There are few moments of calm in Overwatch 2. The action is closer, louder, and faster, and the voice lines are quippier and happen more often. However, in that brief period between selecting your hero and the barriers opening, unleashing you and your teammates out onto the battlefield, there is a brief window of peace–a split-second for meditation.
It was during these moments, as I watched my beloved Hana Song (aka D.Va) shift her weight from one side of her mecha to the other before offering a sweet “annyeong” to a teammate, I forgot I was playing Overwatch 2. Since its release in 2016, a lot has changed in Overwatch. But in these small, surreal moments, it all felt as if nothing had.
With 700 hours invested into the first Overwatch, what I longed for from Overwatch 2 was a lot of meaningful changes that pushed the series forward while also remaining faithful to the identity it first forged–the identity which made me, someone not typically interested in games driven solely by their multiplayer elements, such a big fan of the first Overwatch. In some ways, Overwatch 2 delivers this, offering up new characters that feel at home among the rest of the seasoned roster, making the jump to 5v5, and adding an enthralling Push mode. Even better, the game does all this while retaining the same artistry, compelling back-and-forth flow of battle, and core gameplay that fans love. However, these are tweaks and additions in a game that, otherwise, feels very familiar, and that sameness can oftentimes make this new Overwatch feel more like an update than the something new the “2” suggests. Beyond that, however, Overwatch 2 also often feels detached from the principles and charm of the original.
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