Overwatch’s game director Jeff Kaplan closed out BlizzCon’s opening ceremony with a lengthy look at Overwatch 2, the sequel that has both been long been rumored and, more recently, the subject of numerous leaks. Overwatch 2 is a full sequel that offers new PvP modes AND a new PvE component that is divided into two sections: Story Experience and Hero Missions.
Our first look at Overwatch 2 came from a new short film called “Zero Hour (see above),” in which we see Winston, Mei, Tracer, and Echo (who isn’t a known playable hero yet) reassemble the Overwatch team to take down a new threat by Null Sector. The war begins in Paris, and then, after the film ends, transitions to Rio de Janeiro, the location for the first mission of Overwatch 2’s new Story Experience. Yes, Overwatch 2 now has a dedicated PvE story mode. Hero Missions are another PvE avenue of play that gives players the chance to power up heroes with new abilities. The heroes themselves have been slightly redesigned and look a bit sleeker than before. Kaplan confirmed Sojourn is a new playable hero. She first appeared in an Archives mission in Overwatch 1, but little else is known about her.
Since Blizzard didn’t want to leave any of its players behind, all of the new PvP content in Overwatch 2 can be played in Overwatch 1. That’s right, you don’t need Overwatch 2 to play Overwatch 2’s PvP content, you just need Overwatch 1. Conversely, if you played the living hell out of Overwatch 1 and are worried you’ll lose all of your skins, sprays, and cosmetics, all of that stuff carries over into Overwatch 2.
Overwatch 2’s PvP mode features a new core game mode called Push, which will be featured in Quick Play, Competitive Play, and will also be played in Overwatch League matches. Push tasks the warring teams to escort a robot down a path. The team that pushes it the furthest wins.
For more on Overwatch 2, check out over cover story, which features hands-on impressions, and teases unannounced heroes and maps.