Blizzard's newest game now has a release date: Heroes of the Storm will be available on June 2nd, and an open beta will begin on May 19th. It's the company's first MOBA (short for multiplayer online battle arena), and it will take aim at the popularity of similar titles like DOTA 2 and League of Legends.
Heroes of the Storm leverages Blizzard's deep well of legacy games by letting players use characters from Diablo, StarCraft, and WarCraft in what the company calls a "team brawler." It's a more approachable action-strategy game that someone new to the style can pick up and play, but it also ramps up the difficulty for more advanced players.
Play characters from WarCraft, StarCraft, and Diablo
The free-to-play game will mainly focus on cooperative play, but also features a "quick match" mode that lets players jump in and play versus others. Experienced players can also join forces against other teams of players in highly competitive, draft-style ranked play.
The game will feature more than 30 playable characters ("heroes," as they're called) and seven different arenas, or "battlegrounds." More will be available after launch. Players can customize their heroes with different skins and can switch between different mounts to traverse the battlegrounds in different ways.
We got to try the closed beta last month and found it to be a little silly, though that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. The big advantage that Blizzard has here is that players will be able to pit characters from the company's massive hits, which turns Heroes into something akin to Marvel vs. Capcom, or the Super Smash Bros. series. Those types of games let fans stop find out for themselves whether a character from one series could beat one from another, which also makes the experience more replayable.