Overwatch 2 was announced at Blizzcon 2019, along with the reveal of Diablo IV, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, and Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons. While there’s confusion & anger among players about what’s happening to Overwatch 1, worrying about their progress, there’s nothing to fear about – Overwatch 2 is going to be an expansion to the first game rather than a sequel.
Blizzard is going to preserve the community of Overwatch and essentially merge both games
Overwatch 2 is basically going to be an expansion to the original Overwatch, adding in all the new things (story & hero missions, new multiplayer modes, heroes, refined visuals) which are all explained further down in the story.
Think of it as when Valve introduced the Dota 2 Reborn update, where we got the Source 2 Engine. Blizzard is releasing the next chapter of Overwatch under the Overwatch 2 name, which is why there’s some confusion if they’re going to release a new game, expecting everyone to buy another Overwatch and also essentially divide the player-base, which is what happens with every new Call Of Duty & Battlefield game.
But it’s absolutely certain that this is not the case.
Overwatch 2 also renews Blizzard’s commitment to continue supporting the existing Overwatch community. Current Overwatch players will battle side-by-side with Overwatch 2 players in PvP multiplayer. In addition, current Overwatch players will be able to play Overwatch 2 heroes and maps, ensuring the core PvP experience remains dynamic and vital for today’s community in the Overwatch 2 era.
– From the press release/fact sheet
Basically, it looks like only the new story mode and hero missions will be a separate purchase to buy, but the multiplayer experience will be merged.
Jeff Kaplan, Vice President of Blizzard Entertainment, has confirmed that to avoid disrupting the player base, Overwatch 2 and 1 will merge into a single client (a single game) at a point. Here’s what he said in an interview with Kotaku –
“There will be a point where the clients merge. We think this is important, especially as a competitive experience. The whole idea is to avoid fragmenting the player base and giving anybody a competitive advantage. If we’re playing in the same competitive pool, you’d better not have a better framerate just because you’re on a different version of the engine.”
The Multiplayer PvP experience of Overwatch 1 & 2 will remain consistent, where players would be matched against each other with the ability to select the same heroes & maps.
When is it coming out?
Overwatch 2 was revealed at BlizzCon 2019 on November 1. We’ve seen multiple trailers with some showcasing new gameplay, and it was reportedly playable for BlizzCon attendees. While we’re not certain of the release date since there isn’t an official date, it’s safe to say that Overwatch 2 should release in 2020.
The game should release for all current platforms – PC, PS4, Xbox One and possibly Nintendo Switch, along with the next generation Playstation 5 & Xbox Project Scarlett that are releasing soon.
Here are the trailers (some with exclusive gameplay!) that Blizzard has released.
What’s new in Overwatch 2?
Players will experience a new part of the Overwatch universe with story missions. The players will match up with each other using Overwatch characters, to team up & fight against threats around the world. These cooperative missions will be fully fledged story missions with up to 4 players. There’s going to be Hero missions too, where players defend against robot invasions.
The Hero Missions are supposedly going to be a ‘highly replayable’ mode. It kind of reminds me of Team Fortress 2’s Mann Vs Machine mode where the classes would fight against robot waves. Players will also be able to level up their Overwatch Heroes and also have options to customise their classes.
But Overwatch is largely known for its 6v6 intense multiplayer action. What’s new there? Firstly, all existing heroes, player accomplishments, loot will be carried forward in the new game. And like I said before, the multiplayer PvP mode in Overwatch & Overwatch 2 players will be the same where players will be matched together.
New heroes are coming. The cinematic trailer showed us Echo (a robot hero that has abilities to be airborne) and Sojourn (the first black woman, expected to be a DPS) and we’re expecting more new heroes too. Existing heroes are getting a new look, in the trailer we saw a new look for Mercy, Tracer, Reinhardt, and Mei .
There’s new game-modes coming too. The trailer revealed ‘Push’, a game-mode where where both teams will fight for control of a robot and gain points based on what markers the robot reaches.
Have a look at the gameplay trailer to see all these new things coming in Overwatch 2!