How Overwatch 2's new "changing environments" are evolving Blizzard franchise - Dexerto
Overwatch

How Overwatch 2’s new “changing environments” are evolving Blizzard franchise

Published: 9/Jun/2021 7:03 Updated: 9/Jun/2021 7:11

by Brad Norton

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With work continuing on Overwatch 2, Blizzard has revealed some juicy details on new gameplay systems coming in the highly anticipated sequel. Systems that can drastically change your favorite maps on the fly.

When every mode and arcade variant is considered, Overwatch has seen 29 unique maps over the first five years. With every single map released thus far, however, they all share one thing in common. Maps in Overwatch have always been static.

No matter how many times you play a particular map, it will always look and feel the same. That won’t be the case in Overwatch 2, Blizzard has teased. 

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While we already knew dynamic weather effects were on the way, devs have now gone in-depth on the brand new enviromental systems, and how they’ll be shaking things up in the long-awaited Overwatch sequel.

Overwatch 2 dynamic maps
Blizzard
New gameplay systems in Overwatch 2 allow for complete overhauls of classic maps.

Throughout the development of Overwatch 2, ‘Environment States’ were crafted as a malleable new system. These combine to allow for ‘Environment Scenarios’ that completely alter the way a map comes across.

From the time of day to the weather, devs are able to tweak elements of any given map on the fly, as Lighting Artist Fabien Christin explained.

“With this new technology, we can create all kinds of weather changes, like thunderstorms, snowfalls, and other exciting environmental scenarios to make the game feel different every time you play.”

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Not only do these systems come into effect for new Overwatch 2 maps, but they can also be applied to classic maps from the original game as well. From a “rainy” version of Paris to a daytime Necropolis, the possibilities appear endless.

Overwatch 2 dynamic maps
Blizzard
A look at how Numbani could change with these new systems in Overwatch 2.

Thanks to these new systems, replayability could be through the roof in Overwatch 2. Every time you visit a certain location, you might just get into the habit of wondering what the conditions are. 

“Imagine traveling to Numbani and seeing the futuristic city illuminated in a warm African sunset,” Christin teased.