At Blizzcon this year, the heavily anticipated sequel to Overwatch was revealed to great fanfare. Much more is coming to the acclaimed shooter than previously thought. After a very emotional announcement trailer (just make the damn movie, Blizzard) Overwatch 2’s existence was confirmed here’s a look at what’s coming to the new game.
Permanent Co-Op and Single Player Story
The co-op, player vs environment events in Overwatch injected a much needed breath of fresh air from the usual PvP grind in Overwatch. The “Archives” events were used for more than just PvE, it was also a way for Blizzard to trickle little bits of lore and story into the Overwatch mythos through gameplay. In Overwatch 2, many fans of the Archives events are getting their wish with a permanent story mode as well as online non-story based co-op mission.
The story mode is to be a fully fleshed out experience with certain character unlock and upgrades exclusive to that part of the game. In the trailer for the campaign mode, we see Tracer upgrade her skills to a much larger explosion on her pulse bomb. We see Genji fire projectiles from his Dragonblade. The extra skills from the Story mode will not carry over to PvP, but should help make the new types of gameplay feel more robust.
But What About PvP/Competitive?
The move to create a sequel concerned a sizable chunk of the player base. With a new game, naturally comes a split in the player base, especially if the previous game’s servers are still live. Overwatch Game Director, Jeffery Kaplan, assuaged those fears by announcing that OW1 and OW2 would operate on the same PvP servers. This means that if you own OW1 you will still receive new heroes as the game updates.
A new PvP mode called “Push” is coming to the game and will be included in the new Overwatch League season. In Push, players will play in a tug-of-war style map to see which team can escort their robot companion the farthest. It seems to be a map type, that prioritizes flanking and quick re-positioning. Heroes like Orisa, Bastion and Baptiste may have issues in the mode considering they excel at fortifying a static position and protecting it.
Also, OW2 is coming with a massive visual overhaul to both the character models and the User Interface. Kaplan announced that EVERY Hero in the game is receiving an updated model. He also announced that all of the cosmetics that players have earned in the game will port over to OW2 as well. Essentially, if you are an OW1 player that doesn’t care about any of the Story or PvE content, then you will not have to buy OW2. The client, UI upgrades, Heroes and hotfixes will all still come to the OW1 install base.
So When’s It Coming Out?
We don’t know. According to Kaplan, the Overwatch team will be “going dark” over all OW2 content until they “have more to show”. Also, with so much riding on the 2020 season of the Overwatch League, its uncertain if the game will be ready in time for the opening weekend. We also have no indication of how much the game would cost considering its a glorified patch. $60 for just PvE would be exorbitant. Blizzard will have to hit the perfect price point to make the game feel worthwhile picking up. There’s sure to be loads of interest in the PvE modes, but it remains to be seen if that can inject new life into the competitive side of the game.