‘Overwatch 2’ is Overrated

New Game Causes Fans to Question Blizzard’s True Intentions

With+Overwatch+being+a+hit+worldwide%2C+the+sequel+seems+to+be+just+as+popular%2C+with+a+max+player+count+of+about+25+million+in+just+10+days.++Although+it+has+already+been+successful%2C+veterans+of+the+title+are+realizing+just+how+similar+the+sequel+is+to+the+original+game%2C+almost+making+it+just+a+reworked+version+of+it.+The+gameplay+isn%E2%80%99t+very+different%2C+the+campaign+element+that+was+supposed+to+be+its+selling+point+isn%E2%80%99t+even+out+for+players+and+the+original+system+of+getting+customizable+items+has+been+scrapped+and+is+instead+a+battle+pass+and+item+shop+situation+like+many+other+free+to+play+games.++

Graphic by Cyrus Van Sickle

With “Overwatch” being a hit worldwide, the sequel seems to be just as popular, with a max player count of about 25 million in just 10 days. Although it has already been successful, veterans of the title are realizing just how similar the sequel is to the original game, almost making it just a reworked version of it. The gameplay isn’t very different, the campaign element that was supposed to be its selling point isn’t even out for players and the original system of getting customizable items has been scrapped and is instead a battle pass and item shop situation like many other free to play games.

Cyrus Van Sickle, Reporter

Recently, video game company Blizzard Entertainment has come out with a so-called “new” game named “Overwatch 2,” which has rattled fans of the series. As a fan of the original “Overwatch,” I decided to investigate for myself whether or not it can truly be called a new game.

For those who are unfamiliar with the series, “Overwatch” is a game that was released on May 24, 2016. The game is a 6v6 first person shooter that is solely played online against other players. It has a variety of fun game modes that can suit many different styles of play, whether one wants to be competitive and climb the in-game ranks, or simply mess around and have a good time with friends. I personally played this game before it was released, since it had an open beta period for players intrigued with it, and it has always been one of my top picks for games.

The reason why it was so enjoyable to play, at least for me personally, was because it was a new style of first person shooter that was never really tested before. It was also heavily updated with seasonal events and new storyline pieces added to the gameplay. One of the most significant factors for “Overwatch” was all of its unique characters, referred to as heroes, all with separate abilities and stories that made each character important in the story and in the actual game. It sparked a lot of interest throughout the world. At its peak, the game reached 50 million players in 2019 according to esportznetwork.com.

So if the first game was such a success, you’d think that the second game, assuming Blizzard Entertainment would put the same amount of effort and love into it, would be great, right? Well, in a weird way, it is still decently successful, but it’s definitely not a “new” game. After playing the game for about a week, I’ve truly realized, like many others, that “Overwatch 2” is almost the exact same as the original “Overwatch.”

“Overwatch 2” is now a 5v5 first person shooter with three new characters, Kiriko, a support hero, Sojourn, a damage/attack hero, and Junker Queen, a tank hero. It also has a new game mode called Push, in which the main goal is to have your team stay with a robot that pushes a barricade all the way to the enemy’s side, as long as you stay on it and stay alive against them. The ways to win are by either pushing it a farther distance than the opponent when the time runs out or fully pushing it to the enemy’s delivery point. One big change is that the game is free-to-play and now has the very commonly known “battle pass” system, in which you unlock small rewards as you play the game, and can purchase a better battle pass that gives you way better rewards. And finally, there is also an in-game store that allows you to purchase customized skins and emotes for all different heroes.

Now, right off the bat, that doesn’t seem too bad. Any game that is free to play has to get its money somehow, and customizable content isn’t fully needed at all when the gameplay isn’t affected by it. The real reason old players like me are disappointed is because it seems like the developers didn’t try at all with this new game so far, and as of right now they are focusing mainly on monetization over their fanbase. In the original “Overwatch,” you obtain a loot box every time you level up, allowing you to keep playing and get rewards daily, or purchase them separately if you really wanted. This was very beneficial since I barely ever bought loot boxes, but still got rewarded well for the amount of time I played, compared to “Overwatch 2” where you now have to buy the skin with real money, and the incentive of playing in order to get a really cool skin or emote has significantly decreased.

Another sad truth is that the biggest gameplay change is just taking away two players from the original 6v6 gameplay and somewhat balancing each hero, and then BOOM! New game! It’s like taking someone’s homework and writing all they did, but changing a few words here and there and calling it original. I personally just wish they would’ve taken more time to make the online player versus player portion unique compared to its original version, however, there is some good news regarding the future of the game.

The good news I’m talking about is that there is a big component of the game still coming out that includes a pure campaign story mode. However, there have been no updates on when that could possibly happen. It’s said to be a player versus environment/enemy game mode that continues the hidden story of the first game, which makes fans of old lore very excited with how the story goes on. For now, however, we will have to wait until further updates from the developers of the game are made.

Overall, “Overwatch 2” isn’t bad by all means, and its gameplay has always been good, however, it just seems lazy and kind of hurts for us longtime fans. I’m hopeful that within the upcoming months, the campaign will come out and hopefully change my opinion of the game since it’s always been one of my favorites. Gameplay wise, 9/10, but for how much care they put into it, 4/10.