At this stage, Overwatch 2 feels like a fever dream. Outside of its initial announcement in 2019 and scant glimpses during the recent BlizzConline 2021 event, we don’t know a whole lot about Blizzard’s next big hit. Given the success of Overwatch and how it’s blitzed the world of esports, it’ll be a tough transition towards a whole new title. Still, the sequel looks set to blast past the original whenever it’s released.
Here’s everything we know about Overwatch 2 so far.
Overwatch 2: Release Date
Sadly, there is no release date for Overwatch 2 yet. There isn’t even a release schedule, or any indication of when it might come out. All we know is Blizzard is hard at work on the sequel, it won’t be 2021, and we’ll know more about it soon.
While the various crises of 2020 likely pushed back development on the game, the fact is it’s incredibly difficult to follow up a smash hit like Overwatch, particularly when there’s still new content being rolled out.
There needs to be a reason for people to transition from Overwatch to its sequel — but everything we’ve seen of the game so far makes it seem like Overwatch 2 will definitely be a worthy follow-up.
Overwatch 2: Gameplay
Thanks to content creator ohnickel, we already have our very first look at how Overwatch 2 plays. In the two-hour gameplay session uploaded to YouTube post-BlizzConline 2021, they show off an incredible world with a bunch of very attractive-looking new maps and sleek new combat.
We already know Rome and New York will feature in Overwatch 2 but in addition to these places, the new gameplay showed off a gorgeous beachside town, a journey through a spaceship and the peaceful, maple tree-filled world of Toronto.
At BlizzConline 2021 it was also revealed that many of these new maps will have dynamic weather effects including sandstorms and blizzards which can impede progress, so you can expect every game to be slightly different.
The footage is well worth checking out and gives a great first look at how the game is coming together.
Sojourn is one of the game’s flagship characters
She’s also set to be the franchise’s first playable Black woman, having only been teased in the story to date. She’s appeared in minor roles in tie-in comics and cartoons, but outside of teases we don’t know much about her.
We did get our first glimpses of her during cinematics and gameplay clips in the ‘Behind the Scenes of Overwatch 2‘ panel at BlizzConline 2021, but there hasn’t been an official reveal yet.
Developers did reference her ‘railgun’ weapon and her importance to the game’s story, but that’s all we have to go on for now.
Every Overwatch hero will get a style refresh
The entire cast of Overwatch are fashion icons, but they’re about to get even more fashionable.
Overwatch 2 is all about building the ‘cool’ factor. Widowmaker, Reaper, McCree and Pharah are seen here in their tweaked Overwatch 2 costumes which include more metal accents, edges and kneepads. Widowmaker’s costume looks the most different here — her impractical tit window has been closed, for one. That’s a nice change.
The rest of them mostly stay the same, but with more padding and emphasis on torso armour. Good stuff! Expect the rest of the original cast to receive similarly updated looks in Overwatch 2.
There’ll also be various tweaks and changes for balance
Overwatch 2 will solve a lot of the balance issues found in the original game while also adding in new content to keep gameplay spicy. These were the major changes detailed at BlizzConline 2021:
- Character-specific tweaks for gameplay, including allowing Reinhardt to steer during charging
- Fresh talent trees so you can customise your heroes as you play
- New class passives that grant skills to characters based on their roles
We can expect other tweaks to update and improve gameplay along the way.
Overwatch 2 is more story-focussed
The ‘Behind the Scenes of Overwatch 2′ panel indicated Overwatch 2 would focus a bit more on story, with the Null Sector playing a key role in the co-op Story Missions of the game where players team up to take on rogue robot armies.
On the other end of the mission spectrum will be Hero Missions, which are replayable matches separate from the story and more like traditional Overwatch rounds.
There’s a lot we still don’t about Overwatch 2, including whether it’ll be a fully-fledged game or a glorified expansion. While many expected BlizzConline 2021 to be the place where we heard more, it’s looking more like 2022 will be the year plans for the title solidify. Until then, all we can do is stay tuned to the Blizzard hub for updates.
Given everything going on in the world right now, it makes sense we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see the future of Overwatch in all its glory. Whenever it arrives, it’s sure to be a wonderful sight.
This article will be updated as we learn more about Overwatch 2 and the future of the franchise.