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Winston makes a video for the incoming Overwatch beta

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The Overwatch “head start” for people who have preordered the game is set to begin tomorrow, leading into an all-access open beta which will run from May 5-9. And that means it's time for a stirring message from the ultra-intelligent simian named Winston, who wants the former members of the team to know that they can still make a difference.  

The video provides a very brief, rough breakdown of the state of the world leading into Overwatch, including the creation of the team, its dissolution, and what Winston obviously hopes will be its reformation. It's cute, and even though I don't think the plot is an essential element of the game—it's a team-based FPS, after all—it's as well-produced as you'd expect from Blizzard.  

Each phase of the open beta will go live at the same time, meaning that in our neck of the woods, the early access period will actually begin at 4 pm PDT on May 2 (just a couple of hours from now, in fact), while the all-access portion will kick off at 4 pm PDT on May 4. The full schedule, along with installation and play instructions, is on battle.net.   

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.