Everything we know about Blizzard's Overwatch 2 so far
Olivia R. March 16, 2020
Ever since Overwatch 2 was officially announced at BlizzCon in 2019, fans of the original title have been anxiously awaiting more information on the new heroes, game modes, features, and even the game's release date. Will it be worth purchasing an entirely new game? Will it be used in the Overwatch League?
Since we've been following the game's development closely, we've put every detail we've discovered so far in one place. So here's everything about Overwatch 2 we know so far, and some questions we still have for developers at Blizzard.
When is Overwatch 2 coming out?
So far, Blizzard hasn't revealed a release date. They haven't even given a target year. The only hint that it may be coming soon is the fact that the developers have been openly hard at work with the new game, even publicly blaming the new title for the lack of fresh content in Overwatch.
PlayStation Brazil deleted a tweet that revealed that the game will launch in 2020. This could be true, but Blizzard made no public statement on the matter. Expect Overwatch 2 to be launched on XBOX, PS4, and PC sometime either this year or next year.
What new heroes are coming to Overwatch 2?
Overwatch 2 clearly takes place in the universe created by the original game. For that reason, existing heroes will carry over to the new game. But which new heroes will be added to the roster? So far, Blizzard has revealed two new heroes that will be available on the new game.
Echo was the first character revealed, making her the 32nd Overwatch hero. The slick and futuristic android was first introduced in a short video centered around McCree and Ashe. It's hinted in the dialogue that Echo has met McCree in the past, before he got his robotic arm. The cowboy then tells Echo that Overwatch needs her.
"Echo is a character we've been developing for other reasons," Blizzard vice president Jeff Kaplan has said. "We're building her up to be more. We want her to be a hero. Echo we have big plans for."
While Overwatch fans have been awaiting Echo's arrival for a long time, perhaps the more anticipated hero coming to the second installment is Sojourn, the first playable black female character.
Sojourn was first discovered by fans in one of Overwatch's first shorts, "Reunion." Winston scrolls through a list of original agents and fans paused it, saw Sojourn, and wanted to know more about her. But Blizzard never really said much else since then.
In Ana's origin video, fans finally got to see Sojourn again, learning that she was a captain. Fans were starting to get their hopes up, but were let down again and again as other heroes, like Wrecking Ball and Ashe, were brought into the game first.
While neither Sojourn or Echo have any confirmed abilities at this time, fans are already dying to get their hands on both of them, as well as learn more about their backstories leading up to this point.
Does Overwatch 2 have any new game modes?
Push was introduced as a new PvP game mode at BlizzCon. It will join Assault, Control, Escort, and Hybrid as a core game mode in Overwatch 2. It was showed off in the BlizzCon trailer, along with PvE story and hero missions.
The objective of Push is to move a small wall from the center of the map into the enemy's territory. The other team will be attempting to do the same. While each team can help push their own wall, they will need the help of an omnic to get it moving.
The omnic moves slowly as he pushes the wall, meaning he needs to be properly defeneded from the opposing team. If there's a skirmish, the winning team can take control of the omnic, directing it to move their own wall instead.
According to Kaplan, the maps that accompany this game will be designed with flanking in mind, bringing a new play style and strategy to the game. This will also reveal new hero compositions that were underutilized in other game modes.
The team that pushes their wall to the end of the map, or just the furthest by the end of the time limit, wins the round.
This new mode will be used in the Overwatch League, which is sure to spice up the action for viewers who may be bored of the other modes and their sometimes repetitive strategies.
What new maps will Overwatch 2 have?
So far, three maps have been revealed. They are Toronto, Gothenburg, and Monte Carlo. Toronto was given the spotlight at BlizzCon, and is confirmed to be a Push map. The other two have not been assigned a game mode so far.
Toronto is a futuristic version of the Canadian city in the winter. Despite a cold and silent look, the streets are brightened with red trees. The modern buildings give Toronto a very advanced look.
Gothenburg is a Swedish city by the water. The less futuristic buildings have a lot of charm to them. Monte Cristo is a city in Monaco. The screenshots show it lit up at night, giving the city a warm and lively glow.
What are Overwatch 2's PvE game modes?
Ever since the release of Overwatch in 2016, fans have been begging Blizzard for a story mode. With a game so rich in lore, the players wondered why there wasn't a campaign that implemented the game's backstory, allowing them to play alone or with friends, taking away the pressure of competitive modes.
Overwatch 2 seems to be addressing this somewhat. Kaplan described story missions as "focused on highly replayable cooperative experiences" during the BlizzCon reveal. Similar to Diablo's adventure mode, these missions will have four heroes working together to battle AI opponents from the Null Sector, first revealed in the original title's Uprising event.
According to Blizzard, players will "team up as different sets of heroes and fight to defend the world from the omnic forces of Null Sector, uncover the motives behind the robotic armies’ attacks, and come face-to-face with rising new threats around the globe."
These game modes are meant to expand on the game's existing lore, allowing players to explore the rich story behind Overwatch more than the original title allows.
Story missions will also introduce players to item pickups. These objects will modify a hero's play style in some way. The three Blizzard showed off at BlizzCon were an HP generator, a corrosive grenade, and a shield bubble. According to Kaplan, they will be hidden around the map, which is said to be twice the size of maps players are used to on the original title. This is similar to Apex Legends.
A lucky streamer at BlizzCon was able to play a story mission, which can be watched here.
Then there's the hero missions. Seperate from the story mode, hero missions allow players to level up heroes and modify their abilities. Although the objectives in this mode are more simple, they will still be co-op PvE and players can pick any hero they like.
The progression system allows players to unlock new abilities called Talents as they level up their chosen hero. These upgrades allow you to play the hero in a completely different way.
The trailer showed an example using Tracer. At Level 1, she can learn one of two talents. The first is Adaptive Reload, which lets her automatically reload every time she uses an ability. The second option is Chain Reaction. This provides a secondary explosion from her ultimate. From there, players will have to level up to 10 to get to the next set of alterations. Then level 20.
It's unclear if the modified heroes will be available in any other game mode.
Can people with Overwatch crossplay with Overwatch 2 players?
Kaplan confirmed that the games will have crossplay multiplayer functions. He also confirmed that all of Overwatch 2's new maps and heroes will be playable in the original title. This had many fans wondering if it's even worth purchasing an entirely new game. But while the original Overwatch will have the new heroes, it most likely won't have the new PvE modes, and that's what will set Overwatch 2 apart the most.
For players interested in purchasing the new game, their achievements and unlocked items will be carried over. This means that the original skins, emotes, and sprays will still be available to Overwatch players looking to upgrade to Overwatch 2. All of those loot box openings won't go to waste.
Now fans are left to wonder if Overwatch 2 skins will be available for heroes in the first game. Players are also curious if the original Overwatch will also receive the graphical updates that are coming with Overwatch 2.