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The forthcoming Overwatch 2 is just as entertaining and frantic as the first game, but there are several key distinctions between the two shooters that you must pay particular attention to.
When Overwatch was released in 2016, nobody could have anticipated its cultural influence. Due to its colorful array of characters, the characters’ special skills, and the fast-paced multiplayer action that puts two teams of six players against one another, the self-described “hero shooter” attracted a sizable fan base.
Overwatch is one of the most well-known esports games after winning multiple awards and honors (it even spawned the Overwatch League in 2017). It’s ranked among the top multiplayer games ever released in some circles.
Six years later, Blizzard is the focus of attention. Since the first 2019 unveiling of Overwatch 2, the corporation has been hammered by controversy. Now, Blizzard is trying to change just enough of Overwatch to give the six-year-old multiplayer shooter a new sense of vitality in the hopes of regaining the public’s trust. It’s uncertain whether Blizzard will once more manage to catch lightning in a bottle after spending some time with the second Overwatch 2 beta. The basic Overwatch deliciousness is still present, but that can work against the PC game.
- Games Platform: PC
- Games Genre: Shooters
- ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Overwatch 2’s New Looks and Sounds
Overwatch 2 doesn’t appear to be all that different from its predecessor at first glance. The game now includes better lighting and shaders in addition to brand-new effects for fog and fabric. Even the heroes have changed (though some changes are more significant than others).
Additionally, Blizzard included new, improved audio utilizing their Convolution Reverb System, which modifies footfall and weapon sounds according to the surroundings. Even with these upgrades, Overwatch 2 still has a very identical appearance and feel to Overwatch 1, even down to the hero asides in the user interface.
There are two new characters in the mix when it comes to heroes. Sojourn and Junker Queen are two DPS characters that are excellent choices for beginner players in general (a tank with a diverse kit). In Overwatch 2, every character from the first game is back, but with both small and significant gameplay changes.
One of the biggest gameplay changes is the switch from 12-player matches to 10-player matches. This changes the player composition to one tank, two DPS, and two support heroes. During a May 2022 live stream, game director Aaron Keller said, “
We have always tried to make our combat easy to read and very understandable, and even with all of the work that we’ve put into that, sometimes it’s just hard to track what 11 other players are doing on the battlefield. Removing two of those simplifies everything, and it allows players to understand everything that’s happening around them, and to be able to make better choices.”
The distinction may be seen in action. Overwatch 2 has more aggressively tuned tanks, giving the impression that the game is continuously moving. The introduction of new passive buffs encourages you to alter your style of play by providing tiny boosts to all characters that perform the same role.
The new gameplay tactics were still being developed in this beta version. However, once they do, the matches seem to go even faster than they did in the first game.
Overwatch 2 (for PC) The Cavalry Is Free
The most divisive change, and the second significant one, is that Overwatch 2 will be free-to-play and use Rocket League-style seasonal updates. On October 4, the first season of the game will be released, along with three new heroes, six new levels, a new game mode, and a number of cosmetic items. When Overwatch 2 launches, Blizzard will also discontinue the first version of the game. Closing a premium game and switching to a free-to-play model will always leave players with a bad taste in their mouths, even though you’ll be able to transfer cosmetics, unopened loot boxes, and unspent cash.
Additionally, despite changes to the meta of the game, Overwatch 2 doesn’t truly seem like a sequel yet. The new PVE mode, which is the basis of Overwatch 2, was not included in the beta. Cooperative Story Missions and distinct Hero Missions are both available in the PVE mode. Heroes may be customized to have different powers and different builds by leveling them up via skill trees in this mode.
Many of the same maps from the first Overwatch game were included in the Overwatch 2 beta, but with somewhat improved aesthetics. I continued to dispute with my team over the makeup of the party, endured insults in voice chat, and continue to type “gg” even when it wasn’t a “gg.” Push, a new form of tug-of-war game, didn’t actually contribute anything particularly thrilling. The little adjustments could be appreciated by die-hard fans, but the typical Overwatch player might not see much of a difference between the two games.
It is obvious that Blizzard is adapting gameplay in response to user input. Since the initial beta, it has already introduced a flurry of new improvements, but the key question is: Are there enough changes to justify the creation of this sequel? I’m unsure right now.
The game is as excellent as Overwatch has ever been, even in its present incarnation, but is it a significant overhaul? No, not in the least. Overwatch 2 currently resembles an expansion, a significant patch, or even a soft reboot.
Overwatch 2 (for PC) Verdict
It might be too early to harshly judge Overwatch 2, since we haven’t actually seen most of the new content, and it’ll be a while before we do. Overwatch 2’s PVP launches this year, but the promised PVE and story modes drop in 2023, according to Blizzard’s roadmap. We’re confident that Overwatch 2 will be fun to play, but not sure it’s going to be the sequel that people wanted. That said, Overwatch 2 is a free-to-play game, so you won’t lose anything but hard drive space if you’re curious to give it a go.
Overwatch 2 arrives on PC (via BattleNet), PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on October 4, 2022.