The ‘Overwatch 2’ Beta is Here
Now that the beta test is here, players are finally getting their hands-on time with the sequel. So, is it a big enough change to merit the all-important numeral after its name, or is it a glorified expansion masquerading as a brand-new release?
Players who pay for the sequel will gain access to the new single-player story content and exclusive new skins. Additionally, the sequel will launch with a new hero named Sojourn, a fast-moving damage-class character who can use a rocket-powered slide to cover vast distances.
Blizzard has also recently announced that it would decouple Overwatch 2’s PVE (player versus environment) from its PVP (player versus player) segment.
Some content creators and community figures have expressed ambivalence or outright hostility towards the new game because of Blizzard’s ongoing lawsuits over alleged sexual harassment in the workplace. Several Blizzard staffers went public with their accusations of abuse in the summer of 2021, leading to the departure of several long-running Blizzard developers.
While much of the controversy centered around the team that worked on the popular MMO RPG World of Warcraft, the lawsuits also impacted the Overwatch team.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard hasn’t been finalized yet. The buyout will serve important roles for both companies, though.
On the one hand, Blizzard needed the cover to help rehabilitate its damaged public image. On the other hand, the acquisition will help Microsoft shore up its stable of exclusive titles for its Xbox ecosystem. Rival console maker Sony has arguably held the edge over Microsoft in terms of first-party exclusives for the past two console generations.
The most notable change might sound simple at first: the team sizes have been reduced from six players per side to five players. Instead of teams being comprised of two tanks, two damage dealers, and two supports, the game will now feature only one tank and two of each other class.
The smaller number of tanks in a match means that damage-dealing heroes have more opportunities to single out opposing characters with low health pools in order to blow a hole in the other team’s position.