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‘Overwatch 2’ Is Real and It’s Getting a Story Mode

It’ll still have a focus on player-vs-player fighting, but now, you’ll be able to play co-op with friends and experience a campaign.

by Patrick Klepek
Nov 1 2019, 7:37pm

BlizzCon has kicked off with a bang: a non-apology about the company’s recent Hong Kong controversy, an unveiling of Diablo IV, and now, the future of Overwatch: Overwatch 2. There were, as is the Blizzard house style, a lot of snazzy cinematic trailers to reveal it:

I’m hardly the first person to say it, but: Blizzard, just make a damn movie?

As has been rumored and the cinematic implies, Overwatch 2 introduces player-vs-enemy modes, meaning players will work together against AI opponents to accomplish various objectives. Previously, Overwatch was largely about players fighting against one another.

“We will have a complete story experience,” said game director Jeff Kaplan.

Here’s how the gameplay looks, which also showcases the tweaked art style:

In addition to story missions, there are co-op missions that are meant to be infinitely replayable. This is where characters can level up and be customized. Kaplan compared the co-op missions to Diablo III’s adventure mode, while the story missions are a more straightforward campaign.

Kaplan said the development team hopes to “redefine what a sequel means,” which has some important and interesting distinctions. For example, current Overwatch players will get access to the new heroes and the new maps, but without access to the new story and player-vs-enemy modes coming. That’s not usually how sequels work, which try to push players entirely onto the new platform, dangling maps and heroes as the big carrots.

The game isn’t ditching player-vs-player, though; there’s a new game mode called “Push.” New characters, too? Yep—Sojourn and Echo.

There was also a useful video to bring players up to speed on the Overwatch timeline until now; Overwatch 2 picks up with the organization Overwatch finally coming together again:

As with Diablo IV, there are currently no details on when Overwatch 2 will be released.

Follow Patrick on Twitter. If you know what's happening inside Blizzard, his email is patrick.klepek@vice.com. He's also available privately on Signal (224-707-1561).

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