From Overwatch 2’s initial announcement all the way back on in 2019 it’s been a long wait, but the Overwatch 2 closed beta has finally been released. This also means that changes are here, so we’re going to look through seven of the most important changes to Overwatch 2, and what they mean for the game going forward.
The single largest change to Overwatch 2 is the removal of a tank bringing it to a 5v5 scenario and, honestly, it feels like how Overwatch was supposed to be. With the extra tankiness of the single tank due to passive abilities and reworks, it keeps the teamwork aspect of Overwatch, whilst also having more freedom across maps and being able to flank for more kills. This means it does feel as if games are more easily won through individual skill, but teamwork is still imperative to the game. In addition the game feels much more open and less cluttered than Overwatch 2’s predecessor which is a very welcome feeling.
In the original Overwatch, Orisa is known to be one of the most tedious heroes to play against with her immense utility and her part in team compositions such as double shield. In Overwatch 2, Orisa has had a complete redesign, removing her shield and halt ability. Replacing them are her Energy Javelin and her Javelin spin. The energy Javelin is a projectile that Orisa throws at enemies which deals damage and a short stun; however, if the Javelin throws the opponent into a wall, the damage is increased.
The Javelin Spin is an ability that consists of Orisa spinning her Energy Javelin giving her extra forward momentum, and an effect that pushes back enemies in her face which gives her even more killing potential and opportunities for taking space on the battlefield. The biggest change however, is the changing of her ultimate ability, Supercharger. Supercharger has been changed out for Terra Surge. Terra Surge pulls in enemies within a certain range and the longer you hold her ultimate for the higher damage is does with maximum damage being 250hp.
The new mode: “Push”
In Overwatch 2, the removal of “assault” paves way for a new game mode: Push. Here, you fight for control of a robot that pushes a type of wall to either side of the map. This is a welcome addition bringing a fresh feel to the game with new maps and different playstyles.
In comparison to the assault mode that was removed, it feels much quicker and fluid to play in. No stagnation and 8-8 draws on Temple of Anubis anymore, and rather a quick end to end battle which keeps your attention and makes you want to play more.
Doomfist was a hero that was either loved or hated, with not much in-between. In Overwatch 2, Doomfist has made a role swap to tank, which many players were sceptical about. However after playing the beta, the scepticism over the role change is gone. Doomfist is a tank that brawls and can retain a similar playstyle to when he was in the damage category, just without the higher damage capabilities.
Doomfist loses his Rising uppercut in Overwatch 2, instead, he gains an ability called Power Block. This gives Doomfist a 90% damage reduction and can charge his punch. A new ability within Doomfist’s rocket punch is that he can charge it to gain a further distance whilst punching and dealing more damage and increasing a stun duration when the enemy hits a wall.
The new hero: Sojourn
After a long wait after the release of Echo, finally, a new hero is coming to Overwatch in the form of Sojourn. She is a new damage hero with great mobility in one of her abilities, Power Slide, and damage potential with her primary fire being a projectile dealing 9 damage a shot at a very high fire rate. Her secondary fire is her signature railgun which charges up based on damage you do with her primary fire. The railgun does 130 damage on a bodyshot when fully charged, doing 250 with a headshot meaning that you can get some devastating kills with it.
Her second ability is called “Disruptor shot” which is an area denial ability that deals a maximum of 200 damage and slows you whilst in its area of effect. Whilst a slowing ability sounds like it would be painful to deal with it is fairly easy to walk out of and should be used to close off angles or to push people into areas where they may be an easy kill. Sojourn’s Ultimate, “Overclock”, plays off her railgun, where her railgun charges nearly instantly for nine seconds which can allow for hero plays and fight winning shots.
Removal of Crowd Control abilities
One massive change for Overwatch 2 is the near total exclusion of crowd control abilities. This allows for more freedom on the map and a more engaging and fair feeling experience. For example, Cassidy’s flashbang has been changed to a magnetic grenade that deals 130 damage if stuck. Mei’s primary freeze has also been changed and instead of freezing you, it’s now a 100dps weapon that also slows slightly. This removal of Stuns allows for more fluid gameplay and in addition makes it so that tank does not become a role that is obsolete in the face of a team composition that contains multiple characters with a stun.
Role Specific Passives
With the removal of Crowd Control comes the introduction of role specific passive abilities. For the Tank role, the passive (called Tank), reduces knockback effects at the tradeoff for receiving less healing and damage. This allows for front lining potential for all tank characters and provides a safe anchor for the whole team. For the Damage role, all DPS heroes have a movement speed increase which allows for heroes such as Genji to move in quickly and get a kill and potentially escape quicker without using his dash. However, the passive is effective based on what hero you are playing, so on Widowmaker this passive may not really come into effect very often. For the support role, all supports get a passive heal after 2 seconds of not taking damage at 15hp per second. This allows cooldowns such as Ana’s biotic grenade to be saved to save low health teammates rather than to survives vs flankers in some scenarios.
Overwatch 2 is currently in beta on PC, it’s coming to consoles as well at a later date.