Overwatch 2, the preview of BlizzConline 2021

Overwatch 2, the preview of BlizzConline 2021

Overwatch 2

Oddly absent from the BlizzConline opening ceremony, Overwatch 2 had gone off the radar for far too long: when it was announced at BlizzCon 2019, Jeff Kaplan said his team would be working in the shadows for a while, shifting the focus entirely to the sequel, and that it would come back to the surface when they had something concrete in their hands. So when J. Allen Brack took his leave at the end of the ceremony, just mentioning Overwatch in passing, we believed that Kaplan and his family had nothing to show. Instead, the channel dedicated to Overwatch caught us off guard, with a ton of new information about the game that will certainly not be released in 2021, but that does not seem so immature to us not to make it even in 2022. Here's what we found out about new heroes , maps and missions.

The new maps

Overwatch 2: the map of New York. The absence in the opening ceremony, unusually deferred and without an audience due to a pandemic, could be explained by the mixture of short videos we saw during the ad hoc presentation of Overwatch 2: none particularly long or artfully assembled to make a good impression, many sketches and several cinematics in progress. This could mean a thousand things, for example just that Jeff Kaplan's team didn't have the time - or enough content - to prepare a trailer properly, but enough material to show the community that development is progressing, maybe a little. 'more slowly in this difficult situation for everyone, but still determined to bring home some good results. Let's take the new maps, for example: Deputy Director Aaron Keller had the pleasure of first unveiling the map set in our capital, Rome.

Overwatch 2: the map of Rome. Taking advantage, among other things, of thousands of photos taken by a collaborator who has just returned from a trip to Rome (before the pandemic, of course!), The team set to work to reproduce the most evocative views, reproducing monuments such as the Colosseum and reconstructing the imperial architecture in the somewhat stylized cartoon style of Overwatch. The map, let's face it, is gorgeous, and it's a nice duel with the other that the team presented immediately after: New York. To reconstruct the Big Apple, the team was inspired by the architecture and furnishings of the years between 1920 and 1950. The idea is to give players a familiar atmosphere, made up of clichés such as pizzerias, fire stations and the little shops that line the streets and lanes. The result is the New York we've seen in hundreds of movies, shaped in the unmistakable style of Overwatch.

PvP News

Overwatch 2: Reinhardt's New Charge. At the moment the team is working on some aspects of the gameplay that will change the feelings of the players during the clashes. In particular, Kaplan and associates are testing a series of skills that they have defined Role Passive: they change according to the controlled hero; in the case of tanks, for example, the ability reduces the duration of some control effects like takedowns and the speed at which enemies reload Ultra, while attacking characters move faster - great for flanking! - and healers enjoy a regeneration over time that triggers after they take a certain amount of damage. Along with these skills, the team is reviewing their individual roles, starting with those of shielded tanks. The idea is to make them a more active and dynamic part of the fighting, rather than a wall behind which other players can hide.

Overwatch 2: a scene with Reinhardt. Good ol 'Reinhardt was taken as a case in point: in the version the team is testing right now, Reinhardt can throw Fire Bolt up to two times before the ability goes into cooldown; also, he can interrupt the Charge and steer more easily. These simple tricks, and those who play Overwatch know it well, can make Reinhardt much more deadly, aggressive and precise than in the past. And probably even more fun. Kaplan was honest, however: they are mechanics that may not even be implemented in the end, but that make the character more fulfilling and dynamic if you want to play as a massive armored warrior armed with a jet hammer. We can't blame him, but Reinhardt is still a character wielding a melee weapon, and the team, as far as firearms are concerned, are literally back in the design phase.

Overwatch 2: Tracer vs. a robot. Recoil, animations, sounds, melee attack impacts ... basically Kaplan and co are reviewing everything, even the noise the weapon makes when it's running out of magazine. Do you think that the team has re-recorded the reverbs produced by different firearms in the most varied real environments, so as to be able to implement them in the game and support a greater number of acoustic situations than in the past. The same goes for the interface: an effect we take for granted, such as the screen vibrating every time we fire, has been revised and corrected, for example in the case of Soldier-76. The goal is to convey a feeling of power every time the trigger is pulled, but also a vague sense of loss of control that affects the gunplay and involves the player more.

New and new faces old modes

Kaplan and company are back to briefly show us Sojourn, the heroine who, in all likelihood, will join the cast at the launch of Overwatch 2. Unfortunately, we still don't know anything about her abilities, but ours have shown us better his weapon, a rail laser cannon that requires a lot of precision. Sojourn's was a very short parenthesis, which was followed by a small bomb when Kaplan announced that perhaps in Overwatch 2 there will no longer be the so-called 2CP maps (2 Conquest Points). For the uninitiated, they are maps in which the attacking team must first conquer an objective - which becomes a checkpoint - and then another, with which the game ends. The problem with these maps is that games can end in a heartbeat, which is rather annoying if the queue to participate has been long, or that they can go on for a long time if the defense is tough. The community has never digested them very well and Kaplan does not want Overwatch 2 to be a simple add-on, but a true sequel, an evolution: for this reason, there will be a new mode to replace the 2CP maps.

Overwatch 2: Mei's freezing weapon. Hero Missions are probably the most anticipated content for players who have grown tired of PvP and enjoyed PvE experiments during events like Archives and creepy Halloween. Also thanks to a robust leveling system, which unlocks real skill trees for the various heroes, the goal of Blizzard is to prepare hundreds of missions so that growing each hero is not a repetitive and exasperating grind: this means preparing enemies and objectives. different for each map, old or new. The team is even expanding existing ones, implementing never-before-seen zones. This is the case with King's Row, which will gain a whole new neighborhood and even an additional cargo path to escort on some missions. In addition to a dynamic day / night cycle, the team is also implementing various weather effects, such as sandstorms or snowstorms, which will make certain heroes, such as snipers, more or less effective.

Overwatch 2: Genji slices enemies. In the Hero Missions there will be new objectives: one of these will see us divide the team in search of some objects that we will then have to bring back to a meeting point, in another we will have to reach the opposite side of the map before a wall of energy crushes us , in yet another we will simply have to defeat various enemies and so on. Blizzard is trying to ensure a huge variety in the enemies to be defeated too, which will belong to different factions and will boast flying drones, explosive mechs, Omnics that look like zombies and so on. The increase will be significant because now the heroes have at least three talent trees each: by combining the talents unlocked with the points obtained at level ups, different and interesting builds are produced that break the rules established by Overwatch in recent years. A very practical example is Soldier-76's Biotic Field: there is a talent that moves it with it and a talent that spreads a concentric shockwave that can drive enemies away from the Biotic Field. Here, combine them together and you have a Biotic Field that moves with Soldier-76 ... and pushes away all enemies that approach the hero.

Overwatch: Infinity War

Overwatch 2: Lucio on the attack. The Kaplan team has reserved the last part of the presentation for the Story mode, which will represent the other main content of Overwatch under the cooperative profile. While the Blizzard artists are redesigning the costumes of the various characters - on this round we saw the new looks of Pharah, McCree, Reaper and Widowmaker, but there are still so many - the writers are planning a choral and compelling story that wants to follow the cinecomics of the last few years, featuring a huge cast of characters who will interact with each other in a dynamic and witty way. There will be room for funny gags, squabbles, moving scenes and extremely epic moments, enriched by an important soundtrack. At the same time, the team is studying a branched dialogue system that changes depending on the team that takes sides on a certain map. For example, by choosing Genji and Mercy in the second story mission, we will unlock an additional scene where the two of them talk about their relationship.

Overwatch 2: Reinhardt in action. Which makes perfect sense: Overwatch probably has one of the most colorful, engaging, and distinctive cast we've ever seen in a video game. The mythology of this world is extraordinarily rich, and Blizzard has managed to make simple, impromptu dialogue in the early game memorable thanks to a combination of factors that include not only humor and writing, but also the talent of the voice actors - original and homegrown. - who lend their voices to these fascinating heroes and villains. It is clear that Kaplan and his team are having a lot of fun developing Overwatch 2 and are believing in it - we can't wait to get our hands on it to find out if they will deliver on all these promises.

BlizzConline is began that Overwatch didn't even seem to be part of it, and in the end it seemed to us that the shooter directed by Jeff Kaplan had more content and news to show than any other in the lineup. The team is making extraordinary progress, but it is clear that the scales are increasingly tipping towards the cooperative PvE experience rather than on a replica of the milestones achieved with the first game in the competitive eSports field. While it is true that many players could be burned, it must be admitted that interest in this genre is beginning to wane and Blizzard may have made the smartest choice: finally giving space to a splendid world that so far it had only hinted at.


The team is working to perfect the very good foundations of the first game The maps and new character looks are great DOUBTS Variety of missions, objectives and enemies to confirm Blizzard is really putting aside the PvP component how does it look?

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