In an interview last week with AusGamers, Overwatch and Overwatch 2 Game Director Jeff Kaplan and Lead Designer Geoff Goodman talked about developing the new look and sound of the Overwatch franchise, which was first showcased earlier this year at BlizzCon.
Those who witnessed the Overwatch 2 reveal at BlizzCon couldn’t help but notice the updated looks of each hero in both in cinematic and gameplay trailers. Of particular note was Reinhardt’s glorious mane of snow-white hair—as well as his magnificent, flowing beard and additional details visible in his armor. Tracer’s features seemed sharper, her eyes not quite so large or cartoonish, while still appearing exactly like the plucky British girl fans have come to know and love.
There’s a simple reason for these changes beyond showing off the updated graphics engine coming in Overwatch 2. “One of the big reasons for the character improvements,” Kaplan told AusGamers, “Is that we want to bring them closer to the camera.” Goodman then added, “There’s new tech for the actual skin of the heroes that make them look different. And their eyes have changed too. Everything is going to look nicer.”
Bringing the heroes of Overwatch closer to the camera seems a given requirement for Overwatch 2, considering the story missions and cinematic experiences planned for the sequel-that-isn’t-a-sequel. Elsewhere in the same interview, Kaplan discussed these story missions and the reasoning behind restricting players to certain heroes when engaging in them.
“It just doesn’t make sense for some of them,” Kaplan said in reference to the heroes in the current Overwatch roster. “The stories just don’t align.” He then goes on to say that the team is, indeed, trying to think of ways to expand player choice during story missions, while still keeping restrictions intact. “In the Rio mission we limit you to Reinhardt, Mei, Tracer, and Lúcio. If you think about it,” said Kaplan, “Lúcio is the most central character to that story, and he has to be there.” However, as the team stated at BlizzCon, they were trying to add in additional characters for play, such as Mercy or Briggite, as both of these characters, along with Echo and Genji, appeared in the cinematic trailer, and were thus present for the events in the Rio mission. “But it would still be a limited roster,” Kaplan noted. “We wouldn’t suddenly let you play in Rio as Wrecking Ball.”
Overwatch 2 is currently in production, and has no estimated release date as of yet. Gaming Instincts is keeping a close eye on the game’s development, and is, as always, pleased to bring readers the latest news, guides, and updates for their favorite titles. Be sure to follow Gaming Instincts on Facebook and Twitter for more!