First introduced at Blizzcon 2019, Overwatch 2 is the upcoming sequel to Blizzard's popular hero shooter. Bringing new champions, maps, a PvE mode, and more, its release date is highly anticipated both by players who've patiently waited through the original's content drought and new blood seeking to try out its 5v5 format.
Overwatch 2's release date also sees the game dropping its controversial loot boxes in favor of the more popular battle pass as it transitions to a free-to-play title. Read on below for everything we know about the game.
Overwatch 2 Release Date
Overwatch 2's announcement undoubtedly pleased fans of the original, however, Blizzard didn't initially provide a firm release date, as the game was still in early development.
The decision was said to "push out the financial uplift" the publisher expected to see in 2022, which suggested that Overwatch 2's full release date won't occur sooner than 2023.
While that remains the case, the good news is that we will get to play the game starting with October 4, 2022, when it launches in early access.
Overwatch 2 Story
Overwatch 2 will introduce a proper Story Mode that will see players going against the omnic forces of the Null Sector. Players will be able to tackle these PvE missions in groups of four and proper choice and use of hero roles will continue to play a large part in succeeding.
Blizzard has also revealed that as you progress through the missions you'll uncover the reason behind the Null Sector's attacks – it attacks Paris in the reveal trailer –, and face new threats.
Overwatch 2 Gameplay
As mentioned above, Overwatch 2 will introduce a PvE component in 2023 that is made up of Story and Hero missions. Story missions make up the game's campaign which will have a larger narrative focus. They will feature heroes new and old while adding item pickups that alter gameplay.
Hero Missions are built with replayability in mind, allowing players to level up and customize their heroes' abilities, as depicted in the image above. Former Game Director Jeff Kaplan confirmed that the PvE progression system and talents will not affect PvP in any way.
It will also shift to a seasonal content format. Its first two seasons will introduce new heroes, with future ones alternating between adding a new hero and a new map.
Loot boxes will be replaced with battle passes that feature both a free and a premium track. Reaching level 55 on the former is one way to unlock new heroes – although there will be a way to get these characters if you miss the season when they debut – while purchasing the premium version automatically unlocks any new hero alongside granting access to new cosmetics.
Overwatch 2 Multiplayer
When it launches into early access, Overwatch 2 will receive six new maps – Circuit Royal, Colosseo, Midtown, New Queen Street, Paraíso, and Esperança – as well as three new heroes – Sojourn, Junker Queen, and Kiriko.
Push is a new game mode introduced in Overwatch 2 which provides a neat spin on Team Fortress 2's Payload. It revolves around a robot that pushes barriers on a set path across the map. The twist is that, instead of one attacker and one defender, both teams can push the robot in their opponents' direction.
Overwatch 2's multiplayer will continue building on the foundation laid out by the original, while also shaking up the formula.
The game pits two teams of 5 players against each other, having all heroes rebalanced to better suit this format. Hard counters will also be gradually toned down, although some heroes will, inevitably, still fare better against others.
Overwatch 2 System Requirements
We'll likely learn more about Overwatch 2's system requirements closer to its early access launch and will update this section as soon as more details are shared.
Where can you buy Overwatch 2 and how much does it cost?
Overwatch 2 will be free-to-play and available via Battle.net for PC users and the Xbox and PlayStation stores for those who prefer playing on console.
Overwatch 2 Trailer
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