Overwatch 2 promises a steady stream of new heroes and maps, no loot boxes
Blizzard has outlined what players can expect from Overwatch 2 at launch and beyond in a new livestream detailing the title’s shift to a free-to-play, live-service game.
The top-line change is that Overwatch 2 will ditch the loot boxes of the first game and shift to a seasonal battle pass approach that will constantly add new maps, modes, heroes, and cosmetics to the game. During the stream, Blizzard promised to deliver a new hero at a rate of once every two seasons, though the pace will apparently be a bit quicker immediately following launch.
As we learned last week, Overwatch 2 will launch into early access on October 4th. That will bring six new maps, the new mode Push, reworks of exiting Overwatch 1 heroes, and three new additions to the hero roster. Blizzard revealed the first of these newcomers, Sojurn, a while back. And Junker Queen had her big coming out party during not-E3, with this stream going into a bit more detail on who she is and how she plays—we’ll get to all that shortly. But the third new hero at launch, a support class character, is still a mystery, one Blizzard says it will announce in the months to come.
After that, the next big update to the game will come on December 6th, bringing a new tank hero and a new map.
Following that, Blizzard plans to release a new update every 9 weeks, bringing fresh drops of content into the game. That includes a fairly exhaustive stream of cosmetic items, which you’ll be able to unlock via limited-time battle passes or purchase directly from an in-game store. That seems to be where the monetization focus will lie.
Along those lines, there will be a new highest tier of character skin, Mythic, which features as much detail as a Legendary skin but offers a greater degree of customization, allowing you to swap portions of the skin to make it your own expression of the design. The example they showed on stream today was a cyberpunk skin for Genji.
One of the seasonal updates for 2023 will kick off Overwatch 2‘s PvE content, which will follow the PvP updates in offering regular drops of new content. In essence, these co-op missions will tell a story over time, spotlighting different characters as the heroes of Overwatch take on Null Sector and other foes. That’ll extend to a deeper exploration of character backstories, too, as Blizzard teased a level set in one of Torbjörn’s factories.
As for the Junker Queen, we learned quite a bit more about how she’ll play in the game, alongside some new trailers. If you’re here for the story details, we got a lengthy animated short showing how she took her throne as the queen of Junkertown. Spoiler alert: It was violence.
For gameplay front, you’ll want to check out the deep dive video. In essence, she’a a tank character who wields a massive axe, a gun, and a knife, all of which allow her to do some damage. She can shout to buff nearby allies, offering them boosted speed and armor. But her playstyle also focuses heavily on debuffing opponents, with moves that inflict a “wound” status effect that hampers healing. The secondary fire attack with her knife, for instance, will toss it into an enemy, inflicting wound and allowing her to pull the affected opponent toward her.
Her ultimate ability, Rampage, lets her leap forward and summon a whirlwind of magnetized metal that will inflict wound on any enemies caught in its large area of effect and simultaneously heal her.
You can see all of that (and more) in action in the clip below.
Oh, and she also has a theme song.
For even more detail, you can check out the entire 42-minute stream.
Overwatch 2 launches into early access October 4th on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC.