Tired of lounging around at home? Have your local haunts become boring to visit? Looking to travel somewhere new without having to fight over photo-op spots and restaurant tables with flocks of fanny pack-wearing tourists? Look no further than Malevento—your next vacation destination.
While visiting Malevento, you can enjoy a late lunch accompanied by chilled white wine on a patio overlooking the verdant hills, watch hot air balloons alight above the countryside, stroll down cobblestone streets ensconced between rows of ivy-swathed buildings, and more. The town boasts a rich history (and even richer benefactors funding its recent reconstruction); there’s somewhere in Malevento for everyone to enjoy, whether they’re fast-paced flankers, heavy-hitting tanks, or environmental experts who prefer to play on the edge.
Catch up with Thomas, a senior level designer on the Overwatch team, to discuss the newest Deathmatch map: Malevento.
Malevento’s design history begins in Rialto, an Escort map first introduced to players in the “Retribution” Archives event. The team originally considered making Malevento an extension of the existing map, but pivoted away from the idea when another concept was proposed: an idyllic hilltop town nestled in the quiet Italian countryside. “We looked at medieval towns for inspiration,” says Thomas. Picturesque Tuscan villages like Montepulcian and Pitigliano, renowned for their lush landscapes, maze-like streets, and tucked-away feeling, inspired the artists and designers seeking to capture the same quaint atmosphere with Malevento.
Like each map before it, Malevento is an experience packed with little details and hidden references–particularly for players looking forward to Overwatch 2. “Why is Talon setting up shop? Who is the mysterious statue in the courtyard?” teases Thomas. Talon’s base, secreted away inside a villa built by a contingent of workers who have since mysteriously disappeared, rests within Malevento like an ill omen, their plans for the town yet unknown.
Gameplay-wise, Malevento offers unique experiences for players seeking new Deathmatch thrills. The verticality of where the town sits, poised upon a rustic Italian hilltop, provides airborne heroes like Pharah and wall-climbing roster picks like Hanzo and Genji the ability to gain high-ground advantages over their enemies, while the winding alleyways and building interiors give flanking heroes enough cover to sneak up on their targets. “The cliffside also presents options for boops and environmental kills,” says Thomas, “and the larger, open areas are locations to duke it out and try to hold down an area.”
One of the goals while iterating on Malevento’s design was to keep the map centralized and contained; in doing so, combat became more fast-paced and action-packed, full of areas that cater to players who love to shoot first and ask questions later. While different portions of the map favor certain heroes, the overall aim, says Thomas, “was to try and create a rock-paper-scissors balance with the flying, hitscan, and flanking heroes.” This forces players to consider if the risks outweigh the potential rewards: Is utilizing a flanking route near a sheer drop worth a potential Concussive Blast that’ll send you spiralling to your death? Should you take flight in an area that provides good line-of-sight to shoot down your enemies, but also gives them the ability to shoot straight back?
As the second Overwatch map created entirely by developers working remotely, Malevento is a love letter to many team members’ dreams of post-pandemic trips and a means of transporting players into those Tuscan summer fantasies alongside them. Whether it’s slinking through the town’s mid-renovation cathedral, trying to glean new bits of lore from the bric-a-brac in Talon’s secluded base, or scoping out each of the prime boop locations, there’s something new for every type of player to enjoy (between bouts of high-octane brawling, of course) on Malevento.
Malevento is live! Hop on and queue up to experience everything the newest Overwatch Deathmatch map has to offer.