Overwatch 2 (PvP) Review – The Blizzard FPS doesn’t bring the cavalry

I’ve been scrambling to write an Overwatch 2 review ever since Blizzard announced that their flagship FPS game would be getting a sequel. With an Overwatch tattoo and a passion for all things Widowmaker, the game has become a huge part of both my personal and professional life, giving me my first ‘big break’ in gaming media. So my expectations for Overwatch 2 are pretty high – not unlike the rest of the community.

Overwatch 2 will eventually contain a PvE game, but it won’t be released until sometime in 2023. In the meantime, we’ll only be able to play the PvP side of things, and that’s all I have access to for this review as well. For me, PvE is going to be a big part of what makes or breaks Overwatch 2, so it feels a bit like I’m only looking at half of what the game has to offer. Until then, though, if you want the unbridled thoughts of a once (almost) semi-pro player and avid Overwatch fan, here’s our Overwatch 2 PvP review.

The more the better

Since we haven’t had any new heroes since the omnic DPS Echo launched Overwatch 1 in 2020, Overwatch 2’s three new characters have taken the spotlight away from some of the game’s other features.

Kiriko, a powerful Japanese support hero who is intertwined with the duo of Shimada Genji and Hanzo, is the first level in the battle pass, so he is easily unlocked from release. It’s a lot of fun to play – especially as a DPS main. Her treatment works much like Fate’s. you hold down the left mouse button and throw a series of healing tokens at allies. Right clicking lets you throw deadly ninja stars that can decapitate enemies in two shots, which is a lot of damage for a healer.

However, her ultimate is even more fun. Beautifully animated and incredibly powerful, Kiriko casts a stunning teal fox that sprints through a series of traditional torii gates, speeding up players and boosting reload speed. I’ve never felt so much fun running around locations and bulldozing the enemy, so I can say I’ll be playing a lot of Kyrykos. It adds some much-needed variety to the rather thin support pool – rejoice, healers, Blizzard listened.

There’s a new map: Esperança, a stunning Portuguese settlement nestled among wooded mountains. Unfortunately, the map didn’t show up at all in my pool during my limited pre-launch playthrough, but it looks promising, with a huge variety of nooks and crannies, as well as balconies and elevated platforms perfect for sniping. .

The future is now (sort of)

The other big addition to the game is the aforementioned battle pass – a series of unlockable rewards that give you everything from new heroes like Kiriko to a fancy new mythic skin for her fellow stealth master, Genji. The battle pass is decently priced in my opinion given how good most of the rewards are, but it doesn’t do anything groundbreaking compared to any others. It should help avoid the content droughts that plagued the first game, but battle passes have been a staple of service game monetization for a few years now, with Fortnite popularizing the concept in 2017/18. Overwatch 2 brings the core game into the modern age of live services, but other than that there isn’t much else to say.

It’s a similar story when it comes to UI updates. You can now tab to see a scoreboard of kills, deaths and assists, replacing the frustrating player cards at the end of Overwatch 1 games that simply told you how many kills you had without providing a full breakdown. There’s a lot more ping now, too, so you can quickly tag allies just like you could in Apex Legends when it launched in 2019. It’s good to have these features, but again, there’s nothing groundbreaking here – they just make the game stand out up to speed with its competitors.

Overwatch 2’s PvP is generally like this. They’re small tweaks to the base game that really could have been just a massive content patch. They’re certainly nice changes, but nothing major enough to really grab your attention.

Overwatch 2 review: A woman with black hair stands in a pink and white traditional Japanese dress holding a token with a list of rewards at the bottom of the screen

Five stack DPS anyone?

What catches your eye is the fast-paced gameplay – mostly because it’s literally the only queue that’s unlocked from the start. Yep guys, you can’t role queue until you’ve played five open queue games. While it doesn’t sound like too much, the fact that you can’t just dive in is a little irritating – me I think so the intention is to introduce people to the game gently, but it risks defeating its own purpose of providing a gentle on-ramp. QP has no set roles, so players can play whatever they want – you could have a team of five supports, five tanks, or five DPS. While this might sound like fun, going up against five stacked teams that are basically already playing their OTP roles is a nightmare and you get shot down pretty quickly.

Then comes the flaming – “you should have picked Mercy rawr” and all that. If this was your first experience with Overwatch 2, you’d be forgiven for ditching it on your PC and calling it a day. Forcing people to open queue makes it more likely, and I can’t see what the upside is. It’s an unwelcome change for fans old and new, and seems to defeat the whole point of the game. Blizzard’s role queue challenges you to think about what compositions work, what healer works best with Genji, or what tank works in Eichenwalde. Quick Play is a confusing free-for-all and generally seems like an odd way to introduce you to the basics of the game.

I will admit that the 5v5 changes are a huge plus – especially as a DPS player. They force you to be more aggressive, but also ensure you approach things more strategically – especially since the new scoreboard will tell your allies if you’re feeding. For healers, it represents more of a challenge than just healing the pocket tank as they will take a lot of damage and so will your DPS players. Plus, you’ll need to duck and dive to make sure your head doesn’t accidentally pop off. For tanks it’s a bit of an adjustment, but the heaps of changes to both new and pre-existing characters make the role look strong. There is no sense of landing a Junker Queen ult on a bunch of unsuspecting DPS players – trust me.

Overwatch 2 in its current state isn’t bad, but it isn’t great either. The improved UI and battle pass bring it in line with competitors like Apex Legends and Valorant, while the addition of Kiriko adds some much-needed spice to the long-neglected support role. Beyond that, though, little has changed.

Overwatch 2 in its current state isn’t bad, but it isn’t great either. The improved UI and battle pass bring it in line with competitors like Apex Legends and Valorant, while the addition of Kiriko adds some much-needed spice to the long-neglected support role. Beyond that, though, little has changed.

Overwatch 2 review: A woman holding ninja stars and tokens on her chest looks at a robot

We said in our first beta impressions that Overwatch 2 feels more like a massive update than a full sequel. Sentiment online said much the same. After several more betas and some time on the review server, we haven’t played anything to change our minds – and that’s a bit of a bummer. Overwatch 2’s PvP is Overwatch 1 with a few bells and whistles (and the pesky Open Queue system).

While I’m still hoping that the PvE content will give the game the new lease on life it needs, part of me expects it to be disappointed – and that’s what sucks. I should be excited, but I’m just “meh”, probably the worst feeling you can have about a new game.

The cavalry is here, sure, but is it enough to revive Overwatch? Not only with the power of PvP that only appears.

Overwatch 2

While Overwatch 2 adds a number of heroes and modes to Blizzard’s iconic FPS game, its PvP feels more like a simple content update than a full sequel.


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