Today at BlizzCon Jeff Kaplan took the stage to officially announce Overwatch 2 (and show off his good humor about the leaks in advance of the reveal presentation) with a new cinematic showing Winston bringing the Overwatch team of iconic heroes back together after an Omnic attack in Paris. Overwatch 2 will be a continuation of the Overwatch series and is a full sequel with new maps, the addition of player-versus-environment modes, and a new player-versus-player mode called “Push.”
In the new, emotionally charged cinematic trailer titled “Zero Hour” Overwatch heroes Winston, Mei, and Tracer reunite and head to Paris to do their best to protect the city from the extremist Null Sector Omnics attacking the area. The tide of battle turns towards the worst with an enormous Gundam-like Omnic appears, but all is not lost for our heroes.
More familiar Overwatch heroes join the fray and help secure a victory against Null Sector by using the power of teamwork, with all the heroes working together and combining their abilities to inflict ultimate damage on the massive Omnic. And the Genji helped!
The team also debuted a gameplay trailer emphasizing the addition of “Story Missions” that emphasize co-operative play, “Hero Missions” with “high replayability,” talent trees for heroes and customizable abilities. Additionally, Overwatch 2 will also introduce “Push” mode, a “core competitive” player-versus-player mode that will be playable in the esports Overwatch League. In this mode, two teams will race to have their robot “push” the objective to its destination first. Push maps include Ilios, Route 66, Busan, Paris, and a new map modeled after Toronto, Canada. Push mode will also be available for casual play.
Overwatch 2 brings a “complete story experience.” “Overwatch 2 will feature a ton of PvE content. We will have complete story missions,” Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan told BlizzCon attendees. “Story Missions” mode, players take control of the Overwatch heroes in four player co-operative missions against Omnic enemies and “rising new threats” worldwide. The first new PvE focused map will be Rio de Janeiro.
Another new PvE-centric mode called “Hero Missions” will also feature co-operative play and allow for leveling up heroes and unlocking unique and powerful abilities. In the gameplay trailer, Reinhardt can be seen using a charged-up Hammer Strike that sets enemies ablaze in the attack’s area of effect, and Tracer’s Pulse Bomb takes on chaining properties.
Kaplan also talked about what’s new for the heroes themselves with the game’s sequel. “Every one of the 31 heroes, plus more, are getting an upgraded look to them,” he explained, and perhaps most importantly Kaplan expressed that skins and other unlockables from vanilla Overwatch would carry over to Overwatch 2, including the fan-favorite Witch Mercy skin.
The gameplay trailer also revealed the next hero for the Overwatch franchise, Soujorn. The Overwatch team wasn’t ready to talk about Soujorn yet, but more information should follow soon. Soujourn first appeared in the 2016 animated short “Recall” as one of the agents called back to reform the fractured Overwatch unit. She also appeared as a member of support sniper Ana’s team in Ana’s “Origins” video, and she is likely to have a long history with Reinhardt, Soldier: 76, and McCree. She was also the “Captain” in the Overwatch Archives event “Storm Rising.”
Jeff Kaplan and the Overwatch team want Overwatch 2 to be a new kind of sequel. “Why a sequel? What does that mean to me as a player of the original game? Well, we thought about it, and for us as gamers, sequels make us nervous. So what we’re hoping to do with Overwatch 2 is really redefine what a sequel means. I think some explanation is in order right now,” Kaplan shared from the BlizzCon stage.
Echoing the theme of solidarity in the Overwatch 2 announcement trailer, Jeff Kaplan promised the BlizzCon audience that “No one gets left behind.” Vanilla Overwatch players will also have access to the new heroes and maps and a “shared multiplayer environment” with Overwatch 2. “For all original players of the current Overwatch game, you will get to play on all of the same maps as Overwatch 2 players, including all the brand new maps that are coming to Overwatch 2, and you’ll get to play with all of the same heroes as Overwatch 2 players. It will be a shared multiplayer environment where no one gets left behind… We want to make sure that all Overwatch cosmetics come forward with you into Overwatch 2, so all your progress matters. Nothing lets left behind,” Kaplan explained.
According to Blizzard’s press release, the expansive sequel to the beloved team shooter will be available for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The release window has yet to be announced. More Overwatch 2 news should follow tomorrow, November 2nd, as BlizzCon 2019 continues.