While the much-anticipated competitive shooter game Overwatch 2 didn’t get a release date during BlizzCon, OW director Jeff Kaplan and his team held a behind-the-scenes panel to introduce additional details regarding the sequel, including new maps, story details, and revamped designs for some of the game’s heroes.
The team also teased a massive upgrade to OW2’s PVE hero progression as well as a couple of changes to the PVP modes of the first title.
Kaplan revealed that the team will be adding two new maps to the much-anticipated sequel. Rome will feature the “romantic, powerful vibe” of old-world architecture, as highlighted by the map’s temple, stadium, and colosseum areas.
New York, on the other hand, will utilize a 1920s art deco aesthetic adorned with sci-fi elements. Other locations in the map include Central Station, Flatiron Building, and other small buildings across Manhattan.
The sequel’s campaign story will reunite the original members of Overwatch as they try to stop the second Omnic Uprising, a cataclysmic event that saw robotic entities known as omnics wage war against their human creators. Humanity was ravaged at a global scale during the first uprising, which prompted the United Nations to form Overwatch as a last resort against the omnics.
The game’s India map will serve as one of the campaign’s centerpieces, and every mission will feature cinematic intros and outros, with seamless cuts to and from gameplay. In addition, hero line-ups aren’t completely set for story missions, meaning players can choose from a selection. Every available hero will have voice lines, and different combinations will cause different conversations and branching dialogue during the mission.
OW2 will introduce a brand-new-mode dubbed as “Hero Missions,” a PVP co-op mode that will task a team of players to take on PVE quests, such as payload and scavenging missions. Players may view the weather conditions in the map prior to each mission to add a new layer of strategy to the gameplay. Weather conditions vary from rain, hail, and even sandstorms.
Other internal names for mission types include “Kill Quest,” “Wall of Death,” and “Scavenger Hunt.”
OW2 will mark the debut of Sojourn, a railgun-wielding agent of Overwatch with massive burst damage and a specialized aim skill meant for long-time FPS gamers. While her weapon requires accurate usage, each shot can pierce through enemy health at a higher rate than other heroes.
The team will also implement changes to some of the heroes’ passives. For example, Reinhardt will now have two Fire Strike charges along with an updated steering mechanic and charge cancelling.
One of the biggest additions to OW2 would be the hero progression mechanic. Inspired by skill trees in role-playing games, players will be given options to incorporate different builds for their hero pools. For example, Soldier 76 has three skill trees: commander (support), rifleman (tank), and vigilante (scout/DPS).
Each tree will have seven tiers, with each component unlocked through skill points. The abilities the hero will access will entirely depend on how the player manages the skill tree.
The team showed more of the changes they’ve made to established heroes, including improved fabric tech, and a more advanced face rig to allow characters to be more expressive (particularly in cinematics).
Reaper appears in a metallic costume, while Widowmaker’s design gains a new cyberpunk aesthetic. Pharah now wears more of the original Overwatch’s blue and white colours, and has a translucent visor to allow for more emotions to show. Lastly, McCree now sports a full beard, is visibly older, and features a more armoured look.
Excited for Overwatch 2? Let us know what you are looking forward to for the game in the comments!
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