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Overwatch 2's New Talantis Map Is By Fans, For Fans

Blizzard released "Overwatch 2" more than six months ago, but a seriously rocky start, a controversial battle pass system, and other lingering issues left some fans wanting more from what was supposed to be a major change from the first "Overwatch." Its free-to-play model continues to be a sticking point with many players, but it continues to be a successful game for Blizzard. Now, the company is looking to the community for new content, adding the very first completely fan-designed map to "Overwatch 2."

Late last year, "Overwatch" devs Aaron Keller, Dion Rogers, and Andy Belford hosted a stream in which they listened to input from players for new content, and took particular interest in an idea of an underwater level. An extremely basic version of what would eventually become this new map was created during this stream, as the devs continued to take notes from viewers on what the map should look like. The details were fleshed out behind the scenes, and now it's available for players to try out in the Arcade mode of "Overwatch 2."

The map, named Talantis, is an underwater base thought to be related to the Talon organization and, of course, Atlantic. Talon is one of the main antagonistic factions looming over the story of "Overwatch 2." Perhaps predictably, fan-made content is considered non-canon (for the time being, at least), but it's exciting the "Overwatch 2" players who have wished for more player input. Some even hope that this could be a stepping stone to the addition of a custom level editor.

Talantis is a Control map only available in Arcade mode

"Overwatch 2" has featured player-driven content since the beginning, in the form of custom game modes. These allow players to modify many elements of the game to go beyond traditional deathmatch, capture, and cart-pushing objectives. What this custom game mode feature lacks, though, is the ability to design full maps like in Forge mode from "Halo." Though fans would love to see something like that in "Overwatch 2" eventually, the addition of Talantis likely isn't the thing that will lead to such a feature. After all, players didn't directly build Talantis.

However, players did influence its creation in a lot of other ways, as the developers took their suggestions and turned them into reality. The devs asked players about how much cover there should be, what external or aesthetic features it should have, how it should be laid out, and much, much more. In essence, Talantis was a map made by the "Overwatch 2" team using only instructions from Twitch viewers.

Fans response to the community-directed map has been overwhelmingly positive, though it's not without its faults. The map has few unique textures, a lack of polish on its effects and layouts, and some believe it's unfit for Control gameplay due to its massive size. Other users have complained about its geometry and jump pads, but most agree that it's a fun time. Either way, it's worth checking out now: It's only going to be available for two weeks, and will be taken down on May 8, 2023.