Overwatch 2 Beta Releasing – is it too Late?

Overwatch 2 Beta Releasing - is it too Late?

The long awaited sequel to the original Overwatch by Blizzard Entertainment is releasing its first public beta on April 26 available through Twitch drops. The game which has taken nearly 3 years to produce is finally ready to make its debut with some major changes to the overall game structure and a new PVE mode. Overwatch has constantly been declining in popularity due to little content updates in the original game for the past 1-2 years. The last major change in Overwatch was the release of the 32nd character Echo in 2020 however Overwatch 2 will include a new hero: Sojourn, with more presumably coming later. As to whether people will still want to play this game after such a long content drought is a mystery. 


Many heroes in the game will be subject to changes in order to achieve a better balance in the new 5 vs 5 team sizes. Additionally the tank role will be reworked to have less hitpoints and oppressiveness to be more like the DPS characters. However, tanks must remain somewhat bulky to account for the fact that there is only 1 tank on a team. Reinhardt for instance is confirmed to have two fire strikes as opposed to 1, however his shield hitpoints were drastically decreased. As the game releases, balance will likely be chaotic with some heroes outperforming others by a significant amount but the hope is that the developer team will be more active in ensuring balance updates which makes the game as fair and fun as possible. 


Along with the new heroes, Overwatch 2 introduces a new gamemode, Push, where the goal is to make a robot push a block with your team color to the other side of the map and a new sleek UI. The robot is controlled by whichever team is in close proximity to it, but if it is contested by both teams it will not move at all. There are several new maps made exclusively for the Push game mode however all the hero functionalities remain the same. The UI has not changed in function but looks much cleaner than the old Overwatch 1 UI with a mostly monochrome theme and updated hero models.


Some players have been disappointed at the lack of new content that Overwatch 2 brings despite it taking nearly 3 years to release. Essentially the only new thing that the Overwatch 2 PVP brings is a few new heroes and maps, some balance changes, and smaller teams. However, some argue that the latter makes it an entirely different game because it changes the entire team dynamic and flow of the game from a “which team can generate their ultimates first?” to actual mechanics based gameplay. Also, the game is striving to make the characters more balanced individually so victory isn’t dependent on simply picking the right heroes. In the end what players are asking themselves is: Is Overwatch 2 an update or a new game?