Six years after the original Overwatch game was released, we’re finally set for a sequel. The team-based multiplayer battle game, released by Blizzard in 2016, proved to be hugely popular and stood the test of time. The unique spin on a first-person shooter, described as a “hero shooter” game, has helped Blizzard to maintain an active community in their online space. With the original Overwatch being such a success, how will Overwatch 2 fare? Luckily the developers have seemed quite keen to talk about their progress and even share some of the features – let’s take a look at everything we know so far.
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A Few Details We Know Already
First of all, the release date. Fans don’t have long to wait, with the release currently scheduled for 4th October 2022. This is also most likely why Blizzard have been so keen to share so many parts of the game in such a short space of time.
A big part of Overwatch’s success was the engaging characters that players came into contact with – they felt completely fresh and unique, which is why the decision to give some characters an overhaul has been met with frustration and disappointment among fans. PC Gamer said that “the best Overwatch heroes are one-trick wonders”, and remarked on Blizzard’s clever design that pushed such strong personalities into a single role within the team – think Moira’s healing abilities. The online magazine’s critique of the Overwatch 2 characters were not as favourable.
The writer called Junker Queen “an over-designed mess”, pointing to the multiple weapons that don’t seem to work well together – the hero has two weapons that wound, but the damage she deals boosts her own health and offers a speed boost. The magazine said that playing against her would be confusing and chaotic, and playing as her doesn’t feel much better.
It’s not all bad news for character redesign, however. Symmetra and Mercy were two very controversial characters in the original Overwatch game; the two heroes were equally glitchy and difficult to play as. Even Blizzard acknowledged that they needed to be fixed, so the news that they were being worked on was well received.
Are Fans Happy So Far?
It seems that it’s not just the problematic characters that have had an overhaul – not all of the changes are for the best, but some are genuinely an improvement. Bastion’s turret mode has been significantly weakened and in place of his self-healing abilities, the character has been given grenades. Meanwhile, Orisa’s damage and speed has been given a major boost to make her an overall stronger character.
While Blizzard were in the mood to make changes, they decided to reduce the team size from 6 to 5. No one can really work out why and Blizzard have chosen to keep strangely quiet on this one. The only thing they’ve shared is that the role being taken away is the tank.
One of the most exciting new features in Overwatch 2 has to be the new co-op abilities as well as story mode. Players will finally have the chance to play one-on-one with friends, and the new story mode allows fans to get a better understanding and knowledge of the Overwatch universe.
In an attempt to shake things up a little, Blizzard have added an extra mode to the already vast selection. Push mode introduces the addition of a giant robot to the battle. While fighting each other, the aim is to push the robot over to the other team’s side. It’s quite gimmicky, but it’s a little bit of novelty that fans are sure to appreciate and go back to when they want a change from the main game.
While the novelty of the new push mode is sure to amuse some fans, others are busy mourning the loss of assault mode. The chaotic style of gameplay left fans torn in their opinions of assault mode. Some players loved it, while others referred to it as the worst mode in the game.
What Are Fans Expecting?
Although we know a few of the details that the game will have, it hasn’t yet been released and so fans are still waiting to see what the whole gaming experience is like. Gaming fans are notoriously hard to please, especially when there has been such a long wait for the new version. Fans of Overwatch have had to wait six years for a sequel to the popular first-person shooter, and many have a long list of hopes and wishes for the upcoming title as long as this list of bingo offers so it stands to reason that they probably won’t all be happy. Feedback on changes so far has been mixed and no doubt there will be some changes and improvements that fans are happy with.
That said, we have seen with much-awaited game releases in the past that fans aren’t afraid to be vocal on forums and social media about their unhappiness. This is of course, something that brands will want to avoid and so they’ll be hoping that Overwatch 2 doesn’t disappoint. It could be that they have released some details in advance to give a chance to listen to fan feedback on the changes and see if they are likely to be happy.
One thing we can be sure of is that there are plenty of people looking forward to Overwatch 2 and what the new version of the game will bring. Technology has improved massively since the last version released in 2016 so there will be plenty of gamers that have pretty big expectations surrounding game graphics and capabilities – with the details released so far pretty limited on this part of the new game, which is keeping gamers eager to see what’s next.
When Overwatch 2 launches this October it will replace the current Overwatch online gameplay. But with so many major changes and shake-ups, the reviews are bound to be interesting, to say the least.