Overwatch 2 is one of the most highly-anticipated games around, thanks to the continued popularity of the series' iconic characters.
When the first title was released in May 2016, it received critical acclaim for its tight controls and kinetic, team-based gameplay, becoming a mainstay in the upper echelon of live service games that are much more common now six years later.
It also ushered in a new style of game, one where each character had their own distinct personality and special abilities, making for a wide variety of squads, tactics and match results. This hero-based shooter has inspired others, like Apex Legends, and Overwatch continues to brim with colour and character that so few games are able to achieve.
We can also expect the game to arrive to all platforms as before: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC and Nintendo Switch. With Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard at least 12-18 months away, development of the game isn't going to be hindered by this, nor are the promises made to keep this game a multi-platform title.
And with Microsoft continuing to keep ubiquitous titles such as Minecraft multi-platform, we can expect a similarly long, supportive stewardship of Overwatch 2 whenever it hits shelves and digital libraries.
Here's everything you need to know about Overwatch 2.
Overwatch 2 trailer and gameplay
The original cinematic teaser announcing Overwatch 2 is over two years old. Instead, we've included some gameplay above, which demonstrates the new 5v5 mode. Activision Blizzard wanted to balance the usual, fun chaos Overwatch is known for while not overwhelming players old and new.
The new push mode involves both teams vying to take control of a robot in the centre of a symmetrical map. The team that is able to push the robot closest towards the opposing team's base wins.
There isn't yet a release date
Activision Blizzard had previously suggested a 2022 release date for the game, but given the ongoing impact of the global pandemic on video game production (and everything else for that matter), it looks like we'll get the complete title in some time during 2023.
However, PC players can already play the beta.
For console players and beta-missers, it's not all doom-and-gloom with an impatient wait, as the development team has suggested they may split the PvP and PvE portions of the game from each other in order to deliver the competitive multiplayer aspect of the game earlier. So, although no promises have been made, we could see a PvP Overwatch 2 a lot sooner, either this year or early 2023.
Will Overwatch 2 be free to play?
It hasn't been confirmed whether Overwatch 2 will be F2P and there's no gurantees that Overwatch players will be able to play the next entry for free. Select UK retailers are taking Overwatch 2 pre-orders at the moment for around £50-£55, including Game and Base. This could however change and we'll let you know more information when it becomes available.
Changes coming to Overwatch 2
This is a strange sequel in that some of the new characters and maps will also become available for players of the first Overwatch game. Instead, Overwatch 2's biggest changes will be a new PvE element, something other live-service games have tried to add by pulling together the lore into a cohesive narrative.
Another big change is that each multiplayer match will now be a 5v5 fare, rather than the current count of 12 players. Each team will have a tank, two DPS and two support characters. It's going to be much more interesting how this will affect gameplay in new maps and with new characters, so you'd better talk to your current squadmates about how you'll be splitting your duties.
In addition, an early UI leak showed off a battle pass on the main menu of Overwatch 2. While this did come from assets from over two years ago, when paired with public statements made by former game lead Jeff Kaplan expressing their positive feelings on the feature.
How do you sign up for Overwatch 2's beta?
Despite not having a firm release date, Activision Blizzard have done the sensible thing many developers do for big, upcoming multiplayer games, which is to have a beta test open to the public. This will hopefully smooth out any lurking bugs and ensure a successful launch without the troubles of network connection drops.
PC players can sign up for the beta here right now, which will open for play on April 26th. Here's what's been promised for you to test:
- New 5v5 gameplay
- New hero: Sojourn
- Play four new maps (and original Overwatch maps)
- New push mode
- Changes to existing heroes
- Ping system
There's plenty more to play until the release of Overwatch 2, particularly in a year packed with great titles promised. If you're on the hunt for something, check out our Jelly Deals Twitter feed, which is updated with deals on the latest games and accessories for all things gaming and beyond, across all platforms. We also include the latest news on stock info for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles.