Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan officially announced Overwatch 2 at BlizzCon today.The game will feature story missions, similar to some of Overwatch's seasonal events, hero missions, replayable co-op modes, hero leveling up and hero customization. Overwatch 2 will also have a new PvP mode called Push, new maps, and multiple new heroes, including Sojourn, seen in the trailer.
No release date has been announced by Blizzard for the new game. Overwatch 2 will be available on Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One.The game's core competitive version will be called Push. Kaplan said the core game mode will be played in Quick Play, competitive, and in the game's esports league, the Overwatch League.
Overwatch players will get to play on the brand new Overwatch 2 maps and as the new heroes. Kaplan said it was a "shared multiplayer environment where no on gets left behind." In other words, multiplayer PvP will be possible across the two titles. Cosmetics will also transfer to Overwatch 2, so Overwatch players' progress is not lost.
In the new Push game mode, two teams will compete to have a robot push an objective to the opponent's side. (As it stands, Overwatch currently has four standard game modes: Assault, Control, Escort and Hybrid.) Whoever pushes the robot deeper into the opponent's territory wins.
Sojourn is the first new hero announced for Overwatch 2. She is the first Canadian hero, according to Kaplan, and will be at the center of the sequel's story. Additional new characters — "characters that you love, characters that you've been waiting for," according to Kaplan — will be announced at a later date.
Three new maps have been announced: Toronto, Gothenburg and Monte Carlo, and the first story mission will take place in Rio de Janeiro. The maps were designed to be the "ideal" version of each location — red maple trees, ice rinks, and a statue of a hockey player in Toronto, for example — and each was made, in part, by developers in those respective cities.
What's New In Overwatch 2
- Story missions with the Overwatch heroes.
- Hero missions defending cities against Talon agents.
- Experience levels and customization options.
- Multiple new heroes beyond Overwatch's original cast.
- New maps and a new game mode called Push.
The missions are cooperative, so the players will team up to battle outbreaks around the world. In story missions, players will team up with the new generation of Overwatch heroes in four-player missions to battle Omnic forces. Each will have a cinematic intro and outro. In hero missions, "the Overwatch team will be called upon to go beyond their limits as they deploy across the planet, defending cities against robot invasions, taking on elite Talon agents, and battling the villainous forces laying siege to the world," according to Blizzard. They're designed to be "deeply replayable" and will be set across both Overwatch and Overwatch 2 maps. Kaplan says hero missions are Overwatch's equivalent of adventure mode in Diablo or world quests in World of Warcraft.
One of the biggest changes will be hero customization. As it stands, Overwatch does not let players customize or unlock their hero's abilities. In Overwatch 2, players will be able to level up their character's abilities. For example, Tracer's level one abilities are Adaptive Reload and Chain Reaction. The former reloads Tracer's Pulse Pistol whenever an ability is used; the latter causes secondary explosions on enemies damaged by Tracer's Pulse Bomb. These abilities aren't integrated into PvP to ensure a "fair playing field."Kaplan said the game will run on a vastly upgraded engine, allowing for larger PvE maps and an updated look to the original game, which debuted in 2016. Some heroes will also see changes to their standard design — the differences between the Overwatch versions and the Overwatch 2 versions can be found here. Kaplan likens the new designs to the various incarnations of Batman — the style may change, but the character will always be recognizable.
A new cinematic introduced the sequel. Clearly the cinematic team does not believe in following the meta, as there were no Sigma or Orisa shields in sight. The cinematic also showed Echo, who appeared in last year's BlizzCon trailer for Ashe. No official word yet on whether she will be playable in Overwatch and Overwatch 2.
Overwatch recently came to Nintendo Switch. For more on that, check out our review, which said the Switch version worked best as an introduction to the world of Overwatch for new players.
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