Blizzard recently launched the beta version of their latest shooter, Overwatch 2, on Tuesday, April 26th. After a long wait, players like me finally got to try out the hero-based team shooter with its exciting new features. Since the beta release, I’ve been playing the game almost non-stop and expect to clock in more than 40 hours before the test concludes on Tuesday, May 17th.
Overwatch 2 Changes
Overwatch 2 introduces several exciting changes, including a new hero, new maps, a completely fresh game mode, and various modifications to existing heroes. Different players will have varied opinions on how effective these changes are, but as someone who has consistently (and maybe even obsessively) played Overwatch for the past five years, I believe they are steps in the right direction.
One of the most noticeable changes in Overwatch 2 is the lightning-fast 5v5 gameplay. Unlike before, there is no second tank in the game to deny angles and protect teammates. This means that players now have more opportunities to make game-winning plays, and it’s not just about dealing damage. Supports are more likely to be targeted by flanking opponents, but they’ve also become harder to stop. For instance, a Zenyatta in an unusual position can dish out significant damage, and Ana’s biotic grenade can turn the tide of a fight if precisely aimed at opponents. Lucio, with his ability to boost teammates, is excellent for the team but a nightmare for the enemies.
Despite the absence of a second tank on the team, various hero modifications now allow for more aggressive and fast-paced gameplay. For example, Zarya’s bubbles now share charges, making it possible for her to build up energy much faster while taking the lead on the battlefield. Orisa, once a stationary tank, has transformed into a terrifying, mobile, javelin-wielding force.
If you were used to playing Overwatch as a slower, more strategic jeu, the beta version of Overwatch 2 will feel significantly different. With one fewer tank on the team, the once familiar maps now present distinct challenges. Threats seem to spring up from everywhere, and finding cover has become a precious and limited resource. The game is now faster, more chaotic, and even deadlier than before.
Let’s take a moment to talk about the Overwatch 2 community. It’s a lively and active one, with over 7 million players. Some of my most memorable moments in Overwatch have been when I’ve felt powerless as a player. For instance, when I was playing on the map Emerald and couldn’t do anything because the enemy team had two tanks and three DPS heroes. Sometimes, Overwatch reaches a point of frustrating stalemate that can only be overcome through exceptional teamwork or well-coordinated ultimate combinations.
However, it’s essential to note that not everyone may find the changes in Overwatch 2 to their liking. If your favorite part of Overwatch is the intricate clockwork of team compositions and ability combinations, the beta version of Overwatch 2 may disappoint you. Overwatch has always been a hybrid between a shooter and a MOBA, so if you enjoy the strategic aspects of MOBAs, such as map positioning, ability management, and ultimate economies, you may feel like Overwatch 2 takes a step back in that regard.
That being said, the elements mentioned above are not entirely gone from the game, but they do take a back seat to mechanics and aggression in this initial beta. From my experience, teams that have a more aggressive tank, deal greater damage through supports, and take more risks tend to come out on top. Of course, there are exceptions. If a daring flanking move doesn’t work out, or if supports abandon the tank in pursuit of kills, the more cautious team may win. Personally, I appreciate how the game encourages players to explore creative ways to contribute to the team’s success.
Adjusting to Overwatch 2 might take some time as there are significant changes, such as the addition of a new hero, a new game mode, and the absence of one tank on the team. Alongside these major adjustments, there are also minor nuances that players need to acclimate to. For instance, as an Ana player, I had to learn that I no longer needed to use my biotic grenade on myself to heal damage from a distance. The new support passive would top me up after a short time behind cover.
As a Sombra player, I could now utilize the new ping system to warn my teammates about which opponent I was going to hack. Little tweaks like these have a significant impact on how games are played and experienced.
Overall, I’ve been having a blast with the beta version of Overwatch 2, even more so than in the past two years of playing the original Overwatch. It seems like the developers have listened to player feedback and incorporated changes that enhance the overall gameplay experience. Although some of the heroes have been reworked and adjusted, I still enjoy playing support and other DPS heroes in the beta.
Even the tank position, which I had avoided for over a year and a half, has become thrilling in Overwatch 2. I’ve revisited characters I hadn’t played since high school, like Zarya and Doomfist, and it’s been incredibly enjoyable.
At first, I thought my excitement was merely because of the novelty of the new game. Playing a new version, even with familiar elements, can be exciting. However, it’s more than that. The revitalized action and gameplay in Overwatch 2 have genuinely rekindled the same level of enthusiasm I had for the game in the past. It’s brought back the thrill of striking from unexpected vantage points, nimbly throwing sleep darts, or charging forward with determination and coming out ahead.
For those who crave that kind of glory in gaming, I can confidently say that based on what I’ve seen so far, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy Overwatch 2. It brings back that excitement and adventure that initially drew many of us to the game. So get ready for some action-packed fun in the world of Overwatch 2!