The beginning cutscene takes place in Havana, Cuba, where Maximilien is being escorted by an armed convoy of Talon soldiers, as a passenger. Under Sojourn's watchful eye, Tracer leads a strike team alongside Mercy, Winston and Genji, disabling the group of cars escorting Maximilien's private car, but following an intense battle in the streets, Maximilien manages to escape and flee in his vehicle. As Sojourn helps to track Maximilien's movements, the team prepares to move out and apprehend the Talon omnic.
Storm Rising takes place on the Havana map, where the strike team pursues Maximilien through the Cuban streets while under attack by Talon forces. The map is divided into several areas with designated enemy waves, which must be cleared before the team is permitted to proceed. Although Maximilien is stated to be at risk of escaping, the map has no time limit.
Similar to previous Overwatch Archives events, players are given a choice of Storm Rising and Storm Rising (All Heroes), the latter mode allowing the player to choose between any heroes in the available roster.
- After Sojourn tracks Maximilien to the nearby distillery, the team opens the side door out of the garage they spawn in, fighting several waves of Talon soldiers along the Cuban streets flanked by colonial-style buildings. A dropship will appear in the city center before the distillery entrance. At the distillery entrance, a sniper usually appears on the ledge above the entrance or a display unit on the corner; higher difficulties also include another dropship, and a spawned assassin.
- Once the enemies are cleared, Sojourn will open the distillery entrance for the team. Inside the distillery, the team must clear several clusters of Talon enemies. While awaiting further command, Sojourn's communications are cut off from the team, leading into an ambush in the complex, involving several waves of Talon enemies spawning from doors, entrances in the ground, or dropping from the ceiling. Each wave is also marked with the inclusion of special enemies: a pair of Talon snipers, a single Talon assassin (these two are interchangeable between the first two waves), and ending in a Heavy Assault unit.
- After the distillery is cleared, Sojourn reestablishes communications and informs the team that she has tracked Maximilien to an old colonial fort, from which he plans to escape. Tracer proposes using a nearby truck of highly volatile alcoholic spirits and explosives to blow open the fort doors and apprehend Maximilien, which Sojourn approves. The team must then guide the truck, which functions as a payload, along the road to the fort while fighting off more Talon enemies. In addition to Troopers and Enforcers, a pair of Talon snipers will appear on the fort's outer walls, followed by an assassin as the players near the gate.
- Clearing out the sea fort leads players to the final phase of the map, where they must survive more waves of Talon mooks coming from doorways and side entrances. Special spawns include four Talon snipers in quick succession and another assassin, culminating in a Heavy Assault unit. After the Heavy Assault is defeated, players will be prompted to arm the truck's explosives, which causes it to ram into the sea fort's inner gate and finish the map.
- On Expert difficulty, another Heavy Assault will spawn after the original unit is defeated. On Legendary, the second Heavy Assault will spawn shortly after the first, forcing players to contend with both at the same time.
- Trooper: The bulk of Talon's forces, Troopers will spawn in groups from elevators, out of buildings and so on. They are armed with rifles similar to those used by Soldier: 76, and attack with bursts of bullet fire. They are able to perform a dodge roll like McCree, but otherwise have average health and offensive capability.
- Enforcer: An upgraded Trooper, Enforcers have higher health than their weaker counterparts. Instead of a rapid-fire burst, Enforcers are armed with stronger shotguns that require a few seconds to charge before blasting nearby targets.
- Sniper: The Talon's analog of Widowmaker, albeit without her Venom Mine capability. The Sniper will spawn in open areas, using her grappling hook to switch between vantage points so she can attempt to headshot the players. If isolated in close range, she will pull out a low damage sidearm for self defense.
- Assassin: A special unit similar to the Hunter or Witch from Left 4 Dead, characterized by manic, unhinged laughter, and spawns in similar areas to the Sniper. She will constantly teleport, similar to Tracer's Blink ability, around the surrounding walls before teleporting onto the floor and charging at one random player. Once she makes contact, she pins her target and uses her arm blades to tear into the victim. This ends when she has either taken sufficient damage, is stunned out of this attack, is hit with a quick melee attack, or incapacitates the target, after which she returns to teleporting between the walls. On higher difficulties, the Assassin's slashing is enough to incapacitate a player at full health after a few seconds.
- Heavy Assault: The final Talon special unit and built similar to Roadhog. The Heavy Assault's main mode of attack is to use the two miniguns replacing his arms, which he uses to attack players in close range in a hail of bullets. The Heavy Assault can knock back players that are standing too close, and also perform a charge similar to Reinhardt, damaging and pinning any player that gets caught in his path. On higher difficulties, a pinned player will be instantly incapacitated, even at full health. Critical damage can be inflicted to the red tanks on the Heavy Assault's back.
- Many of the strategies in Retribution apply to Storm Rising. For ease of reference, the profiles of the Talon enemies has been repeated here, with modified notes specific to Storm Rising.
- The damage output of Enforcers makes them deadly in groups, especially on the later stages of the map when special units spawn in quick succession. Stay on the move to avoid as much of their damage as possible, and group up to take them out faster.
- As important as it is to stay out of the Sniper's line of sight, she should be dealt with as quickly as possible before the Troopers and Enforcers close in on the players and force them out of position. Long-range attacks work best, as she will grapple hook away when players get too close. The grapple hook has a cooldown, allowing players to take advantage and close in immediately after she grapples to a new location. Genji and Winston's aerial mobility make them best suited for taking on snipers, although the former is at risk of being downed quickly if he doesn't have Deflect up. Mercy's Cadeceus blaster is an accurate weapon for taking out snipers, but this isn't recommended unless she's absolutely sure she doesn't need to heal anyone.
- Once the Assassin targets a player, she will ignore all other teammates - even if the player is the furthest away from where she is. Identify the targeted player quickly; if the player is playing a class that can stun or avoid the Assassin's close combat attack (such as Tracer's Blink or Genji's wall climb), using the relevant ability will cancel the Assassin's attack and force her back on the defensive. Remember that a quick melee attack from any character will immediately force her to disengage from the targeted player.
- The Heavy Assault is prone to stunning and freezing effects, but immune to knockback from abilities such as Lúcio's Soundwave. His Charge can be blocked by Orisa using Fortify or a Mei wall.
- Compared to Retribution, dealing with the Heavy Assault is considerably more dangerous due to the large number of open areas and limited cover to kite around, especially during the final wave of the sea fort. While using the payload and side passages for cover, Genji and Tracer should harass the Heavy Assault while Winston provides shields and cover fire on Troopers and Enforcers with Mercy keeping everyone healed.
- Genji and Tracer fill similar roles: using their mobility to kite around enemy groups and weaken or kill off Talon enemies. Staying on the move is key as neither of them has high health or durability, and contrary to their usual roles of flanking, separating from the group is ill-advised. Genji in particular can use his wall climbing to get around the distillery and harass snipers, while Tracer is best suited for getting around the Heavy Assault with Blink and blasting him from all directions. Use their Ultimates liberally; you'll be doing enough damage over time to build them up quickly.
- Winston should help the team soak up damage with his size, shields and considerable health pool. Due to his worse mobility from cooldown limitations, it's less advisable for Winston to jump around the map and dive into enemy groups alone. Save jumping for helping a distant Tracer or Genji soften up crowds and drop a shield to hinder attacks from mid-range Troopers/Enforcers and Snipers. Winston's Jet Pack is also vital for helping Mercy reach over obstacles and distances to heal her other allies.
- Mercy's role is the same as her original role in Uprising: keeping her team healthy and avoiding combat where she risks getting downed by enemy hordes. Staying close to Winston is heavily advised as he provides her with the best options for mobility and defensive cover.
Storm Rising (All Heroes)
- Unlike Story Mode, All Heroes Mode features no cutscenes.
- Having a well-balanced team that can stay together as a cohesive unit is critical to success. This discourages classes that function best when going solo or some distance from the team, such as Pharah or Widowmaker. Having a team of at least one shield user, healer and DPS is recommended.
- The distillery's various walkways, stairways and platforms make navigating the map confusing and potentially dangerous for heroes with limited mobility, such as Zenyatta and Roadhog.
- Orisa is a highly recommended class for this mode; her Protective Barrier can withstand a lot of damage while allowing her to attack, and Supercharger can contribute to damage output against Heavy Assaults (while also functioning as a lure at times).
- Bastion is a decent pick for damage output - while you will be moving across the map, waves of enemies will keep you occupied at several checkpoints, allowing you to go into Turret mode and mow through hordes of adversaries with ease. Having a Reinhardt or Orisa is highly recommended, allowing you to hide behind their shields while demolishing enemies.
- Baptiste is an ideal healer for this mode due to his abilities synergizing effectively with the team's needs. His Immortality Field helps prevent incapacitations from all Talon enemies, his Amplification Matrix increases the damage output done to Heavy Assaults, and his boosted jumping allows him to get around the distillery and sea fort.
- Symmetra's Teleporter is key in helping allies reach high ground and mount a defensive stronghold. A good strategy is to use a team of Bastion, Baptiste, Orisa and Symmetra and teleport to sniper ledges around the distillery and sea fort. With sufficient shields and heals the team can proceed to pick off enemies from afar.
Storm Rising (Blood Moon Rising)
- Being locked to Damage heroes and having close to no healing resources means that managing attacks is more important than ever - while diving into enemy groups might be necessary to recover health, you're just as likely to end up dead. Strike at Enforcers and other enemies while they're charging and try to avoid taking unnecessary damage.
- While Soldier: 76's Biotic Field can help in a pinch, the reduced healing means you won't get much mileage out of it for the team.
- Bastion is borderline broken in this Challenge. His Ironclad damage resistance combined with his immense rate of fire and damage ramp-up while in Turret Form can let him sponge even a Heavy Assault at point blank, though the Heavy Assault will eventually outdamage the healing, so it is a good idea to call for help when doing this.
Storm Rising (Storm Raging)
- Be watchful of where you aim - it's easy to kill an enraged enemy and have the enrage buff spread to the rest of an enemy group if you're careless. It's also possible to enrage special units, including the Heavy.
- If need be, ignore an enraged enemy if it's close to a bunch of enemies, if you're not able to kill the others beforehand.
- Auto-aim effects like Torbjorn's turret should be avoided for this mode.
Storm Rising (Thunderstorm)
- All enemies will automatically radiate an aura of red electricity that damages players when in range, similar to Winston's Tesla Cannon. Heroes with ranged sources of damage are best for this mode as standing close to enemies will quickly shred through even the health pools of Tanks. Play this mode defensively and avoid getting downed as the passive damage you take will make it even harder to revive fallen players.
- The distillery's corners and side rooms leave the team open to getting flanked by enemy spawns. Even when pocketing yourselves in a corner, situational awareness is heavily advised.
- Once you reach the sea fort, stand on the other end of the bridge away from the fort and let enemies come towards you. With the exception of snipers all enemies will leave the safety of the fort and charge towards you, letting you pick at them from afar. Don't forget to periodically retreat along the road when escorting the payload, or when the Heavy Assault charges in to close the distance.
- In addition to Orisa, Zarya is a good pick for a Tank as she can easily soak up damage with her shields and use her Ultimate to catch Assassins for her team to safely deal with.
Story and Aftermath
During the map, the strike team discusses the ongoing conflict within Talon; following the rise of Doomfist, Talon leadership has become frayed, which apparently prompted the reclusive Maximilien's appearance. Overwatch, knowing that Maximilien would be likelier to negotiate as Talon's financial handler, made the call to arrest Maximilien as their only lead. At the same time, the team notes that Morrison and Reyes have been arguing over operations, and failing to capture Maximilien would possibly result in Overwatch's dissolution.
Following the completion of the map, Maximilien attempts to flee on an escape helicopter in the final cutscene, but is cornered by Genji at sword-point while the others block the exit. Knowing that he has no way out, Maximilien proposes to negotiate, asking the team what they're interested in. Mercy simply requests for "an introduction", intriguing the omnic as to whose audience she would like to seek. Elsewhere, Doomfist addresses another omnic, commending its desire to fight for the freedom of omnics but dismissing it as a doomed attempt, offering his partnership.
- Development for Havana began in August of 2018. Development for Overwatch Storm Rising started 1 month after, in September of 2018.
- At 7 months, Storm Rising has the least amount of development time out of the three Archives events so far.
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