BlizzConline 2021: Overwatch 2 shows off New York City, visceral combat, and PvE content


“Patience” was the word of the day for the BlizzConline Overwatch 2 behind-the-scenes panel tonight at Blizzard’s show, but that’s to be expected for a game that is so unfinished it barely got a mention during the keynote. That said, what Jeff Kaplan and his crew brought to the show is early work with grayboxing evident – but gorgeous.

First up, the team previewed the Rome and gloriously Art Deco New York City maps:

As for systems:

  • The PvP philosophy is changing quite a bit, with a different feel to combat and roles. “It’s a pretty big departure from where we are on live right now.”
  • Role passives are on deck – for example, all tanks will get a role passive specific just to them. It kinda sounds like “bring the person not the class,” but let’s hope not.
  • Characters are all getting a more “visceral” weapon feel, including graphics and sounds – the weapon 2.0 sound pass. That even means integrating how weapons sound acoustically in different environments and how different weapons animate. For example, with Soldier 76, they want to make the gun feel as if it’s so powerful it’s almost out of the player’s control.
  • Hero Missions are still in the works as the game’s PvE level-up content. The goal is to make as many HMs as possible – hundreds, even. A lot of them will use old but heavily updated maps, with new art, new assets, new objects, and even new areas. Several maps are shown off throughout the video, including the massive India map.
  • Sandstorms and other weather effects are being implemented, along with diurnal cycles, all changing based on where the map is supposed to be located in the world. Players will be able to see when the map they’re headed into is under cloak of weather or night so they can pick their characters accordingly.
  • The talent system previewed in 2019 has been hugely expanded.
  • Enemies are getting a bit of an overhaul compared to the first iteration to make them less boring. Gotta love the half-dead baddies who can crawl toward you while you try to finish them off.
  • Characters are getting new looks to make them more techy but still aesthetically awesome and intricate and without altering their silhouettes too much. McCree, Pharah, Reaper, and Widowmaker are all briefly featured.
  • Finally, the team talks about the progression of the storyline and the character set.

While the team says the game is technically playable now, they also want more time to make it fully finished and polished, especially something that’s “five games in one.” So yes: More time and patience are necessary. In the meantime, you can check out the new dev blog, pics, and video below.

BlizzConline 2021

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The way I interpreted role passives the is that they are like MarioKart realism. Of course you cannot boop Bowser as far as you can boop Dry Bones. That would be silly.


Meh. More of the same, with more of boring PvE stuff which will not be played for long even by people who dislike PvP. They still refuse to make the game more friendly towards casual players who enjoy PvP by making optional mode with larger team size. I have enjoyed playing TF2 for a very long time and it is still more fun to me to play compared to Overwatch simply because it allows for 32-player servers, where game achieves perfect balance of “relaxed gameplay where performance of few teammates doesn’t really matter due to large team size and where nobody will ever care which class you choose to play” and “challenge from unpredictable behavior of enemy players”. I remember the stalemate games on 32-player servers, where half of our team and enemy team were just goofing off on their territory without pushing for the objective and where game rounds lasted for hours on custom servers, which was much more enjoyable than everyone taking the game seriously and trying to finish the round as soon as possible.

Dug From The Earth

Im really looking forward to the rpg style progression systems and the story co-op content. I prefer to play WITH my friends, not against them, although the pvp in overwatch isnt that bad, especially considering a lot of the garbage out there in the form of BRs


Man, BRs are some the most fun I’ve had in video games in decades. The MoP crowd here disdain for PVP is an enigma to me. You guys need to push yourselves out of your comfort zones.

Bruno Brito

We really don’t.

Dug From The Earth

Saying disdain for BRs is hate of all PvP is just wrong.

I just dont like BRs because there is too much luck involved, and when you die, thats it, you gotta find another game. I much prefer short rounds like CS-Go where i can be back in the game again quickly.

Bruno Brito

It’s also weird how people vouch for MMO PvP when in general, MMO PvP is dogshit. I play Paladins and Smite to get my PvP itch. I don’t need World of Pillarhumping or Visual Clutter Wars 2 to enjoy it.

IronSalamander8 .

Among many reasons I uninstalled OW even before the rest of my acti-bliz stuff is how limited it is. For example’ every Widowmaker is the same as every other Widowmaker and the lack of an upgrade system ala the PvZ shooters, or the talent/card system of Paladins, or the various alternate weapons of TF2, makes a simple game even less interesting so while OW2 still sounds like an overhyped, and likely over-priced game that should have been an expansion pack, a talent system is a good if long overdue change.


That’s interesting, because the lack of talents/upgrades is the exact reason why i prefer Overwatch to any other popular shooter out there. You know what you’re getting every single game, and you know it’s always down to skill as opposed to any other element. It’s much easier to balance, and much more streamlined to learn different heroes.

I honestly wish more arena shooters were made with similar philosophy.

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Richard de Leon III

I wouldve played the game more if it had a substantial PVE mode. I still play Mass Effect 3/A multiplayer and COD zombies since they are coop.


It appears to have a substantial pve mode this time around.