Overwatch 2: Everything We Know About Overwatch’s Sequel

Blizzconline map New York 2021
Overwatch 2 is one of Blizzard's biggest projects. Here is everything we know on the project.

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Overwatch 2 is the up-and-coming sequel to Blizzard’s freshest IP, Overwatch, released in April 2016. The game has since grown massively, gathering millions of players competing on PC and consoles. Back in November 2019, during the BlizzCon 2019 event, Blizzard officially unveiled Overwatch 2. Since then, we have had several updates on the game’s development. Here is everything we know about Overwatch 2 compiled into one easy to access place.

What is Overwatch 2

Overwatch 2 is Blizzard’s new FPS title coming out in the distant future. The game will completely overhaul its predecessor by completely changing every aspect of the game. Overwatch 2 is a hero-based shooter, where a team of six faces off against another team of six across a wide variety of maps and game modes. This version of Overwatch features a campaign mode for story enthusiasts and co-op PVE modes to play. The game aims to launch with a ranked system for the more competitive players and a pathway to esports with the Overwatch League.

When is Overwatch 2 Coming Out?

The Overwatch 2 release date is quite far off. Blizzard’s Dennis Durking, the Chief Financial Officer of Activision-Blizzard, announced in the Q4 2020 earning calls that Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 did not have a 2021 release date. It would seem likely that the sequel could be an early 2023 release.

Gaming, in general, is seeing games significantly delayed due to the nature of working from home through the pandemic. Plenty of Blizzard titles have had release windows pushed back. The likes of World of Warcraft’s Shadowlands expansion was heavily delayed and pushed back again after a release date was already announced. It is for the best that the title does not have a release date yet.

Overwatch 2 Gameplay

A lot is changing in Overwatch 2. Role passives are one way the game is evolving over its predecessor, meaning every role has something different. Damage dealers get increased movement speed; meanwhile, tanks get pushback resistance to make them sturdier on the battlefield. Every healer gets passive heath regeneration after they leave combat, which is a weaker version of Mercy’s passive.

Tanking in Overwatch is getting an overhaul. Rather than being characters that stand back and protect allies, Blizzard wants to make them brawlers. Reinhardt has two charges of Flame Strike and is now able to cancel his charge on the go. The charge also has better turn speeds for better control. These changes to Reinhardt are a work in progress and subject to change. You can see some of these gameplay changes in the Overwatch 2 trailer from BlizzConline below.

Gameplay Talents

Gameplay Talents are a new feature of Overwatch 2 that allows players to level their heroes up and unlock talents that change the way the game plays. Reinhardt can get an ice version of Flame Strike that can freeze opponents. Winston can stun off his chain lighting, and mercy can resurrect at greater distances, etc. Every character now has even more ways to change the game completely.

Overwatch 2 Game Modes

Overwatch 2 is set to have an advanced story mode for PVE content, all-new PVP modes, and altered PVP modes from Overwatch.

Rush is Overwatch 2’s newest game mode revealed back at BlizzCon 2019. The objective of Rush is to control the robot in the middle of the map. Both teams need to get control over the robot and push it towards the enemy base to win.

2CP will no longer be an Overwatch 2 game mode. Jeff Kaplan, the Lead Game Designer for Overwatch, published Discord information detailing the restricted access to 2CP. The game mode is not getting removed entirely, as it will still be available in custom games and arcade game modes for Overwatch maps. However, it will not be a featured game mode in the Overwatch 2 competitive pool.

Overwatch 2 PVE

Overwatch is getting a campaign. Overwatch 2’s Zero Hour cinematic reveals how the Overwatch and is getting back together. But now they are back together, there is a second Omnic uprising. It is Overwatch’s job to find out and who and why.

The narrative will play out through in-game cutscenes, cinematics, and other storytelling methods throughout the story mode. This is a first since the only form of storytelling Overwatch had was through cinematic trailers and special events.

BlizzConline also unveiled Hero missions. These COOP PVE Missions take players through hundreds of different quests, objectives, and scenarios across many maps. There are some character quips and small bits of narrative thrown in there as well. Some maps even have specifically new areas just for the objective or weather effects that can make it harder to track enemies, such as sandstorms on Anubis.

 

The Overwatch 2 Characters

Overwatch 2 will have the same characters ported in from Overwatch with an updated look to them. Therefore, characters like Genji, Bastion, Tracer, and Mercy and the entire roster of characters are back. Furthermore, Blizzard showed off the new character, Sojourn, in more detail.

Sojourn has a Railgun, with two firing modes. One is fully automatic, with another having charged up railgun rounds. She is the first and only currently fresh character for Overwatch 2. She hails from Canada and plays a core role in the game's story.

Overwatch 2 Maps

The BlizzConline 2021 event on February 19-20 hosted the first major look at Overwatch 2 since its announcement at BlizzCon 2019. BlizzConline announced several new maps, Rome, and New York, each with different themes and styles going on.

Overwatch 2 Rome is a take on the futuristic technology of Overwatch, combined with Ancient buildings from antiquity. Blizzard’s art team has gone the extra mile to detail the hills of Rome in the background and bring back some of Rome's destroyed elements in an Overwatchy art style.

The other map released from BlizzConline is New York. Blizzard's take New York adopts 1920’s art décor alongside the futuristic blend of Overwatch megacities. New York has recognisable locations, with the Empire State in the backdrop, one map section looking at Grand Central along with the New York Underground, and an area inspired by the Greenwich Village of New York.

BlizzCon 2019 Map Reveals

The other maps we are aware of are the BlizzCon 2019 announcements. Toronto, Gothenburg, Rio de Janeiro, and Monte Carlo. The first looks at these maps were limited and nowhere near as detailed as the BlizzConline map reveals.

Overwatch 2 Toronto is a futuristic cityscape, combined with environmental effects with snow falling across the map. While this could look like any map, Toronto's flair comes out with Hockey Stadiums, Hockey Statues, Maple Trees, and more.

Other maps announced alongside Toronto didn’t get as much attention. Rio de Janeiro got a flicker of the map design, with Favelas present, alongside strong Brazilian building colours to identify Rio's streets. The same goes for Gothenburg, which captured brief Scandinavian architecture, alongside strong industrial elements the city is famous for. Monte Carlo continues this trend as a luxurious Mediterranean destination. Scattered around Monte Carlo are luxurious rich streets, with glamorous palaces, and garages contain supercars. It is a reminder of Monaco's wealth and a reflection of its importance as a global racing city.

There are even more maps available yet to get a closer look, but Blizzard has revealed all there is to show for now.

Where to Find More

Overwatch 2 has plenty of other little details hidden throughout the game’s continued development. To know every little detail, you can follow the PlayOverwatch YouTube Channel and see Overwatch 2’s development's deep dives. There is plenty of little details we could not put into words. It is better to see and listen to those things to get the real cinematic feeling the Overwatch 2 is gunning for.

 

Images via Blizzard Entertainment.