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Overwatch 2: everything we know about Blizzard’s next team-based shooter

From modes and new heroes to a full PvE experience, Blizzard is packing heaps of content into Overwatch 2

When is the Overwatch 2 release date? Blizzard has only just revealed the sequel to its 2016 team-based hero shooter, but everyone will likely be teething for an answer.

The PvP faithful have a new mode to look forward to that’s a spin on the ‘push the payload’ format, and there’s a bunch of new heroes ready to join the roster. On the PvE side of things, there are story missions to advance the game’s narrative and hero missions that give you the ability to change your character’s abilities. If you’re not sure about buying Overwatch 2, you’ll be glad to know that if you own the original you can play the PvP content. While there is some crossover, though, Blizzard does maintain that this is a sequel and not a Fortnite Chapter 2 update situation.

Throughout this Overwatch 2 guide we’ll go over everything we know, from the Overwatch 2 release date to the various new modes and who can access them – plus, what we learned from our interview with Jeff Kaplan about Overwatch and Overwatch 2. So, now that’s all out of the way, here’s everything we know about Overwatch 2.

Overwatch 2 release date

The Overwatch 2 release date isn’t here yet – the follow-up to Blizzard’s 2016 team-based shooter was only revealed at Blizzcon 2019, after all – but we’ve still come away from the show with oodles of details.

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Overwatch 2 trailer

We were treated to two trailers on Overwatch 2’s announcement. The first focuses on the game’s story and you can find it below. Above you’ll find the gameplay trailer, which gives us a quick tease of the game’s new Push mode alongside the player customisation available in Hero Missions.

Overwatch 2 gameplay

The first snippet of PvP gameplay we’ve gotten is the new Push mode. It works a lot like the traditional Escort mode and tasks one team with moving a payload from one point to the next. The other team, meanwhile, have to stop the other team from progressing. The main difference here is that the payload has a robot to do the moving for you, so you don’t need to play around having teammates on the payload. The mode will feature in Quickplay and Competitive, though there are some details we don’t know yet – such as if the big robot has any health or can be affected by player abilities. This mode will be playable on Overwatch 1 alongside its sequel.

The big new addition is Overwatch 2’s Story and Hero missions, which bulk out the PvE side of the game. As the name suggests, Story Missions focus on expanding the game’s story and lore, whereas Hero Missions feature the same player versus waves of bots format we’ve seen in seasonal events for Overwatch 1. It does, though, focus more on character customisation, such as Overwatch 2 talents. These modes, however, are limited to Overwatch 2 and won’t be playable through the original game.

When we spoke to Jeff Kaplan, he expressed his excitement at the PvE element of Overwatch 2, specifically how players can “band together [and] be appreciative of their teammates”, and how since players will be fighting Null Sector robots instead of other humans, “we can make you win more than half the time”.

Overwatch 2 maps

We’ll also be getting a collection of new maps. There may be more, but there are currently four confirmed, and they are based on Toronto, Gothenburg, Monte Carlo, and Rio De Janerio.

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Overwatch 2 story

We’ve only caught a glimpse of Overwatch 2’s story so far, but there are a few things we can gather. Overwatch 1’s story typically focuses on the collapse of Overwatch, often looking back at what happened to the freedom fighters and the Omnic Crisis, which was a rebellion by robots against their human creators. This time, however, it appears the story looks forward to the second Omnic Crisis and the potential reunion of Overwatch.

Overwatch 2 characters

We also learnt during BlizzCon that we’ll be welcoming new Overwatch 2 heroes to the roster. We expected Echo to be making her debut in Overwatch 2, but she’ll be joining us early as a new Overwatch hero. Sojourn, on the other hand, is more of a surprise as all we’ve seen of her is a tiny mention in a cinematic that was a tie into one of Overwatch’s Archives events.

Overwatch 2 Loot Boxes

Will Overwatch 2 have loot boxes? In our interview with Jeff Kaplan, he explains that for Overwatch 2, “we’re exploring different options that move us away from loot boxes”. He also praises battle passes as “a fun engagement mechanism”, specifically referencing Diablo 3’s ‘season journey’ – which is a non-monetised battle pass – as “an awesome system.” While we’re not sure what they have in store for us, it looks like Overwatch 2 is not necessarily going to have the same loot box system as the original game.

And there you have it, everything we know about Blizzard’s next team-based shooter – from the Overwatch 2 release date to what modes you’ll be queuing into. It looks like we won’t be playing it for a while yet, but we’ll be sure to update this guide with more details as they emerge.

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