Announced in 2019, Overwatch 2 has had fans eagerly awaiting the sequel for quite some time now. There is still no release date for the title yet, but after Blizzcon 2021, there is a heap of more information about Overwatch 2 out there. The devs have been clear from the begging stating that while the game is a sequel to the 2015 GOTY, the multiplayer reworks and additions will still be available to original Overwatch players. With that being said, multiplayer modes are not the only thing being added in the new game, but so is a new co-op PVE mode and a massive graphics overhaul.
New Multiplayer Game Modes
So far, Blizzard has only announced one of the new game modes coming with Overwatch 2, Push. This new model is a symmetrical map-based game where players will fight to control a robot at the center. At any time, either team can take control of the robot and when time runs out, whoever has pushed the enemy furthest into the opponent’s side wins the game. The devs have also gone on record to say that this is just the beginning of an ever-evolving multiplayer experience within Overwatch 2 and that players can expect even more heroes, maps, and game modes with the full release of the game.
One of the most exciting aspects of Overwatch 2’s multiplayer is the new maps arriving with the game. As of now, seven new maps have been confirmed for Overwatch 2 on top of the 21 maps from the first game that will also be available. These new arenas will also feature full day and night cycles with unique correlating map variants to help keep Overwatch 2 feeling fresh after many matches. Blizzard has also stated that the layout of these new maps is quite different from the previous and that they have been specifically designed to be as competitive as possible. The new maps confirmed to be in Overwatch 2 are:
- New York City
- Monte Carlo
- Rio De Janeiro
Besides the new maps and multiplayer overhaul, by far, the most significant addition coming to Overwatch 2 is the addition of a co-op PVE story mode. There are two types of player vs. environment (PvE) game modes coming to Overwatch 2. The first is called story missions. These multiplayer experiences task players as the heroes of Overwatch and place them smack dab in the center of the Overwatch saga. Teams of four players will unite to battle against Null Sector and discover the secrets behind omnic attacks and coming threats in the Overwatch universe. The second PvE game mode coming in Overwatch 2 is called Hero Missions. These are replayable battles with procedurally generated elements that aim at making the missions progressively more challenging and rewarding to play. Heroes will level up like an RPG with three separate talent trees to choose from that can provide playstyles unavailable in multiplayer game modes.
One of the staples of current Overwatch is the regular addition of new heroes. By adding characters with new abilities and play styles, Blizzard is able to keep Overwatch feeling fresh, even years after its initial release. The plan with Overwatch 2 is no different. The devs have already announced one hero that will be added to the new game and promised many more to come in the future. The first new addition to the Overwatch roster coming in Overwatch 2 is Sojurn. For now, it has been revealed that Sojurn will use a rail gun in combat and is the first Canadian hero to join Overwatch.
On top of all the mechanical changes coming in Overwatch 2, Blizzard has also revealed that the game is getting a significant graphics overhaul. Everything from player models to environments is getting tweaked to be more detailed and make Overwatch 2 look as polished as possible. The graphical improvements aim to add dynamic elements that will provide additional in-game storytelling as well as a new overall game atmosphere. For now, only seven new character models have been fully revealed, but the devs have promised every hero is getting a graphical rework. It is unclear yet if old models and skins will still be available in-game after launch. However, all cosmetics are transferring to the new game, so most likely, they will still be usable in some capacity.
Small but Mighty Extras
Massive features like new game modes, heroes, and maps stand out the most when discussing Overwatch 2, but there are also numerous smaller changes that aim to have a significant effect on gameplay. While some of these may change before launch, recent Blizzcon panels have revealed many small changes currently being worked on. The following are all minor adjustments planned for release in Overwatch 2.
- Melee attacks are being completely reworked to be more viable in-game and feel more effective to players.
- Maps will unlock different locations based on game modes to feel less repetitive.
- Every story mission will have fully voiced cutscenes that can change and have different dialogue depending on which hero you select.
- Story missions will have dynamic weather systems such as rain and sand storms that incentivize players to try new hero combinations to see what works best.
- Current Overwatch owners will be able to compete alongside Overwatch 2 players and have access to new maps and heroes at no additional cost.
- Currently, devs are experimenting with role passive abilities to help differentiate between the three playable roles in Overwatch.
- Tanks are currently being reworked to play more like 1 on 1 brawlers and less like damage sponges.
While there is still no release date for Overwatch 2, Activision-Blizzard has recently stated that it will most likely not be released in 2021. While this is sad news for fans of the franchise, it will hopefully allow for the game to come out in the best state possible. With all of this revealed about the game already and so much time left before release, there are sure to be more maps, heroes, and changes coming in the future. For more information on Overwatch 2 and all our previous Overwatch coverage, click here!