Blizzard has been working on Overwatch 2 for years to improve the amazing gameplay experience that Overwatch offers. The sequel brings back its signature team-based shooter gameplay with new heroes, maps, modes and more. Although Overwatch is a very popular game, the main problem with many players is the lack of regular updates. With Overwatch 2, Blizzard plans to address this issue by regularly introducing new and engaging content. That being said, here’s what you need to know about Overwatch 2’s release date, gameplay, characters, and more.
Overwatch 2 release date
Overwatch 2 will enter Early Access on October 4, 2022 for PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Switch. This means Overwatch 2 is launching its free-to-play PvP component in October, with its premium PvE content coming in 2023. When asked about the “early access” release, Overwatch 2 game director Aaron Keller said, “We’re using the term Early Access to indicate that this is just the beginning of many new things coming to the game. We’re launching with new heroes, maps and features, but more of these are coming seasonally – every 9 weeks.” Keller added, “Big chunks of the game that have always been part of the vision for OW2 will be released to the game as part of the live service, including the launch of the PvE campaign next year.”
Overwatch 2 is free to play
Unlike the original Overwatch, Overwatch 2 is a free live service game limited to its PvP experience. Overwatch 2’s upcoming PvE content will have to be purchased separately when Blizzard launches in 2023. In addition to these, Overwatch 2 will include premium battle passes and cosmetics.
Overwatch 2 characters
Overwatch 2 will feature many new and returning characters. New Overwatch 2 heroes include Junker Queen, Kiriko, and Sozorn, with rumors of more heroes in the works. That being said, here are all of the confirmed Overwatch 2 characters so far:
- Junker Queen
- the statue
- Wrecking ball
- Soldier 76
- the widow
- It’s there
The main change in Overwatch 2 is improvements to hero customization. For PvE, players can level up character abilities, which encourages certain types of characters to play together. Apart from these, Overwatch 2 includes standard character customization like changing the appearance of your favorite heroes with cosmetics.
Overwatch 2 gameplay
Overwatch 2 will have both PvP and PvE elements unlike the original Overwatch. While not much is known about the PvE component, Overwatch 2 gets story-driven missions with characters like Winston and Tracer along with new heroes. Players play 4-player missions to save the world from the forces of the Void Sector in the midst of a global crisis. Apart from these, there will be Hero Missions, where the Overwatch team travels around the world to defend cities from robot invasions and eliminate Talon agents. This is a replayable mode where players can upgrade the abilities of their favorite heroes. Both of these modes support 4-player online co-op gameplay.
When it comes to PvP, Overwatch 2 is switching from the original 6v6 structure to a new 5v5 structure where only one tank is allowed per team. The dev team had to rework the tanks in Overwatch 2 to make them more aggressive. Overwatch 2’s PvP spans 9 weeks, with a new hero introduced every alternate season. Blizzard already has new characters lined up for the next year and a half. Apart from these, Overwatch 2 will have 4 PvP modes including a new Push mode and returning modes like Control, Hybrid and Escort. The game will also feature a series of new and returning maps listed below:
- Mid town
- Circuit Royale
- Lizong Tower
- King’s Row
- Route 66
- Watch Point: Gibraltar
Finally, Overwatch 2 supports cross-play and cross-progression. Thanks to cross-play, players can play with their friends on any console. Meanwhile, cross-progression allows original Overwatch players to transfer cosmetics to Overwatch 2.