Overwatch 2: Up or Down-grade?


Caila Flake , Staff Writer

When Overwatch released in 2016, it was one of the most praised games of the year. The team-based first-person shooter was played and live-streamed by millions on both PC and console. In 2019, plans for a sequel were announced and former lead director Jeff Kaplan said developers hoped to “redefine what a sequel meant”. On October 4th, 2022, Overwatch 2 was released free-to-play and all servers for the original game were shut down, leaving players with no choice but to play the new and “improved” version. For the few months since the game’s release, a question has crossed gamers’ minds everywhere: does the sequel live up to the legacy of the first game and truly redefine a sequel, or is it just another cash grab by developers?


Though Overwatch 2 has maintained most aspects of the first installment, there are noteworthy changes that cause a huge shift in gameplay. Teams are now composed of 5 players rather than 6, a decision made by developers so that “individual contribution means more to the overall success of the team”. Loot boxes have been replaced with a battle pass system, meaning players now have to spend money for access to skins, emotes, and other fun cosmetics. There are also 3 new heroes added to the roster to create a new experience for players, with many more to come in the future. There are also new maps, modes, and tweaks to existing heroes. Have these changes kept players engaged? Not completely.


It’s no doubt that this release has brought the game back to life, as the Overwatch 2 category on Twitch reached 1.5 million viewers in its first week. However, in the next week, the viewer count dropped a whopping 99%. This early disinterest isn’t the best sign of the game having any longevity. Despite this, the game holds an 8/10 on IGN, one of the top sources for gaming news. IGN’s Editorial Producer Simon Carly says the game “breathes new life into what was once the sharpest shooter around” but it hasn’t yet “recaptured all of that glory”.


Reviews can say a lot about a game but the best way to know if the sequel lives up to the first is by playing it yourself on PC and any console. What’s there to lose?