Blizzard wants Overwatch 2 to “be a true sequel” packed with hundreds of cooperative missions, hero progression, and a cinematic story mode.

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Blizzard Entertainment wants to tear down the boundaries it set around Overwatch so many years ago. With Overwatch 2, the studio tries to broaden the appeal of its sand shooter game. You are designing an ecosystem that is better suited to everybody players; your friends who don’t have time to keep up with a competitive goal or inclination to learn combative aspects of the game, we all do.

Overwatch 2 will bring big changes to the nature and structure of the series’ action, and it’s a challenge Blizzard is eager to take on. “Overwatch 2 is probably the biggest opportunity we’ve had since the franchise’s inception to expand what Overwatch means to our players,” says game director Jeff Kaplan, speaking at BlizzCon Online. “Our goal is for Overwatch 2 to be a worthy successor to the first game. Let it be the next evolution and a true sequel.

Hero missions

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

The most significant addition to Overwatch 2 comes in the form of player versus environment scenarios. Hundreds of them, divided into story missions, designed to expand the Overwatch lore in the game rather than through cinematics, and hero missions, a vehicle to level up your favorite heroes and relax with friends. Where the standard game pits six heroes against six, these missions are designed to deliver a “cooperative PvE experience,” as Associate Game Director Aaron Keller put it at BlizzCon 2021.

Four heroes team up to take on a variety of AI-controlled threats, through scenarios designed to expand the world of Overwatch and showcase Blizzard’s impressive new technology. Hero missions are the content that people are playing while leveling up their heroes. For a system like this to really sing, you need a lot many missions. We don’t want players to feel like they’re in a rut to get to the top, ”Keller continues. “The goal is to do as many as possible.”

Blizzard is trying to prepare hundreds of missions for launch, exploring ways to create variations on its maps, mission types, and enemy units. Overwatch 2 will support all 21 Overwatch maps, many of which are opening and expanding with new areas and zones to accommodate co-op-focused play. However, all attention should be on the beautiful new spaces – Rome, Toronto, New York, Gothenburg, and Rio de Janeiro – which are among some of the most extensive and detailed the studio has ever created.

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(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

“We don’t want players to feel like they are in a rut to get to the top… The goal is to do as many as possible; hundreds of hero missions »

Aaron Keller, Associate Game Director

Blizzard is introducing a dynamic weather model for Overwatch 2’s PvE scenarios, a new technology that is designed to completely change the look, feel, and gameplay of the new maps. “You can start a mission on a clear day, and halfway through the mission, this sandstorm or bad weather will suddenly appear,” jokes associate art director Dion Rogers. Before starting a mission, you will look at a map; It is night in Necropolis or there is a sandstorm in Necropolis, and players can make some composition decisions based on knowing this information. Heroes like Hanzo or Widowmaker are becoming a little more valuable, as they have the ability to see through the arena more clearly. ”

Overwatch was initially designed around competitive play. All playable heroes are perfectly compared to each other, rather than AI threats moving in waves and using the environment in ways that the player traditionally cannot. As a result, Blizzard is still tinkering with enemy combat and design to make Overwatch 2 as fun as possible for groups looking to get it in some co-op action. “When we looked back at BlizzCon 2019, some of the criticism we had,” continues Kaplan, “was that the combat wasn’t engaging enough. The fact that our combat wasn’t engaging enough for us as players meant that it had a problem with enemy units, they just weren’t interesting enough.

That is where resources are primarily invested. Work is being done so that enemy attacks are varied, dynamic and clearly legible. The studio is trying to push the boundaries of what its updated engine can do, introducing a fidelity to the gaming experience that is much richer than before and expanding the world in cinematic flair. Hero missions are where Blizzard believes you’ll be spending most of your time, outside of PvP of course, so it’s eager to get it right and work towards that goal for as long as it takes.

Overwatch 2 talent trees

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

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The reason you’ll spend so much time coming back to these hero missions, Blizzard believes, is that it’s where you can really experiment with your favorite heroes and tailor them to best suit your play style. Exclusive to the PvE side of the game, and disabled for competitive PvP multiplayer, Overwatch 2 features true hero customization, and in a way that will fill longtime Blizzard game fans with joy.

As a huge RPG nerd, the first time I opened the talent tree systems I thought ‘OMG , this is speaking my language of love! ‘ I just want to plan, and I want to see where I’m going to invest and how I’m going to play this character, “says Julia Humphreys, Overwatch 2 Production Manager. That’s right, Overwatch 2 now comes equipped with a talent tree that any fan World of Warcraft will be immediately familiar.

The idea, Keller continues, is that “players will be able to jump in, night after night, play different hero missions and then work through the progression system to level up their heroes.” As you progress through the different types of missions, enemy variants, and coming out on top in the face of unique weather conditions, you will eventually earn Talent Points. These can be reversed into three trees each hero has access to, such as the Crusader, Juggernaut, and Guardian for Reinhardt, each of which emphasizes different elements of their Tank class.

Eventually, with enough tweaks, Blizzard believes you can “control the battlefield in new and novel ways.” As Lead Hero Designer Geoff Goodman said at BlizzCon: “Designing them is a lot of fun, because we can break all the rules we set for ourselves. We can take off our gloves and do crazy things, ”he says. just a mockery of how heroes can change. Junkrat could use two grenade launchers. Mercy could hit an entire team from a distance and through walls. It’s been a lot of fun, we feel like crazy scientists doing all this.

History missions

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment) Overwatch 2 PvP

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

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When Overwatch launched in 2016, it had little ambition to be anything other than a competitive team-based shooter. Their heroes were certainly expressive, given life beyond their covers thanks to excellent voiceover work across the entire roster, but they were effectively vessels into which we could channel our competitive energy. Five years later, the world of Overwatch has grown substantially: lore is drawn through short phrases, animated shorts, and written links. With Overwatch 2, Blizzard wants to express the story through the game itself.

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“In Zero Hour, we saw some of the heroes get back together,” Kaplan jokes, showing us the 2019 short film that showed an invasion of the Null Sector and Winston assembling a strike team to fend off a second major Omnic uprising. The world of Overwatch is this bright bright future. So how do you take that bright bright future and how dark can the world of Overwatch be? ” says Jeff Chamberlain, Creative Director of Overwatch 2. “Because the scale of this game is so huge, it takes place all over the world, basically it just takes constant iteration and constant refinement to make the story what it takes. best we can do.

That’s the framework for Overwatch 2’s story missions, just one of the components that will be featured in the upcoming sequel. In this globe-trotting story, you’ll be able to connect with friends and tour the largest and most dynamic maps Blizzard has ever created for Overwatch. You’ll find the type of character interaction that has largely been relegated to fan fiction, reinforced by cinematic action, dynamic set design, multiple hero options per mission, a branched dialogue system contextualized to the hero composition. and more.

There are some questions as to whether Blizzard offers reason enough to upgrade to Overwatch 2. While PvP players may be happy to stick with the 2016 release, everything we’ve seen from the PvE side of the game: the story and the hero missions As well as the progress and talent trees, they would prove that Overwatch 2 will be a worthy sequel that will deserve your time and attention.

Wondering when you can get your hands on Overwatch 2? Unfortunately, Activision says Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 won’t be released in 2021 , so you will have to wait a little longer.

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