Former Overwatch League pro and popular content creator Seagull has been hands on with the final release build of Overwatch 2 ahead of its October 4 launch. After coming to grips with it all, he now “confidently” believes the new release is “not a real sequel.”
When Overwatch 2 was first announced in 2019, a large emphasis was placed not just on a new PVP mode in Push, but on an expansive PVE component. A new campaign, replayable hero missions, unique mechanics, dozens of character talents to unlock on unique perk trees, it was all far more ambitious than anything the original Overwatch offered.
After years of silence, a re-reveal of sorts, the pivot to a free-to-play, seasonal model, and an early access launch locked in for October 4, the version of Overwatch 2 going live in mere hours is vastly different to what we saw back when Jeff Kaplan took the stage at BlizzCon all those years ago. That’s what Seagull honed in on during his ‘state of Overwatch 2’ video a day ahead of the ‘sequels’ launch.
Rather than breaking things down as part of a new review, as we have through our own time spent with the full game, Seagull instead chose to look back on the story of Overwatch 2’s development and discuss what Blizzard has actually been working on for the past few years while “abandoning” support for the original title.
Back in 2019, Kaplan, the face of Overwatch and Blizzard vice president at the time, claimed the team was looking to “redefine the meaning of a sequel.” What we now have at the tail end of 2022, however, “is not a sequel,” according to Seagull. “At least, not yet.”
All the usual qualities are there, from character design to visual flair and seamless UI, “everything in Overwatch 2 has that absurd level of Blizzard polish,” he explained. Seagull was even quick to praise the “new gameplay direction” as a “massive improvement over the original.” With fewer shields to worry about, one less player on each side, and “more solo carry potential” than before, the game is unquestionably fun to play in his eyes. But even with all these things going for it, it all comes across as a “hollow shell,” he continued.
Overwatch 2 brings about an “extremely underwhelming amount of new content when it was supposed to be so much more. After waiting for almost three years, I log into Overwatch 2 and we somehow ended up with three new characters, a new game mode, and a handful of maps that’s now launching as an early access title. Clearly, this is not the sequel Blizzard has in mind when Overwatch 2 was announced.”
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As further emphasized in the description for his video, “Overwatch 2 may have stellar gameplay, but it’s not what was promised.”
When it comes to the PVE component revealed back in 2019, none of it is being made available at launch in 2022. Instead, that side of the game is set to be split across seasonal updates, with stories being told over time, rather than all at once. As for how replayable this method of delivery will be, remains a mystery.
“It feels like the original vision for this game was so much bigger than that,” Seagull said on the game’s new approach. “As someone walking into OW2’s launch on October 4, I see that early access tag, I notice the lack of content, and I can’t help but wonder about that other road the old Blizzard might have taken and how much more excited I would have been for a real sequel instead.”