Overwatch 2 might not be out this year, and for the first time since its announcement the hero shooter wasn’t part of Blizzard’s official opening ceremony. But there’s a metric ton of content that’s being added into the sort-of-a-sequel, and some enormous changes to the game’s meta, basic roles, weapons, new maps, and more.
The reveal came was part of the Overwatch 2 panel held immediately after the BlizzConline opening ceremony. Blizzard didn’t officially reveal anything as under embargo, but the Overwatch 2 developers had tons of little details for the sequel.
A key detail, for instance, is the quantity of co-op/PvE content that will be in Overwatch 2. As announced a couple of years ago, Overwatch 2 will effectively merge into the existing Overwatch. That means that Overwatch 2‘s PvE maps are largely the primary reason to upgrade, and Blizzard are trying to encourage that with a massive roadmap for PvE content.
“We don’t want players to just feel like they’re grinding to the top,” Aaron Keller, associate game director on Overwatch 2, said. “The goal is to make as many as possible — hundreds of missions.”
But that was just the start of one of many tidbits. A key facet of Overwatch 2 will be levelling up your heroes, upgrading their talents along the way.
Here’s a look at what you’ll see for Soldier 76, along with Dad Beard:
Apart from the potential that unlocks and the amount of progression required, the Overwatch 2 team has also been massively rethinking general roles. The entire tank class — even including off-tank characters like D.Va or Wrecking Ball — have been changed to be more of a brawler hero rather than bullet absorption machines.
One example given of a change being trialled is to the most classic tank, Reinhardt. The German Hammer Time has been given two charges in testing, and it’s a change for PvP gameplay, not just the PvE mode. Reinhardt’s charge can now be cancelled mid-flight, and there’s greater control of Reinhardt’s slide. These changes aren’t permanent — Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan said they might not make it into the final Overwatch 2 release.
Something a little more permanent with the new hero, Sojourn, is a railgun. The railgun is Soujourn’s secondary mode — her primary fire is an automatic rifle with a greater spread that’s akin to Soldier 76.
Jeff Kaplan also spoke about “a new cool game mode” that might replace 2CP (2 capture points) as Overwatch 2‘s primary multiplayer mode. They didn’t outline what that was, however.
There was an indication of some the impacts of Overwatch 2‘s talent trees for PvE gameplay, however. Bastion’s basic lightning attack will be able to chain to multiple enemies, while Junkrat’s trap can be upgraded to do lightning damage over time while also holding an enemy in place.
The null sector PvE enemies have also been reworked massively for more interesting interactions. That includes smaller swarm-style enemies, or larger bosses like the Puller which grabs the player in before immediately knocking them down. Elite units are also being introduced to existing enemy types, giving them different behaviours or phases, instead of just double damage or extra health like so many “elite” units are in games.
The developers stressed towards the end that “they need time” to polish Overwatch 2 to the expected standard. An official release date wasn’t given, but 2022 seems the most likely window given what was revealed to investors.
You can watch the full Overwatch panel in the live BlizzConline stream — simply rewind back to the beginning of the panel.