Overwatch 2 has been a highly anticipated release since its announcement at Blizzcon 2019, right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The game was inevitably delayed due to the pandemic, but tomorrow April 26th, the Overwatch 2 Closed Beta is finally becoming available to the public. Here’s more on what to expect.
What is Overwatch 2?
The main difference between Overwatch 2 and its predecessor is that one of the Tank slots was removed from the game - making it 5v5. The OW2 team has come out to say that they want the game to be more attuned to individual play rather than having to coordinate with 6 individuals, which many found difficult about the original title. After seeing footage of the Closed Alpha, I am of the opinion that OW2 will play much like Team Fortress 2 does. Everyone is able to make their own plays and create value for their team, whether they are coordinated as 5 or separate as individuals.
One of the most anticipated parts of Overwatch 2 is the release of new heroes that help to change the way the game is played and freshen up the nearly six-year-old game. Along with changing many existing heroes’ abilities and visually updating them, Overwatch 2 has also hinted at new characters that will be added to the roster. The newest addition to the Overwatch forces is Sojourn, a railgun wielding, cybernetically enhanced tactician. She is the newest addition to the DPS roster, and has some crazy new abilities never before seen in Overwatch - check out her trailer here!
From footage of the Closed Alpha, the few new maps like Toronto, Rio de Janeiro (pictured above) and Rome, Overwatch 2 is shifting from cramped, choke-heavy maps to more open maps that flow freely with multiple paths to get where players need to go. With the new way the game plays, the maps compliment how each individual navigates through the map to complete various objectives.
New game modes?
Along with new maps, there is also a new gamemode - Push! Push involves standing in range of a giant robot and navigating through a symmetrical map to push it towards the end, somewhat like tug-of-war. Along with a new gamemode being added, one of Overwatch 1’s most criticized map types 2CP has been removed from the game - and players are very excited for this change to finally be in effect in the Beta.
The other half of Overwatch 2 is the PvE, or Player versus Environment “story modes” similar to games like Halo or Call of Duty campaigns. Unfortunately, the PvE will not be released alongside the PvP Closed Beta, but hopefully more news is yet to come about Overwatch 2 story missions!
How do I get access to the beta?
If Blizzard has decided you are one of the lucky ones, your email tied to your account will be sent a welcome email tomorrow from the Overwatch team on how to gain access to the game. Having Overwatch 1 installed on your launcher may make the download process faster, so do that if you want to get into the action ASAP!
If you don’t get selected via email, don’t worry - there are still options for you to play the new title during the Closed Beta. Many of the most popular Overwatch Twitch streamers and content creators have been invited to award users with drops including access to the beta if users watch for a 4 hour timeframe between 12:00 PM and 8:00 PM CST. More information on the content creators included is listed on the Blizzard website, so check it out for updates or to see if your favorite creator made the list!
GLHF to everyone participating in the Overwatch 2 Beta - leave your comments on the game below!