As an online multiplayer hero shooter, Overwatch is one of the very best games out there. On the flip side, however, it also features a very extensive universe filled with a cast of unique and diverse characters that each have their own distinct personalities that players can latch onto.
It’s no surprise, then, that since the original game’s launch back in 2016, fans have been clamoring for Blizzard to release some sort of story mode for the game, or even a movie, because why not?
With the announcement of Overwatch 2 at BlizzCon 2019, it looks like Blizzard has finally decided to give the fans what they want.
The cinematic announcement trailer itself pushes the overall story forward, as we finally see the original members of Overwatch answering Winston’s heartfelt call to arms from the first game. And the official gameplay trailer itself essentially confirms fans’ suspicions that the sequel would very much focus on the PvE elements of the game, featuring story missions that would help to flesh out the world even more.
Blizzard has certainly tried to make a push for more PvE events in the game in the past, with the most obvious example being the Archives event, where you had to move through King’s Row while fending off Null Sector and escorting a payload. Even seasonal events like Junkenstein’s Revenge are heavily focused on PvE, with players wailing away at mindless Omnics while trying to protect their base and get as high a score as possible.
To this day, Junkenstein’s Revenge is still one of the most popular seasonal events in Overwatch, and with popular demand getting the Archives scenario to come back as a seasonal event as well, it’s clear that the fan base wants more of the PvE stuff.
It’s fantastic news, then, that Overwatch 2 is going to deliver exactly that. From what we know so far, the game is set to launch with a handful of co-op story missions where you and a team of three will take control of preset characters while completing objectives and taking down mindless AI foes.
The gameplay trailer itself gave us a quick glimpse of one such story mission in Brazil, where Lucio joins forces with the Overwatch organization to fend off Null Sector in his home country.
Not only that, it would also appear that Blizzard is leaning hard into other PvE and RPG-like aspects that focus on developing the characters themselves. Replayable hero missions (not to be confused with the aforementioned co-op story missions) are ever-changing scenarios that will feature different enemy types and other conditions as the Overwatch universe develops.
And in addition to that, character abilities are also receiving a bit of a shakeup. Details are scarce on how leveling up will work at the moment, but presumably, the more you use a character in a story or hero mission, the more experience they’ll get towards leveling up.
As you level up, you’ll unlock new variations of their existing abilities. For instance, we’ve seen Mei and Tracer get chain reaction variants on their Blizzard and Pulse Bomb Ultimates, while Reinhardt gets an Earthshatter-like ability that lets him hit all enemies around him, not just in a cone in front of him.
All of this is to say, Overwatch 2 looks like it’s finally launching with that story mode we’d wanted ever since the release of the original game.
There are still some reservations, of course, such as whether these story missions are actually going to move the Overwatch universe forward and develop the overarching plot even further, or are they just going to be more of flavor missions that give you an idea of what’s going on in that universe with no real follow-up after that?
There’s still a lot that remains to be seen, but the fact that Overwatch 2’s main selling point is going to be the PvE aspect is a good sign for fans who just want to focus on the story and characters of this world.