Overwatch 2is currently one of the most anticipated first-person shooter games from Blizzard Entertainment. Announced in 2019 with a visually spectacular cinematic, and playtest available to attending Blizzcon members, the announcement was received with lots of anxious excitement.
Its predecessor Overwatch is one of the most well-received first-person shooters in history, earning Game Of The Year, and reaching 50 Million players incredibly quickly. The announcement of a sequel was certainly unexpected, and since then, the community has been left wondering what is next for the franchise, and just when we can expect to hear more.
In this article, I’m going to cover everything we know about Overwatch 2, from officially confirmed information to recent leaks and rumors about its potential upcoming release, and some personal speculation on my part.
What We Know So Far
Campaign and Hero Missions
When Overwatch 2 was announced, there was a lot to take in from the development team, including the confirmation of a story mode. The story mode will feature a 4 player PvE (Players vs Environment) based format, where you and your teammates must complete mission objectives and save the world from an invading threat, Null Sector. Talon, the main villain of Overwatch prior, has been causing chaos, and it is revealed they have teamed up with Null Sector to plunge the world into another war, and it’s up to you to stop it.
The campaign’s length is currently unknown, but it can be assumed it will last reasonably long, with the demonstration mission shown taking around 25 minutes to complete as the pros tested all the new features.
Alongside the announcement of a campaign, a gameplay trailer also revealed the introduction of Hero Missions, a series of replayable PvE missions where players must complete certain objectives at locations across the globe, and in doing so, will unlock upgrades for their characters in a system similar to an RPG Skill tree.
Sadly, not much is currently known about the PvE content and how it will perform in-game, with Blizzard not revealing new PvE information for just over a year now, leaving the community in the dark about what to expect going forward.
Alongside the announcement of a new PvE-based storyline, we also received confirmation that the game will sport brand new looks for all of its current and new heroes, redesigning them to look flashier, smoother, and more modern for the current state the world of Overwatch is in. So far, only a few new looks have been revealed, with the rest kept secret for the game’s eventual release.
The new look doesn’t just apply to the heroes, however, and applies to the game engine entirely, reworking the entire design of Overwatch into a more futuristic, vibrant, and detailed look, including new weather effects for the maps. The game will receive an overhaul, with current maps being reworked and redesigned in the new engine, and brand new maps, such as Gothenburg, Toronto, and Monte Carlo.
The sequel will also feature major updates to the main selling point of Overwatch: Its players vs player system. The multiplayer system will have many of its modes revamped, including the currently controversial 2CP system, with confirmation from the devs that it will be removed entirely.
Other modes will be introduced, such as Push, a game mode based on both teams fighting to move one objective further than the other, and taking control of it by defeating the enemy team, similar to 2CP but allowing more flexibility with the objective.
The PvP system will also receive a large update in terms of hero reworks, and how the game will function going forward. In Overwatch 1, 6 players will fight against 6 others, consisting of 2 tanks, 2 dps, and 2 support. However, Overwatch 2 brings the most controversial change yet. The removal of one tank. This means the game will now be 5v5 focused, rather than 6v6.
This change will result in many heroes being reworked to fit the new meta, as tanks are a large part of the game, and many damage heroes were designed to counter 2 tanks, not one. We’ve seen an example of hero reworks already, with Bastion and Sombra’s reworks being revealed earlier this year. Tanks are being overhauled as well, as many have been designed with the intention to support another tank, not be the only tank in a fight.
Finally, we have received confirmation that new heroes will be added to the game upon release, making up for the lack of heroes currently missing from Overwatch 1. It is unknown how many heroes there are to be expected on release, but we can assume there will be a large number of new faces for a game that’s shaking up how the entire PVP system works.
Currently, this is all the important official information we are aware of. Below, we will dive into the rumors and leaks surrounding Overwatch 2, especially the large ones circling the internet this week.
Rumors / Leaks
Overwatch 2 has been very quiet ever since its announcement, with information becoming scarcer each year, meaning that the most information we get anymore is through leaks and rumors, which we will cover here.
It is important to remember none of these are confirmed, and until proven otherwise, are just rumors and leaks. Leaks are not confirmations of anything, only potential evidence of something to expect in Overwatch 2. Below are the most popular and recent ones that I’ve decided to cover.
New Hero Leaks
During Blizzconline 2021, users pointed out that the models of Junkertown Queen could be seen in the background of test footage, which lines up with the hints the development team placed within the game about the Junkertown Queen being added as a DPS hero. The OWL team socials have even been making posts featuring a fan design of the Junkertown Queen, albeit as a joke. The fact official accounts are still using fan designs is still a good indicator for a hero that many have wanted for years now.
Alongside this, a rather recent leak from an anonymous user on a forum claims to have information on Overwatch 2 and World of Warcraft, stating that Overwatch 2will receive Mauga and Yokai as new heroes in Overwatch 2, featuring Dual Gatling guns and a fox spirit respectively. This lines up with previous teases, with Mauga being confirmed to be a hero the dev team wanted to create originally, but scrapped in place of Sigma. His main ability in the lore also includes wielding dual Gatling guns.
Yokai is a new character, who was found in Kanazaka and referred to through letters only. The letters indicate she is someone who wields a fox spirit and delivers justice on her own terms. This leak would line up with the teases of Yokai as well, especially since the development team confirmed the map Kanazaka teased a new OW2 hero as well.
Jetpack Cat is also a possibility. Yes, you heard that right. The Overwatch team revealed that Jetpack Cat was a design they created back in 2014 but scrapped. However, the reception was so positive and created so much attention within the community that the dev team hinted Jetpack Cat could actually come to fruition, albeit maybe not as a playable hero, but just as an ability, similar to B.O.B.
Overwatch 2 Release Date Leaks and Rumours
By far the most intriguing of the recent leaks will include the very recent beta leaks. On the 31st of January 2022, the battle.net client received an internal update that was caught by the BlizzTrack Bot. This update revealed that the current live version of the game, called version 1.68, and the Dev version, called 1.5, suddenly updated to Version 2.0 on the internal development client, under the name Overwatch_Dev.
The update was very quickly reverted, and the version of the live game and internal testing realm was changed to 1.5 again. For a game to jump ahead 5 versions, to 2.0, when the game is called Overwatch 2, and will replace the current Overwatch build on battle.net, it’s easy to assume this very was a beta build for the game.
Additionally, the OWL team confirmed that in the next season of OWL, the pro players will be playing on an early build of Overwatch 2. In order for the players to practice, it is reasonable to assume they will have access to the beta, which lines up with the recent beta updates. The season is set to begin in April, giving pros time to practice and the team to take in feedback should they release the beta in February.
Following this announcement, and the developer client leak, another person came forward anonymously, stating that Overwatch 2 is slated for a February 18th beta announcement, and a public beta release in early March. The validity of this leak is unknown, given it was posted anonymously however, the constant stream of links all supporting a February beta announcement, and a March release does line up with the timeline we’ve been given, especially with the OWL season beginning at the start of April.
The leak could just be trying to ride the stream of other leaks, but it doesn’t mean we should ignore it or immediately shut it down, and should at least keep the February 18th date in our minds, with only 1 week before said date arrives.
Finally, a leaker by the name of WorstSombra claims to have received information from a private content creator meeting with the Overwatch team, where they reveal the team is planning a beta announcement for February, followed by a March release.
While this is currently considered a rumor, given we have no proof the information came from a content creator inside an NDA-Covered meeting, it does line up with every other leak as of recently, especially as the OWL prepares to play in the sequel for its next season, and with the even more recent leak stating a specific date for the beta release.
Given all the leaks, and official information from the OWL team, it’s very likely we will see a beta release for Overwatch 2 very soon, but we’ll have to wait for an announcement from Blizzard themselves for now. I hope this article covered all you need to know about Overwatch 2, at least the major parts. I’m very excited for this game and hope to continue to cover it as time goes on, especially as the development team signals something big is coming, and soon.
Are you excited about Overwatch 2? Nervous? Bored? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @mycosmiccircus, and please share this article! We’d love to see what the community thinks of all these rumors and leaks running around recently.
February 14, 2022 Update: What I Heard Gaming Edition: New Info and Rumors About ‘Overwatch 2’
[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Jake Hansen]