Overwatch is First-person-shooter (FPS) game created by Blizzard Entertainment, that includes several different heroes, maps, and game modes. The heroes are divided into three different roles: tanks, damage dealers (more commonly known as DPS) and healers. Tanks are (usually) the ones being in the frontline: they have a lot more health than other heroes. The DPS role is quite self-explanatory: they deal damage as much as they possibly can. Healers, well, they heal their teammates and try to keep them alive. All these roles have a large pool of heroes that have unique abilities with varying purposes. For example, you can choose Tracer, a fast DPS hero whose main job is to “bully” the opponent team’s healers, dealing damage to them and trying to kill them. If successful, the opponent is always lacking one healer, which means less healing and more dying. Currently, Overwatch has 32 playable heroes: eight tanks, 17 DPS’ and seven healers. The tank pool includes D.Va, Orisa, Reinhardt, Roadhog, Sigma, Wrecking Ball, Winston and Zarya. The DPS pool has Ashe, Bastion, Cassidy, Doomfist, Echo, Genji, Hanzo, Junkrat, Mei, Pharah, Reaper, Soldier: 76, Sombra, Symmetra, Torbjörn, Tracer and Widowmaker. Last, but not least, the healer pool includes Ana, Baptiste, Brigitte, Lúcio, Mercy, Moira and Zenyatta.
When Blizzard announced Overwatch 2 at BlizzCon 2019, everyone was excited. We got so see a new, upcoming hero for OW2, new abilities for the current heroes, and new maps. However, the hype died down after the event, mostly due to the lack of news regarding the game, and Overwatch 2 seemed like another thing that Blizzard promised to work on but didn’t. Luckily, after three years, we now have access to the beta version of the PvP (Player versus Player) mode of the game, and let me tell you, it might be just the thing that the current Overwatch needs. Before the beta, many players felt that Overwatch was dying, and the in-game events were not enough to keep the game alive, even though there were new skins for some of the heroes in every single one of them. Competitive games were not as fun, people were toxic, everything was just feeling a bit lackluster. The excitement and hope for Overwatch 2 were still there though, and it showed when the beta was announced; the official twitter account for Overwatch reported, that they had over 1.5 million concurrent views at the beginning of the launch.
As someone who has played Overwatch since 2016 (I started a little bit after its initial launch), I have been excited for OW2 since it was announced. What excited me the most was the PvE (Player versus Environment) content and the expansion of the current lore of Overwatch. When I heard that the PvP Beta for OW2 was open for signing up, I immediately went to their official webpage and signed up for the beta. When the date for the Beta arrived, I checked my Battle.net launcher and noticed that I got in. Now, when I tell you that I have never started downloading any type of beta as fast as I did with OW2, you best believe me, because I was mentally (and physically) ready to play the game. When the download was finished and I started the game, I immediately went to the Heroes -section and checked all of them for any new and updated models. Unfortunately, there were none, but something was different; some of the heroes already had their character icons updated. I also noticed, that Doomfist had officially been moved into the tank pool from the previous DPS pool, which was probably an exciting change for all the Doomfist mains since in addition to him getting an increase in health, he can also now block the damage from incoming projectiles and bullets for a short period of time. For us Ana mains wishing to put him to sleep after he comes for us though… a bit painful.
After going through all the heroes, I queued up for a game. The queue was surprisingly short (probably took less than 10 seconds), and soon I was already playing the game. The first map that I got to play was also new, which was more than welcome. Blizzard has already created quite a few new maps, but in addition to that, they also created a new game mode: Push. In this game mode, the teams need to take control of a robot and move him as far away as possible. Push is officially replacing 2CP (2 Control Points) maps, which was also a welcomed change; the community has been hoping for the removal of 2CP completely for a long time, and it seems Blizzard listened.
The second aspect I noticed right away was the updated graphics in the world. The textures seemed smoother, and there were additions to the old maps that had not been there before. Also, the old maps had been updated in various ways, for example, Route: 66 has been changed into a night-time map. The third aspect were the sounds of the guns, and oh my god are they amazing. Straight away I felt like I played a game with some serious ASMR sound effects; it honestly was that good. If you couldn’t recognize the difference between each of the heroes’ guns, you definitely will now.
Many of the characters had updated abilities as well. Obviously, since OW2 is planning to reduce the amount of tanks by one, every tank got something that helps them to be a bit more self-sustainable. The biggest difference regarding abilities goes to Orisa, since her abilities were almost completely reworked. Obviously, Doomfist becoming a tank is also a big change, but his abilities stayed almost the same. The changes in abilities can be seen with the DPS heroes as well. For example, Cassidy does not have his trusty stun grenade anymore; instead, he has a normal grenade, that sticks into enemies, and will kill you very fast. Oh, and did I mention Bastion yet? He’s OP.
I can definitely say that after playing the beta a lot, I am very excited for the full release of OW2. In my opinion, this is just the thing that Overwatch has been missing; the excitement, reworks, new abilities, heroes, new maps… It’s amazing to see how excited the community is about the game. We still haven’t seen the PvE mode of the game, but I cannot wait to see and try it out!
Game: Overwatch 2
Pictures are screenshots from the game, taken by the Author.
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