The latest round of Overwatch 2 patch notes are here, and you’d be a fool to miss them. That’s right, it’s April 1 – officially sanctioned silly season, if you will – and Blizzard has introduced its customary novelty balance patch for the multiplayer game to get in the spirit of japery. The beast they’ve created, however, is so much fun that players are already clamouring for parts of it to stay after the event ends. Winston? Winston!
Along with its usual googly eyes for all heroes (and the payloads), the April Fools Overwatch 2 update gives every hero new ultimate voice lines, alongside a whole raft of ridiculous balance changes that can be found in a special arcade mode. Blizzard says that game director Aaron Keller “claims he can convene with Pachimari, and they told him to make this patch. He only plays the new arcade modes, so he shouldn’t notice otherwise.”
Hearing Hanzo call out “Who’s a good dragon?” or simply mutter “Omnomnomnonmon” as he fires off his Dragonstrike cracks me up every single time, as does Moira’s enthusiastic Dragon Ball Z-inspired shout of “Kamehameha” as she unleashes her ult. Cassidy now calls out a random selection of times, Echo proclaims how she’s better than you at the hero she’s copying, and Ramattra monologues extensively about his suffering for as long as his ultimate stays up. Winston, meanwhile, simply says, “Winston.” A lot.
“These voice lines are WAY too good to throw away once April Fools is over,” remarks a heavily-upvoted thread on the Overwatch Reddit. “I’d say it would make sense and create a lot of funny moments if there was a 1% chance for all heroes to say these versions” in the more casual quick play and arcade modes. Personally I’m all for it.
As for the novelty game mode itself, you’re encouraged to jump around between heroes with 50% of your ult charge kept when swapping. Damage players heal on scoring an elimination, while support get 30% increased movement speed when at low health (although Blizzard jokingly pleads, “Please don’t use this offensively”). Tanks will get their ults faster, but give out a chunk of ult charge on death – they’re basically raid bosses, after all!
The heroes themselves are packed with silly changes. Reinhardt’s charge now allows him to fly up into the sky, Sigma’s Accretion rock makes enemies it hits float helplessly for several seconds, Wrecking Ball’s mines creep ever so slowly towards enemies, and Mei’s Ice Wall is now a huge trap. Symmetra’s turrets will shoot enemies mid-flight, Baptiste can bounce infinitely like he’s on a pogo stick, and Battle Mercy is queen with a massively buffed blaster.
Perhaps best of all, Genji will sometimes get health back when he requests healing – finally making all that voice line spam useful for something. Perhaps the only downside is that Ashe’s dynamite, which now spreads fire between enemies, appears to be currently a little too effective, making her a dominant force on the battlefield that’s almost a must-pick.
Nevertheless, the mode is an absolute joy to play – and people are having a ton of fun with it. My personal favourite so far has been playing as Bap, just springing around constantly and raining down health and bullets from above. These ridiculous patch notes might be a joke, but they’ve certainly breathed some life into proceedings while we wait for the new season to arrive.
Match chat is full of people having fun, too, and that’s always a welcome sight. While we might not get to keep these new changes for long, they capture a pure-hearted spirit that I think most games could benefit from. Here’s hoping Blizzard finds more ways to carry that general ethos forward as we head into Overwatch 2 season 4.
Prepare yourself for the silliness with our Overwatch 2 tier list of the best characters right now, and take a look through the best Overwatch 2 settings to ensure you’re getting peak performance out of your play. We’ll also keep you up to date on the Overwatch 2 PvE release date and all things to do with the game’s co-op story mode.