Blizzcon is right around the corner, and the leaks are coming through. One of the more interesting leaks is the rumor that Blizzard will announce Overwatch 2 at the big fan event this weekend. What does this mean for the current status of Overwatch, which recently saw a release on the Nintendo Switch? The following is a wishlist for what Overwatch 2 will bring.
I will double down on this, the game will be called Overwatch 2 and it will not be an expansion to OW.
— Metro (@Metro_OW) October 20, 2019
According to leaker Metro, Overwatch 2 is a new game separate from the original. Hopefully, that is true. If the gameplay is anything similar, it is a mistake for Blizzard not to have the game be an expansion. If it feels anything like Overwatch 1.5, fans are going to question the worth of purchasing another game. An expansion also guarantees people keep their favorite heroes and maps. Fans of the game are already invested in the original Overwatch. If you take some of that away in a new game, some fans will feel cheated. Add in the fact that Nintendo Switch owners just got access to the game this month and Blizzard would not look good offering a game with little to set it apart.
As stated before, Overwatch 2 needs to be a completely different game to be worth the investment. Where the original found its fame being a competitive PvP shooter, the sequel needs something different. The best bet is a PvE game close to the gameplay of Junkenstein’s Revenge and the Archive event from the first game. For those events, a squad of four players team up against waves of AI. The cooperative shooting gameplay is something that Blizzard would be smart to adapt as the focus for an Overwatch sequel and build off of. They would be taking the series towards something like Left 4 Dead which is exciting. A leaked image has surfaced showing a leveling system that will affect the way you play with your character. If Blizzard can incorporate their strong past with RPG elements into the game that is even better.
The overarching story of Overwatch is not readily apparent in-game. In special situations, characters will have voice lines giving a small tidbit about their background, but besides that and slight environmental clues, the game focuses on gameplay. It would be great to have Overwatch 2 deliver a more story-focused approach. Should the game take on the formula the Archives event delivers, the campaign would have its foundation laid out in front of it. Each mission has four specific characters, but if you want to have a more relaxed approach you can choose others. Animated cutscenes also lend themselves brilliantly for this kind of game. Opening and ending each mission with a scene to make the player emotionally invested and rely on the brilliant voice acting to carry the story further as you progress through the level is the best case scenario for the campaign.
More Consistent Lore
Overwatch’s lore has been one of the biggest selling points of the game since its release. The colorful characters and their backstories have been brilliantly told through outside mediums of comics, short stories, and brilliant Pixar-esque animated shorts. Unfortunately, the delivery of these lore entries has slowed to a crawl. The last time we received a short was at Blizzcon 2018, and a comic has not released since April 2018. Hopefully, the team is focused on delivering a great campaign in Overwatch 2. Once the story is finished, they can continue putting out the brilliant background lore that so many people love.
Multiple New Heroes
Most likely: As I reported earlier, Echo will be an OW 2 hero and is gonna be released with the game.
— Metro (@Metro_OW) October 27, 2019
According to Metro, for the first time since Overwatch’s release, there will be no new hero for the game at Blizzcon. Should Overwatch 2 be announced this year, the new game will need to bring in multiple new heroes. In Overwatch’s lore, we know of many characters who have an impact on the story but have not been given the spotlight yet. Echo immediately comes to mind as she is the omnic McCree rescued from Ashe at the end of the last cinematic short, and Jeff Kaplan only said she was not the next hero in line to come to the game. A year later and we have not heard anything for her yet. Sojourn is another character we know very little about. We know she was a part of Overwatch at the very least near its fall. She even has someone voicing her in the 2019 Archives event, so the Overwatch team has proven they have plans for her going forward. The mysterious omnic Doomfist was talking to at the end of the Archive event also has had nothing more explained about him.
There are many characters from Overwatch’s past and present that have not had a chance to make their presence known yet. Delivering a sequel more focused on story would be a perfect place to introduce them finally.
Overwatch has annual events that used to be a big drive for fans of the game to play. However, with a lack of innovation, everything outside of the Archive event feels stale. With a release of a new Overwatch game, hopefully, Blizzard can get back to delivering new experiences to go along with the changing times of the year.
Outside of competitive play, there is not anything to continually bring players back. The Summer Games event always sees the same Lucioball game mode. Even the Halloween event that is very popular feels repetitious. Playing the same Mei’s Snowball Offensive every Christmas does not bring people back. It’s only a distraction for players outside of the new skins released. If the team cannot find any ideas around delivering new events, then make lore events a year-round thing. Every few months bring a new mission that investigates Overwatch’s past. Doing so will kill two birds with one stone.
Don’t Leave Behind the First Overwatch
The final juice: OW will be f2p from now on.
— Metro (@Metro_OW) October 27, 2019
If Overwatch 2 is not an expansion, hopefully the original game will not be forgotten. Another tweet from Metro says that the original Overwatch will be going free to play at some point. This would be nice to keep the player base coming in, but the game will still need updates outside of that. While it is a truly enjoyable game still, it has its flaws. An ever-growing toxic community makes it unbearable to play competitive which is the main selling point of the game. Also, many of the smaller features worked into the matchmaking system makes playing with friends not ideal. If Blizzard can manage to continue to add new maps and characters to the original Overwatch while adding story-based missions to Overwatch 2, they will find a sweet spot that will have fans continuously coming back to both games.