Overwatch 2 review: Overhyped and underwhelming?

by Ben Kirby
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Overwatch 2 has been out for a few weeks now, and I’ve played most days to see how it’s going.

A rough launch, with some questionable marketplace cosmetic prices, and lots of playability. Is Overwatch 2 a big new entry to the series or just a fresh lick of paint with some moderate changes?

Sadly, this isn’t a new game or enough to qualify for the “Overwatch 2” title. This is Overwatch with some changes.

That doesn’t mean it’s bad, though. Because Overwatch is a solid online shooter. Nothing has changed there.

Overwatch 2 - Gallery

Launch woes

Ok, Activision Blizzard is known for some of the biggest online gaming experiences of all time. World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, StarCraft, etc. Well-equipped for online game launches, then, yes?


I can’t pretend to understand what’s going on internally. But the first few days of Overwatch 2 were queues, waiting 20+ minutes to just log in to the game, let alone join a match.

Perhaps this was done on purpose to generate buzz about a free-to-play game in high demand. Probably not, but I can’t see how a company as experienced as these guys with online games got it quite so wrong.

Sure, they’re offering some cosmetics by way of an apology, and some double XP weekends as a means to make up for the time we lost. But what a disappointment on day one.

Overwatch 2 is stable and consistent now, which is great. But this was a bit of a mess from people you would expect should know better.

Overwatch 1.5

Launch issues aside, Overwatch 2 is solid.

Moving to 5v5 has been a bit of a shake-up, and honestly, it feels like you’re re-learning how to play. The pace has increased and with only one tank in a match, the pressure is on to act even more as a unit.

I was always a tank player in Overwatch, but the pressure to be the only tank, and learning to adjust to the pace, has seen me move away from the role. This is significant because I’ve put hours into various tanks over the years.

Change isn’t a bad thing, though and I’ve been learning to be more effective at support and damage. In this sense, it’s like playing a different game.

Core gameplay changes have shaken things up in Overwatch 2. However, the battle pass implementation feels nasty. The pass itself is the standard price (approx £9). But earning the XP relies solely on daily, weekly and seasonal quests.

Prices for cosmetics are ridiculous, and knowing that you either buy them or see what the battle pass has to offer, really irks me.

Fortnite does a much better job at making you feel like you’re working on your XP all the time, and the prices for things seem more sensible. Overwatch 2 isn’t hitting the sweet spot yet and it feels abrasive.

I think the best that I’ve seen it put is: “a battle pass should be extra content, not all of the content”.

Overwatch 2 - Battle Pass

New modes

The game is the same although the cosmetics have changed. But…..there have been some additions to maps and modes.

The only mode that really stands out is the “Push” mode. A nice modern take on a tug-of-war. Each team fighting to gain ground over the other team’s half of the map. It works really well, the pressure building up as time marches on, really helps up the ante, and seeing the tide of battle turn over and over, is engaging and fun.

Overwatch 2 has some new maps and a refreshed art style. So everyone and everything has had a bit of a makeover. It looks great, it runs great and I enjoy it. But there’s still nothing here that points to being the second game in a series. It’s the same game with a lick of paint and some tweaks.

The cooperative PvE modes are due to come, and honestly, I just don’t care. If they’re anything like the original limited-time events, I can’t see Overwatch 2 being anything more substantial.

That was supposed to be what made Overwatch 2 the next game. Keeping Overwatch as it was, and PvE content being built as a second game. Things changed, and it feels like this has all been done in the name of income.

Overwatch 2 - Store

Overall thoughts on Overwatch 2

Overwatch 2 is a good, fun game. Hitting the highs I used to feel in Overwatch. A change of pace, a lick of paint. I’m here for it.

The XP progression is crap. The store is overpriced, and the changes to the game do not qualify it as being the next game in a series.

If you enjoyed Overwatch, you’ll likely have a good time. Although you will find it easier using an OW2 boosting service to help you climb through the ranks as it can be difficult to do it as a new player.

It’s a weird one. From a gameplay perspective, Overwatch 2 is just Overwatch, and that’s great. So I have to score it based on that 8/10

If we take into account the lack of new content and the horrible implementation of a store and battle pass, it should lose some points. Perhaps 6/10

Overwatch 2 - Stats

MaddOx_FS’s thoughts

Now the main review is out of the way, I thought I’d throw my own two cents into the ring as well. Overwatch 2 has been incredibly tedious. I have enjoyed playing but forcing people to win 50 games just to play competitive is ridiculous, especially when you’re stuck with players in random lobbies who don’t know how to play objectives. As mentioned as well, the challenges you get to level up through the battle pass are stupid too. Like one of the first daily challenges I had was playing competitive games. How am I meant to do that? Who has time to play 50 games in a single day, and win them all?

It also has cut back on stats from the first game. You used to be able to see what damage, healing, and damage mitigation players had, plus the time spent pushing payloads or capturing zones which are the main roles of the Tanks. However, the latter has been removed, and so now it feels more like Tanks are just playing as damage characters. In my own opinion, Overwatch 2 has tried to take the game to the next level and failed miserably. As I say, I’m enjoying playing it now and again, but in reality, alternatives like Paladins, whilst less stable, are a much better game all around.

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