By: Taylor Gray (TAGTTG)
The quiet uproar about Overwatch
Some new characters, minor changes, a few new maps, still no campaign, WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?! There were a lot of fans, diehard and new, that were ultimately dissatisfied with the sequel Overwatch 2. There seemed to be little to nothing new to catch your eye and scream, “Wowww this is Overwatch 2!” I digress, OW2 does have changes seemingly small and large that affect the game in more ways than you think.
OW2 has introduced new characters with unique playstyles and abilities, and reworked some OG’s that we know and love, creating brand new team combos that could make or break a squad. Even though a character like Doomfist has been around since OW1, his role switched from Damage to Tank gaining an energy shield significantly dampening damage, losing his iconic uppercut and increased power. Another quick mention before we get to the fresh faces, the kind Tank Orisa had an Offensive driven rework herself gaining spear throw/spin abilities, and Cassidy’s stun grenade was replaced with a sticky grenade.
The actual new characters in OW2 consist of: Sojourn a fast run and gun damage character, the aggressive tank Junker Queen, Kiriko, the healing sister of rival brothers Genji and Hanzo, Zenyatta’s brother Ramattra who is a dominant tank, and the latest healer Lifeweaver. They all have new abilities and fresh character designs with stories that tie into the Overwatch world.
Instead of the OW1 loot boxes that we popped open for new gear, voice lines, skins and emotes, OW2 introduced its Battlepass. As of right now, climbing the battle pass ranks is how you unlock these new characters (other than Sojourn who was playable since launch). Based on how Ramattra was utilized with the battle pass, if a new season starts before you can achieve the required level to unlock said character, there will be specific challenges to compete in order to unlock the playable character.
Teams and Modes
Something included in the sequel is the change in modes and team sizes. Blizzard implemented a Role Queue and Open Queue, giving you the option to play by even role decided teams, or open teams that can have any role open to all players. This was something I think was appreciated by most players, giving you an option to break the mold of even role (Tank, Damage, Support) specific matches. Open Queue matches give an interesting unforeseen outcome to teamwork, team construction, and domination or lack thereof.
A team of purely one role can literally disrupt a match or utterly be shut down and steamrolled by a more balanced team. I can literally hear the countless gamers rage, “WHERE ARE THE HEALERS???”
In the Role Queue mode, the formula used to be 2 players per role (TT,DD,SS) in this new revamped Role Queue they’ve taken out one Tank making it a 5v5 vs a 6v6. This change was controversial in the Overwatch community. Some believed it brought about more balance, others say it ruined the game. Taking away a tank in RQ might’ve been a bigger talk then the promised story mode still not being available.
In addition to the original game modes Escort, Control, and Hybrid, OW2 introduced the Push gamemode. The gamemode Push involves both teams fighting over the control of a giant robot that pushes along their distance marker to either have the furthest distance pushed, or reach the finish line at the opposing spawn.
Personally the push mode isn’t my go-to favorite if i could choose, but i do love the competitiveness it brings out of a team. The epitome of a game of inches, the opposition only needs one push to put their marker an inch further than where yours was to ultimately win the game. The back and forth nature can bring about frustration to some but, never ending hope for others that find themselves down on the scoreboard as time dwindles. All in all, I’ve seen and heard both sides of the spectrum and can say it’s just good fun with highly competitive gameplay. Push is a mode that I’d push for and will continue to play whether I shed a tear of victory or defeat.
Try it and Have Fun!
The honest truth is, the claims that OW2 is a disappointment is an over exaggeration. Yes, much hasn’t drastically changed, yes the story mode is nowhere to be seen. But, if you enjoy fun characters, challenging game modes, and straight out fun with friends, the game itself won’t let you down. Whether you’ve played the first game or this is your first introduction into the Overwatch Universe, I promise giving it a shot will be time well spent.