Overwatch 2: Release date, Blizzconline, heroes, modes & maps - Dexerto
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Overwatch 2: Release date, character designs, 5v5, Monte Carlo

Published: 21/May/2021 12:35 Updated: 26/May/2021 11:20

by Lauren Bergin

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Overwatch 2 was first mentioned back at Blizzcon in 2019, but since then the details were sparse. With the latest dev live stream, we know a lot more. Let’s check out everything Overwatch 2 and its release date, 5v5 and 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. Here’s everything we know about Overwatch 2 to date.

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Latest news and leaks

Aaron Keller has plans to copy Fortnite’s live service – April 2021

Newly appointed, Keller states that Overwatch is set to take a similar style of releasing updates to the big-hitting games with Battle Passes. Keller revealed to Gamespot that “we want the game to feel like it has a constant heartbeat,” and that the team are looking ahead to what will come for players “after launch”.

“I think our value is to put as much time and resources as we can into updating the live game and making it always feel new, fresh, and substantial.”

The team seems to want to expand on Overwatch’s current seasonal events and bring that to be something that will happen much more often.

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Jeff Kaplan steps down and upcoming news – April 2021

Following the Overwatch director stepping down from Blizzard, his successor, Aaron Keller, wrote a letter to the community that gave fans a small hint into the state of Overwatch 2: 

“Speaking of Overwatch 2, development is continuing at a good pace.” It looks as if we’re going to be hearing more news about the state of the title, too: “We’ll be sharing more frequent updates about Overwatch 2 progress and new features in the live game with you all very soon.”

Kaplan also reportedly left a final message to Overwatch in an email to Sombra’s voice actor, Carolina Ravassa.

Overwatch 2 release date

Tracer blinks into Overwatch 2
Blizzard Entertainment
Overwatch 2 gives iconic hero Tracer a new look.

One of the most contentious parts of Overwatch 2’s development is the release date. Ever since the announcement Blizzard has remained pretty evasive when it comes to when the game will actually drop.

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A host of recent developments, including Blizzard’s latest recruitment drive and a statement from Blizzard’s former director, Jeff Kaplan, implied that the release date could have been late 2021.

However, a February 4 earnings call to put a stop to this speculation. Blizzard President J. Allen Brack confirmed that no release is expected anytime soon. Newly appointed director, Aaron Keller also recently stated in a Gamespot interview some info that might make a 22 release date unlikely, stating: “The last thing we want to do is to release it early before it’s ready.”

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.

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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.

BlizzConline 2021: What we learned about Overwatch 2

After its first big unveil at BlizzCon 2019, players were hyped to learn more about the title at BlizzConline 2021 – the first major event since. New maps were unveiled across the weekend, including Rome and New York, as well as new looks for some of the heroes.

A number of PvP changes will be on the way in the sequel’s release too, including the removal of Control (2CP) maps from the pool.

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A look into the hero progression and missions feature was also unveiled as the campaign undergoes final polishing before its release. The enemies will be a bit more intuitive than the ones on display at BlizzCon 2019 as well.

Overwatch 2 BlizzConline 2019
Blizzard Entertainment
Hero talents will allow players to tailor their PvE experience to their own preference.

Overwatch 2 gameplay

When it comes to the newest installment in the Overwatch franchise, we’ve seen a whole host of images that hint at various different things.

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. 

Blizzard

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.

Overwatch 2 platforms

Just as was the case with its predecessor, Overwatch 2 will be available on PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch, as well as the dominant PC. These platforms include the recent PS5 and Xbox X Series.

Whether crossplay will be available is still hotly debated, with fans leaning on the gaming behemoths to implement the popular system. Blizzard is “exploring” this, but there’s been no confirmation as of yet.

New game modes

Lucio in Overwatch 2
Blizzard Entertainment
Overwatch 2 will have the story-based campaign that fans have been dreaming of.

The main features for Overwatch 2 will be its story-based single-player offerings. These PvE modes will fill a void many fans feel the franchise never truly filled since its mid-2010s debut.

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.

New heroes

blizzcon 2019 overwatch 2 panel transcript
Blizzard Entertainment
Overwatch 2 has already had one new hero confirmed: Sojourn.

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, and looks to be a possible new DPS.

Tobjorn OW2
Blizzard Entertainment
Torbjörn is one of the heroes to receive a makeover.

We’ve also got an insight into some iconic new looks for some of our heroes, with the latest heroes to receive a makeover being Reinhardt, Torbjörn, and Winston. Torb’s new look is surely something to get fans excited about what’s to come down the line for other potential heroes. You can check out all of the new looks revealed so far here.

New maps and Monte Carlo

Toronto in Overwatch 2 with hockey rink
Blizzard Entertainment
Toronto will be Overwatch’s first-ever Canadian map.

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.

New York

Overwatch 2 New York map
Blizzard Entertainment
Overwatch’s hybrid-map depiction of New York is stunning.

Toronto

Overwatch 2 Toronto Map
Blizzard Entertainment
Toronto’s map can feature modes like Push.

Rio de Janeiro

Overwatch 2 Rio Map
Blizzard Entertainment
Rio’s map lets you visit Lucio’s club.

Rome

Overwatch 2 Rome Map
Blizzard Entertainment
Rome is another Push map, heavily relying on symmetry.

Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo map Overwatch 2
Blizzard Entertainment
Opulent and equally gorgeous, Monte Carlo will be a blast to play.

Rumored maps also include a Kraków, Poland map, which was one of our choices for maps we wanted to see in the game.


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: D.va | Genji | Lucio | Mei | Reinhardt | Sombra | Tracer