Overwatch 2: Release date, new heroes, modes, maps & everything we know
Overwatch 2 was first revealed back at Blizzcon in 2019, and while details were scarce at first, we now know what to expect when the sequel arrives. Let’s check out everything there is to know about Overwatch 2 including its 5v5 switch, tank changes, maps, heroes & more.
Overwatch has become one of the globe’s most beloved FPS titles. Packed to the brim with awesome characters, beautiful maps, and accompanied by a vibrant esports scene, Blizzard’s flagship FPS has cemented its place in gaming history.
Therefore, when it was announced at Blizzcon 2019 that there was going to be a sequel, fans went wild. While it’s been a long journey to the eventual release, pieces are finally starting to fall into place.
From a release date to a look at the new heroes, here’s everything we know about Overwatch 2.
- Overwatch 2 release date
- New game modes
- New heroes
- New Maps
- What happens to Overwatch 1?
Overwatch 2 release date
Overwatch 2 is set to launch on Tuesday, October 4. However, it’s worth noting that this initial launch will be focused entirely on PvP and come with the ‘early access’ label.
Since the game’s announcement, Blizzard had been fairly tight-lipped regarding a concrete launch date. That was, up until confirmation arrived during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022 event.
Even with an initial release now locked in, the exact rollout is still muddled. While early access provides the full PVP experience, with new maps, a fresh mode, and three new heroes, it remains to be seen when PVE will join the game. Sometime in 2023 is all we have to go off for now, so it could be a while yet before the full package is available.
Overwatch 2 platforms
As was the case with its predecessor, Overwatch 2 will be available on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, as well as PC. These platforms include the recent PS5 and Xbox X | S Series as well as previous gen hardware in PS4 and Xbox One.
As for crossplay, the game will support players playing together on all platforms, and with cross-progression, too.
It’s worth noting though that Overwatch 2 on Switch will have “some compromises”, according to John Lafleur, technical director, in a Reddit AMA:
Overwatch 2: Trailers
Check out the release date trailer below. This brief snippet also gave us our first look at Junker Queen character.
Overwatch 2 sees the reformation of a band of familiar faces to battle it out against the Omnics once more. A terminator-style animation shows a band of the robotic enemies laying siege to an ill-prepared Paris, but they’re thwarted in their tracks by Winston, Mei, Echo, Tracer, Brigitte, Mercy, Genji, and Reinhardt.
The invasion stretches further than Paris though, and our merry band of heroes is seen taking on more of the killer androids in Rio De Janeiro. This trailer also gives us a few hints into what the gameplay will actually look like.
Overwatch 2 gameplay
When it comes to the newest installment in the Overwatch franchise, we’ve seen a whole host of new features revealed over the past few years.
One of these is the ‘talents’ progression system, where players will be able to upgrade each hero’s abilities and power as they adventure through co-op missions. This is an almost Heroes of the Storm style approach, and it’s something a lot of players have been waiting for.
Snippets of the gameplay shown in the above trailer also give us a hint as to how these co-op missions will function, with players appearing to come together in teams to battle it out against waves of Omnics. The basic premise remains the same, however, and while we see some teasers of new maps and heroes, it looks like at its core Overwatch’s gameplay will remain largely unchanged.
5v5 teams and tank changes
One of the most polarizing features confirmed in the game is that matches will now be 5v5. Revealed on May 20, the change is a big break from the current 2-2-2 split that’s been the center of the game for years now. What this means is that gameplay will now only have two damage, two support heroes, and only one tank. This means that the tank role itself is evolving from what it has been, with tanks like Winston receiving an alternate fire that allows them to charge a blast that can then be shot at range. For all changes coming to tanks, check out our guide here.
New Seasonal structure in Overwatch 2
With the switch to free-to-play comes an all new structure for Overwatch 2. Following in the footsteps of many other popular online titles, the sequel is set to adopt a seasonal model moving forward. Season 1 kicks off day and date with release on October 4, providing the game’s first ever Battle Pass.
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With each Battle Pass, players can unlock 80-Tiers of both free and premium rewards including poses, voicelines, and even new Mythic Skins. Upon completing a given Battle Pass, rare Prestige tier titles are also available.
While Kiriko launches in Season 1, new content is set to release with alternating seasons. For instance, one season may bring a new map while the next may provide another hero.
New game modes
The main new feature for Overwatch 2 will be its story-based offerings. These PvE modes will fill a void many fans feel the franchise never truly filled since its debut, and will be playable in co-op.
Judging by the trailer, it looks like players will band together to battle their way through Omnic-infested cities, all whilst having to coordinate their attacks and adapt to their enemies. The story itself is a new concept for Overwatch fans, but maybe we’ll see the ability to create unique combination attacks.
The sequel is adding a new “Push” game mode for the multiplayer side of the hero-based shooter. The symmetrical map-type pits players against their opposition to take control of a central robot that needs to be pushed towards the opponent’s base.
The game will also feature a currently unannounced mode that will take place on one of “the biggest PVP maps ever made.” Details are scarce, but we’ll update this if we hear more.
One of the main selling points of the sequel is the fact that we’ll see some new characters take to the fray. The most recent character to join the squad, Echo, was released in April 2020.
Since then, fans have been craving some additions to the slightly dwindling tank and support pool. The gameplay release trailer sees a new hero enter the fray. Sporting iconic silver dreadlocks, Sojourn is one of the central features of the video.
Months after her first appearance, Blizzard finally revealed the hero in full with a dedicated Sojourn deep dive. From her devastating railgun to a powerful slide ability, there’s plenty that makes her stand out.
The next new hero revealed for Overwatch 2 was none other than the highly-anticipated Junker Queen. After years of speculation, the hero finally is finally set to make her debut in the upcoming sequel.
While a first glimpse in the final Beta led to some controversy due to the meta-defining power of her kit, she’s since been honed in ahead of launch.
Last but not least, rounding out the new additions is Kiriko, a Support hero that was revealed in September, just weeks out from her release. This powerful character can teleport through walls, deal insane critical damage, and even give her allies a brief moment of invulnerability.
Beyond the new heroes, we’ve also got an insight into some iconic new looks for some of the original roster. You can check out all of the new looks revealed so far here.
Promising “more complex” maps than the original title, Overwatch 2 has already seen several of its map concepts leak to an eager audience.
We’ve seen beautiful recreations of Rio de Janeiro, the home of healing DJ Lucio, as well as a Toronto-based map that lets you run wild in the heart of Canada’s metropolitan culture. Rome, Monte Carlo, and New York have also been added.
Midtown (New York)
New Queen Street (Toronto)
Rio de Janeiro
Rumored maps also include a Kraków, Poland map, which was one of our choices for maps we wanted to see in the game.
What happens to Overwatch 1?
With the sequel outright replacing the original game, Overwatch 1 will cease to exist in the near future. While the upcoming title is set to launch on October 4, the first game’s servers will be taken down on October 2 in order to prepare.
This means October 2 is the final day in which fans can enjoy 6v6 modes, the original graphics, and the current state of balance before everything changes.
So, there you have it; everything we know about Overwatch 2. Dexerto will strive to keep you updated on everything regarding the highly anticipated sequel. Stay up to date by following Dexerto’s Overwatch Facebook page, Overwatch Cavalry.
Make sure to check out our hero guides to help you take home the win in your next match: Ana | Baptiste | D.Va | Genji | Lucio | Mei | Mercy | Moira | Reaper | Reinhardt | Sombra | Tracer | Widowmaker