On April 26th, Blizzard released the beta version of their latest shooter, Overwatch 2 and players like me who’ve been eagerly waiting got a chance to dive into this hero-based team shooter with some exciting new features. I’ve been thoroughly engrossed in playing the game since the beta release and I anticipate spending over 40 hours exploring it before the test concludes on May 17th.
Exciting Changes in Overwatch 2
Overwatch 2 introduces several compelling changes, such as a new hero, fresh maps, a completely new game mode, and various updates to existing heroes. Opinions on these changes may vary among players, but having played Overwatch consistently for the past five years, I believe these changes are steps in the right direction.
One of the most noticeable changes in Overwatch 2 is the lightning-fast 5v5 gameplay. Unlike the previous version, there’s no second tank to protect teammates or deny angles. This means that players now have more opportunities to make game-changing moves, and it’s not just about dealing with damage. Supports are more likely to be targeted by flanking opponents but they’ve also become harder to stop. For example, a Zenyatta in an unexpected position can deal significant damage, and Ana’s biotic grenade can turn the tide of a fight if aimed accurately. Lucio, with his ability to boost teammates, is a great asset for the team but a nightmare for the enemies.
A Shift in Gameplay
Despite the absence of a second tank on the team, various hero modifications now allow for more aggressive and fast-paced gameplay. For instance, Zarya’s bubbles now share charges, enabling her to build up energy quickly and take a leading role in battles. Orisa, once a stationary tank has become a mobile formidable force with her javelin-wielding capabilities.
If you were accustomed to the slower and more strategic gameplay of the original Overwatch, the beta version of Overwatch 2 will feel significantly different. With one less tank on the team, the familiar maps now present distinct challenges. Threats seem to emerge from all directions, and finding cover has become a precious and limited resource. The game is now faster, more chaotic, and even deadlier than before.
The Overwatch 2 Community and Challenges
Let’s talk about the Overwatch 2 community which is lively and active comprising over 7 million players. Some of my most memorable moments in Overwatch have been when I’ve felt powerless as a player. For instance, playing on the map Emerald, there were moments when I couldn’t do anything because the enemy team had two tanks and three DPS heroes. Sometimes, Overwatch reaches a frustrating stalemate that can only be overcome through exceptional teamwork or well-coordinated ultimate combinations.
However, it’s crucial to note that not everyone may find the changes in Overwatch 2 to their liking. If your favorite aspect of Overwatch is the intricate synergy of team compositions and ability combinations, the beta version of Overwatch 2 may not meet your expectations. Overwatch has always balanced between being a shooter and a MOBA, so if you appreciate the strategic elements of MOBAs, like map positioning, ability management, and ultimate economies, you might feel that Overwatch 2 takes a step back in those aspects.
Nevertheless, the elements mentioned above haven’t disappeared from the game entirely but they do take a backseat to mechanics and aggression in this initial beta. In my experience, teams with a more aggressive tank, significant support damage, and a willingness to take risks tend to succeed. Of course, there are exceptions. If a bold flanking strategy fails or supports abandoning the tank in pursuit of eliminations, the more cautious team may triumph. Personally, I appreciate how the game encourages players to explore creative ways to contribute to the team’s success.
Adjusting to Overwatch 2 might take some time, given the significant changes like a new hero, a new game mode, and the absence of one tank on the team. Alongside these major adjustments, there are also subtle nuances that players need to adapt to. For instance, as an Ana player, I had to learn that I no longer needed to use my biotic grenade on myself to heal from a distance. The new support passive would gradually heal me behind the cover.
As a Sombra player, I could now utilize the new ping system to alert my teammates about which opponent I intended to hack. These small adjustments have a significant impact on how games are played and experienced.
Overall, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the beta version of Overwatch 2 even more than my two years of playing the original Overwatch. It seems like the developers have listened to player feedback and made changes that enhance the overall gameplay experience. Despite reworks and adjustments to some heroes, I still enjoy playing support and other DPS heroes in the beta.
Even the tank position which I had avoided for over a year and a half, has become thrilling in Overwatch 2. I’ve revisited characters I hadn’t played since high school, like Zarya and Doomfist, and it’s been incredibly enjoyable.
At first, I thought my excitement was solely due to the novelty of the new game. Playing a new version, even with familiar elements, can be exhilarating. However, it’s more than that. The revitalized action and gameplay in Overwatch 2 have genuinely rekindled the same level of enthusiasm I had for the game in the past. It’s brought back the thrill of striking from unexpected vantage points, nimbly throwing sleep darts, or charging forward with determination and emerging victorious.
For those who seek the thrill of gaming glory, I can confidently say that based on what I’ve seen so far, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy Overwatch 2. It brings back the excitement and adventure that initially drew many of us to the game. So gear up for some action-packed fun in the world of Overwatch 2!