Overwatch 2 - Game Infinite Review
Overwatch 2 is finally here, a game I honestly didn't expect to ever release after such a long delay, coupled with all the controversies Blizzard has been in the last few years, further combined with the fact of Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan leaving the company, I thought Overwatch 2 was just never going to happen. Each year came and went and I updated Overwatch 2 on my most anticipated list with another delay to next year and each time it just slipped further to the bottom. Overwatch went from a game I played daily to a game I barely touched anymore. When news of an actual release date, cautious hope returned to actually getting Overwatch 2.
The day finally came, and I must say that Overwatch 2 is one of the hardest reviews I've done as finalizing a score feels more arbitrary that ever before. There are somethings about Overwatch 2 that are just phenomenal and other things that were just abysmal. "8/10" feels more like a splitting of difference than an actual fair representative score.
Overwatch 2 SHOULD have been a game changer. It should be a GOTY nominee. It should be a 10/10 game that not only blew everyone away, but also redefined what sequels can be. We live in the post-live service era where several live service games live on and thrive. How do these types of games where players have 1000's of hours of game time and accumulated cosmetics do if ever a sequel? These live services have the option to never do one or do one and risk alienated long time players by scrapping all their hard earned in game items. Overwatch 2 was supposed to be the answer. It was meant to be the perfect compromise: bring all of the OW content along for the ride, while introducing a bunch of new stuff worthy of the "2". It could have been the perfect template if games like Apex, Fortnite, or PUBG ever want to do "full" sequels. All the shininess of "2" without losing all those fancy skins. However, that was not the case. Instead of adding in a bunch of new heroes, skins, maps, and modes to feel like a whole new sequels game's worth of content added to OW1, it launched with 3 new heroes, one "new" mode, and a handful of skins. The promised and most anticipated massive PVE Campaign story mode is missing. The only new mode feels like a "can I borrow your homework" a little bit with a robot instead of a payload. It just feels like OW1.5 instead of the 1+2 we were promised. The new content feels small, and the changes made seems inferior. Some of the hero reworks are not good, and even some maps are missing. That combined with 6v6 changing to 5v5 there are times where it feels like OW2 is a step down with just as much taken out as added.
I was a huge promoter of the idea of the pseudo sequel because it promised a bunch of new stuff without the expense of losing all my hard earned skins! It was a great idea executed poorly.
Let's talk about that "LAUNCH":
Overwatch 2 had one of the worst launch weeks in recent memory. It launched on a Tuesday and by Friday I still had yet to be able to play the game. Some games launch poorly sure, and I am not talking about crashes or poor performance or just long server queues. I am talking about COMPLETE literally unplayable. Hour long wait queues are sure a thing that has happened during other games' bad launches, but I have never seen DAYS of unplayableness. I didn't even see the OW2 MENU until Friday. Twitch was FILLED with players who were just streaming the error message trying to get in. This was just an unprecedented failure by a massive gaming company that should have been more prepared and faster to respond.
Bare bones new content and a absolute failure of a launch all might be forgiven if not for monetization. Imagine how bad monetization has to be for the fan base to actually miss loot boxes. Say what you will about loot boxes and how bad they are, Overwatch 1 did still allow players to unlock pretty much anything for free with gameplay. Paywalling so much content, especially content originally included in OW1 that could have been unlocked for free with gameplay and time, behind locked paid content has really angered players. Also fans have rightly complained that the new battle pass system is also pretty lame. Battle Passes can be great as you get a lot of potential content for a low fee, but the season 1 battle pass is terrible. Another complaint is locking heroes behind the battle pass. Blizzard should learn from Apex and make heroes separately purchasable, and make it so they can be earned with free gameplay as well. In addition to paywalled content that used to be gameplay unlocked, paywalled heroes, and other complaints, the biggest one is just that Blizzard doesn't know how to price skins. Their skins in the store have been pretty boring and they are charging 20-25+$ for them and players rightly hate it. They should learn from Fortnite that 15-20 is more fair and even that is for high quality pop culture skins. Fortnite has the best live service skins by a huge margin and even they charge less.
Despite the "sequel" aspect, the terrible launch, and the terrible monetization...underneath all that is a game I can't stop playing. Overwatch 2 is still Overwatch and Overwatch was a 10/10 GOTY experience when it comes to gameplay, fun factor, art style, and characters. After taking a good hiatus in prep for Overwatch 2, it is just so good to be back in Overwatch. I missed it. It is just such a perfect multiplayer experience at it's core. It is amazing in it's diverse heroes, bother in terms of representation but in gameplay. There are heroes perfect for new players and there are higher skill heroes for those with countless hours in the game. Everyone can find something fun. This may be a flawed sequel but its foundation is that of greatness; so the experience is still amazing (even if that experience is mostly OW1 bleeding through)
A Sense of Community:
Overwatch is such a cultural experience. There is few experiences like meeting some total stranger in public and noticing one another's Overwatch shirt or hat and being instantly friends and having something to talk about, sharing favorite heroes and the like. It can be such a connecting fandom. There is a hero for every play style, representation, and walk of life.
Let's talk about the new heroes Sojourn, Kiriko, and Junker Queen. I'm not really good with Junker Queen; she's not my play style. But Kiriko and Sojourn are both super fun to play as. Sojourn may be a little OP but she feels like a better and more powerful Soldier 76. Kiriko is just fantastic. Her "Genji Support" feel is something unexpected and exciting. Not only is she fun to play; but her character design and animated short are both fantasic. She single handedly gets me excited for future OW2 heroes.
(Press Kit Images: New Heroes)
At the end of the day, a 10/10 GOTY multiplayer gameplay experience with 10/10 heroes is combined with a very rocky launch state and battle pass. I split the difference on these two fronts to give the number of 8/10. With OW2 going free to play, you are missing out if you aren't playing this game.
Thank You for reading our review!
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