I'm not sure if you knew this, but Overwatch is kind of, I don't know, somewhat popular with the Blizzard community. You could say it's done pretty well for Blizzard, if you wanted to undersell it. But let's drop all of that sarcasm right out the gate: Overwatch did gangbusters for Blizzard, and it's only natural that the fandom created around it have been eagerly expecting a sequel for some time now. Just last week, Blizzard held their annual convention for all of their fans: BlizzCon. The convention always promises to bring huge news from the company in some way, shape, or form, and this time, it comes in the form of an Overwatch 2 announcement. That's right, friends: Overwatch 2 is very real, and it even has an announcement trailer to back it up. Let's head on in and see what's new.

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The trailer highlights many familiar faces, such as Tracer, Mei, Genji, among others. For the sequel, however, all of the original cast from the first game have been re-designed with newer appearances; you can still tell it's them, but this serves as their Overwatch 2 incarnations. In addition, a new hero was announced to kick off the sequel: Sojourn, who also holds the spot of being Overwatch's first black female hero. Of course, Overwatch 2 wouldn't be a proper sequel without new maps to pick from. Thankfully, Blizzard has our backs there too. The most notable new map is Toronto, or at least, Overwatch's take on it. Maps from the first game also make a return, such as Route 66 and Paris. With all of this overlap between the two games, one may wonder how online play will work for them. Luckily enough, Blizzard is going with an open approach. "It will be a shared multiplayer environment where no one gets left behind," stated Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch 2's director. Players of both the first game and the sequel will experience the same heroes and maps together online, regardless of which one they're playing. It's a nice feature to have, and one that ensures those still sitting on the first game don't feel left out.

Perhaps one of the wildest new additions to Overwatch 2, however, is a PvE story mode. Overwatch is a popular game, but one of its most common criticisms by fans was its lack of a story mode of any sort. It's a fitting extension to a hero shooter, as the game is composed of such a cast of colorful characters that it's hard not to want to learn more about them. For the first game, Blizzard decided to do this through external media, such as comic books and novels. The new PvE mode doesn't have a name just yet, though apparently the first story mission takes place in Rio de Janiero. The story missions will help flesh out Overwatch's narrative and characters, and push them forward after remaining stagnant for so long. For the multiplayer enthusiasts, Overwatch 2 will also include a new "Push" PvP mode for online matches, in addition to the usual slew of modes found in the original game. For the PvE modes, players can unlock 'talents', perks and skills that can be assigned to the different heroes as you progress. The hopes behind this system is to flesh out the depth behind its 31+ heroes, and it looks like it will do just that in spades.

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But don't take my word for it! Below is the new gameplay trailer for Overwatch 2, which gives a nice runthrough of everything discussed above here. Blizzard doesn't have a set release date for the title just yet, which of course means that the supported platforms haven't been confirmed either. Overwatch eventually made its way to the Nintendo Switch, alongside its original release platforms of PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC. The hope is that the sequel will end up on all four of these. BlizzCon 2019 sure did go off with a bang this year. Blizzard even decided to officially announce Diablo IV alongside Overwatch 2, a game long rumored to be in development. It's an exciting time to be a Blizzard fan, so make sure to stay up to date on the news behind Overwatch 2 as it continues toward release day.

Tanner
Tanner

Tanner is a freelance writer. He enjoys all things video games, particularly the weirder ones, and can often be found drinking coffee and trying to get through his backlog.

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