt, there have been a number of subtle tweaks made to the lore of the map as well. Horizon Lunar Colony is considered to be, narratively speaking, the home map of Tank hero Winston, as it is the place in which the hero grew up. The map is filled with nods to Winston’s past, but there are also teases about a fellow moon-dweller named Hammond. The most notable of these teases is a panel in the initial Attacker spawn room that lists Hammond as one of the station’s only two specimens “not found.” Hammond was another ape test subject at the facility, described to be smaller than Winston, and following the recent Horizon update, fans have learned more about the character and how he managed to escape the facility.
After walking into the map’s first main area from the Attacker spawn, players will find Winston’s room on the lower levels of the right side. This room has been open since the map launched, but only recently has another door in the same area been made accessible, labeled Specimen 8. We know Specimen 8 to be Hammond, based on the aforementioned spawn room panel. Upon entering what was Hammond’s bedroom, players with find blueprints of Winston’s escape pod, with crudely-drawn plans of an auxiliary capsule that attaches to the pod, explaining how Hammond managed to get from the Moon to the Earth.
These new discoveries complement ones found in the early days of the map, with emails on computers discussing the misplacement of tools and weird noises coming from the ventilation. Not only do these new clues reveal how Hammond got off the Moon, they could suggest that the animal facilitated whatever event forced the entire evacuation.
The question that remains: will Hammond be Overwatch‘s 28th hero? At this point, it is looking likely, and even if he isn’t 28, he will almost certainly be 29 or 30. As for what role he’ll fill, the Tank category is the most wanting at the moment, at least in terms of the meta, but considering Hammond and Winston are connected in both their backstory and in… well, being apes, something about having them both be tanks just feels off.
All of the map’s changes are currently live on the PTR, with the layout adjustments adding new cover and route opportunities to make a more balanced experience for both sides. In general, the adjustments make defending both points much easier, but it also makes it harder for Defenders to get back to Point B from spawn, giving Attackers a more fair chance to capture it if they have an established presence on the point.
In addition to the map changes, Symmetra’s rework can also be sampled on the test server, along with several other hero adjustments and new social features. Be careful facing off with Symmetras on the PTR, however, as a recently discovered exploit makes her the most deadly hero in Overwatch history. There is no date yet for when these changes will hit the full game, but they are expected to arrive in a week or two.