Overwatch

New Overwatch 2 Announcements From BlizzConline

BlizzConline just released new details about the future of Overwatch 2.
BlizzConline just released new details about the future of Overwatch 2. / Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.

The wait is over, we now have updates regarding Overwatch 2 from the BlizzConline event!

First, the environments. Developers showed new maps like Rome and New York City, as well as maps that had previously been teased like Toronto. In the new story mode, each mission will have a huge map of its own. During the BlizzConline stream, Overwatch fans were able to get a glimpse of a new India map and Gothenburg where Torbjorn's workshop will be.

Additionally, new technology will allow for the environments to change as matches progress. Maps like Temple of Anubis will now have sandstorms, which developers say could change the way the game is played since heroes like Hanzo or Widowmaker (who can see through walls) will be favored in maps with a lot of environmental changes. Sunsets, storms, and more have been included for a better experience. The Overwatch 2 team is also adding new spaces and aspects to maps, such as King's Row where a gate can now open to a new space.

Widowmaker received a new look for Overwatch 2.
Widowmaker received a new look for Overwatch 2. / Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.

Speaking of experience, the team also created sound technology from scratch. Weapons now sound differently according to the map that they are in, so if players find themselves in a narrow King's Row hallway their weapon will sound different than if they were in a Route 66 canyon. On top of that, players can now hear whenever their weapons are running low on ammunition.

Without getting too detailed about it, developers revealed that new game modes will be available and some may even be replaced. For example, there will now be Hero Missions that will be co-op and slightly competitive. Developers acknowledged the feedback from players who were grinding in competitive, and created this mode as a middle ground. Additionally, each hero will bring a narrative element to their own mission, of which there will be many.

Heroes now have passive abilities depending on their class. Support heroes can now heal constantly, similar to Mercy's passive but at a lower scale.

We saw more Sojourn gameplay, who has been described as the "railgun" hero. She will be a damage dealer, and appears on a lot of the cinematic storyboards so it's safe to say we will see more of her in the Overwatch 2 story mode.

A lot of Sojourn footage has been released.
A lot of Sojourn footage has been released. / Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.

Talents give players opportunities to build heroes differently. There is now an area-of-effect resurrection ability for Mercy (similar to the one before her rework) and Soldier: 76 can push enemies away from him. Players will be able to customize the heroes more by using the talent tree.

Null Sector now has new units, in order to provide more engaging combat. There are now new units like the omnic grunt and different artillery units. Created new technology of "chain reaction" where if the heroes shoot one Null Sector unit that is in a group, a chain reaction will ensue. Now, there are more ways to defeat large groups of enemies in these missions.

All of the heroes have received new looks, and the ones that they showed were Widowmaker, Reaper, McCree, and Pharah. McCree has a longer beard now, Pharah's armor now has blue and white, and her visor is semi-transparent. Reaper's mask is silver, and he has more technology incorporated into his coat. Widowmaker now has a braid and an "upgraded" armor look.

Unlike other franchises, the Overwatch team did not announce when they were planning on releasing all of Overwatch 2. Given the scale of the game, which a developer described as "five games in one," players will have to wait a lot longer to get their hands on the game and all of its new features.