Overwatch 2 Review: Blizzard Reimagines Sequel, Now Free To Play

When Blizzard Entertainment revealed overwatch 2 About three years ago, then-game director Jeff Kaplan came into the world. overwatch From a failed MMO to a dominant hero shooter, the team said they hoped to “redefine what sequels mean.” Beloved by the Overwatch community, Kaplan was incredibly optimistic.

Blizzard has certainly redefined what sequels mean overwatch 2, but it didn’t look like what Kaplan had envisioned.because overwatch 2 It’s not a sequel in the traditional sense. Instead, the 2016 game has undergone a complete overhaul and replacement, with a free-to-play economic foundation supporting its continued development.

overwatch 2 Might not get a ‘2’ — branding overwatch 2.0 It might have felt more appropriate, but it has earned an “Early Access” launch designation. overwatch 2 It arrives without the biggest selling points advertised in its reveal: a “full story experience” and “extremely replayable” co-op hero missions.Blizzard has promised these features will come later. overwatch 2 It feels different.

overwatch 2 It carries over the entire roster from the first game and introduces three new heroes. They are the series’ first playable black female character, Sojourn, who brings damage railguns and high mobility to her group. Junker Her Queen, like all Overwatch characters in Australia, is a towering tank that summons a mad her max comparison, bringing team her buffs and aggression to the roster. A new support character, Kiriko, combines the fast-paced action of Overwatch’s Genji with the ability to heal and teleport through walls. While all three are exciting new additions to the world of Overwatch, Chirico represents a new problem for players. Only those who purchase the game’s Premium Her Battle Her Pass have immediate access to her. Others have to play dozens of matches to finally unlock her, watching from the sidelines as a subset of the audience get to play supporting characters.

A new hero, Kiriko, can summon a spirit fox that empowers teammates as they charge toward their objective.
Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Many of the original rosters have been altered in some way. Heroes that can stun opponents (Bridget, Cassidy, May, etc.) have lost their ability to control Cloud. All support characters now passively self-heal, greatly increasing their survivability.Other heroes have been significantly reworked overwatch 2Orisa no longer has a shield or gravity vortex ball, and Doomfist is now a tank-class hero with powerful blocks and reworked moves. Many of these changes and new hero additions will help you flatten your roster with newly overlapping abilities and strategic hero counter-picking. This is an important aspect of the first launch version. overwatch — feels less important.

However, heroes such as Bastion, Sombra, and Orisa have received major reworks, breathing new life into these characters. Both bots are more aggressive and more likely to be picked while playing than in the original game. Sombra is now much more of a damage dealer and a threat to backline heroes who can be hacked and quickly disposed of.

Frustration has also been reduced by removing stun moves like Cassidy’s flashbang and Mei’s ability to freeze enemies with her Endothermic Blaster. It was never fun to be on the side of being attacked like that, but these tweaks took away the thrill of single-handedly eliminating rival foes as one of those characters. It’s a trade-off I’m still working on. Especially about how delighted she was to launch brain-skewering icicles at paralyzed enemies, like Mei in the original. overwatchI miss knowing that the last thing an outraged and frozen opponent saw was May’s smirking face. As much as I hated doing things like playing games and beating to death with a fan, I also miss those moments in a masochistic way. It’s been cut.

Screenshot from Overwatch 2 showing Zenyatta, Sombra, Sigma, and Sojourn guiding the robots.

Push mode is a variant of escort-style gameplay in which teams must guide robots to navigate barriers through a symmetrical map.
Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Adjustments for these heroes are overwatch 2Design: Teams now consist of 5 heroes instead of 6. This is an attempt by Blizzard to reduce the “noise” of Overwatch matches.This has the advantage of halving the number of shields in a given match — and in my experience overwatch 2making combat more exciting and energetic by spending less time shooting glowing barriers and instead engaging the enemy directly.

This past week, I experienced a thrilling new competitive moment. Some of them were enhanced by Kiriko’s ultimate, which enhanced the team’s speed and turned them into well-oiled enemy-shredding machines. With a group of five, the team’s push felt tighter, with allies crowding behind the Nanoboost Bastion, breaking through Reinhardt’s shields and overwhelming points with superior firepower, like Roadhog and Zarya. Defeating enemy tanks becomes even more important thanks to buffs, almost like a boss fight.

overwatch 2‘s new game mode, Push, adds three new maps and adds an interesting twist to Payload-style gameplay. Alongside Control, Escort, and Hybrid Maps, Push, which is part of the gameplay rotation, has a bittersweet caveat. Assault maps are currently relegated to custom games only.In other words, many players will find Hanamura, Volskaya, and the Temple of Anubis overwatch 2Assault (aka 2CP) maps were often unbalanced, leading to never-ending games, draws, or outright blowouts, but they were deeply tied to Overwatch’s lore and its personality. Who will destroy Hanamura’s arcade game like a pack of stray dogs?

play overwatch 2 This past week also introduced new calculations that the original game didn’t have to consider for about 900 hours. skins and emotes. overwatch 2 It’s free and follows the ubiquitous Battle Pass system employed by similar games. apex legends, evaluate, When Halo InfiniteAs a player somewhat obsessed with getting all of the unlockable event-themed skins overwatch By grinding through randomized loot boxes (and sometimes paying a few), the looming obligations of daily check-ins and completing weekly in-game objectives are already stressful.Blizzard ‘s aggressive season schedule (rolling out new content every nine weeks and rotating digital goods in the in-game shop) makes it even worse.

Battle Pass tier menu with the latest Overwatch 2 hero Kiriko and a collection of other cosmetic items

New hero Kiriko first appearance overwatch 2 Heroes that will be part of the Battle Pass. Premium unlocks at level 55 for players who haven’t purchased his pass.
Image: Blizzard Entertainment via Polygon

Ultimately, the math works in my favor, and may work in favor of many other players.Do I really have to chase after a skin for Widowmaker, a character I never play? Will it be the same amount as I paid? After spending a week it’s hard to say overwatch 2played only in Quick Play Matches or Custom Games.

What bothers me is the idea that players have to consider these factors. Overwatch’s loot-box-based monetization strategy had its own problems — spending $10 on virtual slot machine pulls and sometimes getting little rewards was nasty. — But there was a lot of pressure to complete a series of tasks every day, every week, every day. The season makes me more cynical about the sequel to this game I’m going to, yes, still playing, than I’d like to be.

This is the economics of the modern service game.Fear of missing out is not exclusive overwatch 2But Blizzard saw the massive multiplayer online role-playing game market in the early 2000s and world of warcraftor professionally built on the idea of sand dunes 2 create warcraft: Orcs and HumansWhen team fortress 2 make overwatchThe studio’s approach to retrofitting overwatch Features a battle pass system that makes similar models very similar apex legends When evaluate It doesn’t feel creative or progressive enough to erase my initial sarcasm.

Will these financial concerns matter after all? New players are coming overwatch 2, the latest skins, weapon charms, and emotes, even after playing a bit to unlock them all.Many players will have a great time playing overwatch 2 One of the most sophisticated and playable hero shooters on the market.

Junker Queen throws a glowing knife, the Gracie, at off-screen enemies in the map Junkertown in screenshots from Overwatch 2.

Junker Queen embodies Overwatch 2’s hero design philosophy. Aggressive and balanced, with the ability to overlap with other heroes.
Image: Blizzard Entertainment

i still have hope overwatch 2, after seeing some of Blizzard’s plans for new content to come in the next few seasons. BringsThe studio is also working on new seasonal events, including a sequel to the Halloween-themed Rock-paper-scissors Revenge co-op mode, as well as other substantial new gameplay modes unlike anything Overwatch currently has. of overwatch Famine is about to become a feast overwatch 2.

Then there’s content that’s been promised but still largely undisclosed and uncompetitive. It’s the story and hero missions that ultimately provide more of the Overwatch lore. You need confidence that your product will deliver on time with the quality you expect.

enjoy overwatch 2 It’s an exercise in cautious optimism, not only in the ever-changing lore and future direction of the world, but also in the idea that years of new content will finally live up to the promise of a full sequel.

overwatch 2 was released on October 4th. nintendo switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows computer, Xbox OneWhen Xbox Series XThe game was reviewed on PC using test server access provided by Blizzard Entertainment. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not affect editorial content, but Vox Media may earn commissions on products purchased via affiliate links.discoverable Additional information on Polygon’s Ethics Policy can be found here.

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