When Overwatch 2 was first revealed, what details we received about the game didn’t make a big impact amongst the Overwatch community, with some even questioning the need for a sequel. All that was certain about this next instalment was that it would transfer maps and heroes from the original title and add a story mode into the mix.
To kick off last week’s BlizzConline event, Blizzard shared a lot of information about Overwatch 2. As there are now tantalizing details from which to draw certain conclusions, let’s take a look at what appears to be planned for this sequel.
5. Sound Design
One of the best features that players can currently experience in Overwatch is the wide range of environments to traverse during online matches. However, with the current game, the team at Blizzard wasn’t able to specialize the sounds of a weapon firing based on a given player’s location.
In Overwatch 2, they made sure to focus on making the sound design truly immersive with their new system called “Weapon 2.0 Sound Pass.” To capture the accurate sounds of multiple weapons in the game, the sound team at Blizzard took their talents to the shooting range in multiple environments to capture how various weapons would sound, before transferring the resulting audio into the game.
Between shooting into the ground, shooting in an open warehouse, or shooting outdoors, Blizzard made sure they were able to fully capture their experience to make this feature in Overwatch 2 all-encompassing. Thus, when someone plays the game, it should feel all the more like they are fighting alongside their favorite heroes on the mission.
This feature seems primed for major acclaim, considering that many players want to be fully immersed and would benefit from hearing accurate sounds during play. We can imagine people being better able to pinpoint an opponent’s location and their choice of hero if the sound design does its job. Sound in general is vital for immersion – never mind the strategic possibilities – and having this upgraded sound system in Overwatch 2 will lead to better gameplay for everybody.
4. PVP Role Updates
One of the biggest features for Overwatch 2 will introduce some new additions, all while improving the different class types from the original. Overwatch 2 will be getting passives, which are abilities that each hero in a certain class always possess.
For instance, a Tank hero will have knockback reduction and provide less of a gain to other heroes’ ultimate charge when shot. Meanwhile, Damage heroes get a speed boost to enable faster maneuvering around the map and Support-focused characters will regain health if left undamaged for a time.
For those who are Reinhardt mains or love the Tank class in general, you’ll be pleased to learn that the Tank characters are going to play a much more important role than just protecting the payload with their shields and gadgets. Each hero will see slight changes to their existing abilities, like Reinhardt now being able to steer his charge and even cancel it if he gets close to the edge.
3. New Maps and Looks
Any folks who had the opportunity to watch the Overwatch 2 segment during BlizzConline got a sneak peak at two brand new maps that will be featured in the upcoming sequel.
The first of these new maps is a recreation of the city of Rome. Centering the famed city’s old world architecture and pairing locations like the Coliseum and the Seven Hills with the iconic Overwatch look, it is a gorgeous map overflowing with incredible detail. We suspect it will have players spending more time examining the map and all of its buildings instead of focusing on the enemy team.
The second map to be introduced in Overwatch 2 is a recreation of New York City, including the famed Grand Central Station. Featuring local bodegas and pizza shops, it feels like being in the Big Apple, albeit with an Overwatch twist.
In addition to the two new maps, Overwatch 2 will see some of our favorite heroes get an altered look. Among the highlights are a new red serape for McCree, a new color scheme for Pharah, and Widowmaker sporting a cyberpunk inspired outfit with braided hair. Blizzard has stated that the whole cast of heroes will receive a visual update when we see them in Overwatch 2.
2. Story Development
One key aspect of Overwatch 2 that we’re excited for is the Story Mode. By way of several CGI trailers that Blizzard has released over the years, Overwatch has a ton of established lore that factors very little into the actual game. The inclusion of a story mode, then, has the potential to better flesh out how Overwatch was originally disbanded and what brought them back together.
While the story mode is still very early in development based on the concept art Blizzard showed off, they did mention a few aspects of the story that suggest a solid understanding of how to approach campaign design. Overwatch 2’s story mode will deliver what many other story-driven campaigns usually offer: well-crafted missions, in-game cinematics, a dialogue system that lends the cast further depth and personality, and incredible new maps packed with intriguing lore.
1. Hero Missions
In Overwatch, the only moments where Blizzard experimented with PvE missions was through seasonal events. With the sequel, this is set to change.
Hero Missions are intended to invest each hero with more personality and develop some compelling lore. In addition, they will feature a variety of enemies, objectives, and new pathways through existing maps. Blizzard seems to be doing everything it can to give this world the cinematic feeling one would expect from Overwatch.
One incredible new addition is the new Hero Progression System, akin in design to character upgrades in a role-playing game. The player can upgrade their hero to be efficient in one specific category or balance their hero’s skills by spending talent points across all the available categories.
The introduction of Hero Missions means that the amount of time players spend in-game will rise significantly. The team at Blizzard is taking on this massive project and doing everything it can to make sure it matches the quality of the other modes that will be featured in Overwatch 2.