What’s new, Overwatch 2?
By Abbie Crouch
Overwatch has been engaging gamers since 2016 with the immense popularity of the first game. The first-person shooter gained such a following through its game design which replaced the usual dull khakis, and greys which litter FPS with splashes of cerulean and tangerine. The game had a strong connection to a younger audience as the characters came with a strong narrative which is exceptionally rare in the world of FPS. Overwatch was ground-breaking and exactly what the gaming industry needed.
However, all good things come to an end and Overwatch was no different. After topping charts for 6 years Blizzard decided to shut down their servers and launch its descendant, Overwatch 2. (Creative, huh).
Blizzard has been no stranger to backlash from their players, and the release of Overwatch 2 has been no different. From excruciating queueing to the lack of support from players, the launch of Overwatch 2 has been rocky at best. Mechanically it is extremely enjoyable, but players are struggling to experience this due to queues of upwards of 120,000 people. The queue warrants players to question if anything has changed except for the addition of 3 new playable characters. This begs the question what's new?
Three new playable characters, Junker Queen, Sojourn, and Kiriko. A tank, damage, and support. The most welcomed characters have been the likes of Kiriko and Sojourn; however, Junker Queen has found little success. Especially in competitive gameplay. She was built to be the perfect off tank but, overwatch 2 operates with just one tank per team now. So, Junker Queen has sadly been reserved for quick play and arcade game modes only. This is such a shame to loyal players as they have been calling for a strong brawling tank for years now, and this has added insult to injury for returning gamers.
The sequel has been a struggle for developers and players alike due to the lack of people actively wanting to play support heroes. There hasn't been enough variety in the support category for a while. The addition of Kiriko was a good start but now players are hungry for better damage-dealing support players. Healers are isolated from the rest of the overwatch community due to the lack of players within the pool. Currently, the wait time for competitive games as a Damage hero is over 10 minutes likewise with tanks. However, support hero wait times are on average under a minute. This demonstrates to the player base how abundant the amount of DPS and tank gamers there are and how desperate we are for a stronger healer.
With these contributing factors, it's no wonder why Blizzard is trying to boost engagement statistics by giving out free credits and battle pass experience. From the perspective of a support main, I want to see healers with more manoeuvrability, not just a rework of an old boring hero. Create something new. We need a support hero that has 250 health or a strong ability that allows the player to get away from conflict quickly. This would make the world of difference when it comes to making support class fun again! Another masculine character would be good for the game as well, seeing as all new heroes have been females. Or even possibly a gender-neutral hero!
Overall, I am excited to see where Blizzard will take overwatch 2, as the fans have spoken and made their opinions extremely well heard. As long as they listen, engagement will rise once again, and we will see overwatch climb the popularity charts once more.