After speculations, rumors, and leaks, a sequel to Blizzard’s popular title, Overwatch, was bound to be announced. It all started with the lack of developer updates from Jeff Kaplan, lead designer of Overwatch. It snowballed from there to Rod “Slasher” Breslau tweeting out leaks, including images of Overwatch 2. Finally, in the opening ceremonies of BlizzCon 2019, Blizzard Entertainment announced its newest installment in the Overwatch series, called Overwatch 2. From the Overwatch 2 PvE demo, new mechanics are introduced into the game that was not shown in the gameplay trailer footage.
Inside Overwatch 2
Leveling up your heroes are passive talents for each hero. After selecting a hero you want to play, you choose one out of two talents to upgrade. For example, depending on the experience and level of your picked hero, you choose a talent to upgrade. From an Overwatch 2 demo on the floor, you get the choice of picking “Adaptive Reload” or “Hindsight” when playing Tracer. In this demo, I chose “Hindsight”, which causes damage to recently damaged enemies when recalling. I was not able to upgrade other abilities as they were not accessible in the demo. You would have to assume that you have to grind the game modes to level up heroes and gain access to upgrading abilities in PvE mode.
After picking the ability, you are sent to a cinematic to introduce the player into the newest map in the game, Rio. In this PvE demo, you are playing with 3 other players as Lucio, Reinhardt, and Mei. You team up to meet objectives in the map, clearing enemy waves, akin to the Archives event. Along the way are checkpoints that give you a lootbox that looks like a Borderlands crate.
Inside the lootbox are items to pick up and use, which are ranked from common, rare, and legendary. First is a barrier with 2000 HP to use in battle, similar to Winston’s barrier. There is also a turret similar to Torbjorn’s that shoots all types of enemies, just not as overpowered. Lastly, a concussive grenade, that stuns enemies like McCree’s flashbang.
Not only do you get to pick items from the lootboxes, there is also a secret area in the demo that only specific heroes can get to. Getting to these secret areas gives you access to a legendary item, in this case a legendary turret with stronger attack power. These items help in the late game as enemies get tougher and facing the final boss in the end.
In the end of the demo, you and your group of four blow up the reactor core and face the final boss, which is a huge Gundam-like Omnic. After defeating the final boss, you are met with another cinematic to end the demo which leaves you in a cliffhanger.
Afterthoughts on the Demo
The demo was a great experience overall. It is an upgrade to the Overwatch game that leaves you wanting more. Do we get more hero abilities in the game? How does each PvE experience differentiate from another? Are there going to be raids like Destiny 2 and World of Warcraft? Are there items that players can pick up and equip?
These questions and more are to be answered as more details come out closer to the game’s release. Upgraded visuals, new mechanics, and new heroes are only the tip of what Overwatch 2 has to offer. The question remains whether how will the competitive aspect of Overwatch 2 change the landscape of PvP and the Overwatch League.
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