Overwatch 2 game director says it's a "true sequel to the first game, not an add-on"

By Heidi Nicholas,
BlizzCon 2021 gave us a behind-the-scenes look at Overwatch 2, which game director Jeff Kaplan says is an "evolution and a replacement to the original game."

Kaplan says he wants "Overwatch 2 to feel like the next evolution. A true sequel to the first game, not an add-on." He adds, "it's not a small part, it's not an extension of the original game, this is an evolution and a replacement to the original game." While we didn't get a release date, the 40-minute video above and Blizzard's own post gave us some interesting details to tide us over. We had a look at the new Rome and New York City maps, with Blizzard describing Rome as mixing the "romantic old-world architecture and emblematic locales like the Coliseum and the Seven Hills with futuristic tech," while New York City "mixes a high-tech vibe with the familiar bodegas, fire stations, and mom ‘n pop pizza shops authentic to the city."

Overwatch 2 will bring new heroes, game modes, and "major story beats." One idea that the devs mentioned they were experimenting with was Role Passives: "passive abilities that a hero can have based on what role they are." This means "damage-dealing heroes" could have a bonus to movement speed, while healing heroes would gain automatic healing if they hadn't taken damage for a while. The Tank role, meanwhile, might become more of a "toe-to-toe brawler" to change things up from just being "backline protectors." Reinhardt, for example, might have two charges of Fire Strikes and the ability to cancel charges, meaning a more aggressive playstyle is possible.

The dev team also discussed Hero Missions, which they described as "co-op PvE experiences" expanding on the co-op PvE introduced with seasonal events. Their aim is for Overwatch 2 to have "hundreds of new worldwide assignments," letting you level up heroes through a progression system with different skills "in an RPG-esque manner." Hero Missions can take place in all the multiplayer maps, with different types of missions and different challenges to face like objective units, elite units, and responsive attacks. Some of those maps will also have "new spaces" — we got a glimpse of this with King's Row in the video above. Each hero will also get visual updates in Overwatch 2, as well as story development through "story missions, in-game cinematics, a branching dialogue system that brings heroes to life with banter, and lore-rich new maps." We also had a very brief glimpse of new hero Sojourn and her railgun weapon. What do you think of what we've seen of Overwatch 2 so far? Let us know in the comments!
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've just finished studying a Masters in English Literature, but I've been obsessed with gaming since long before then. I began on the PS2 with Spyro, before graduating to the Xbox 360 and disappearing into Skyrim. I'm now a loyal RPG fan, but I still like to explore other genres — when I'm not playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or being lured back into Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Witcher 3!