On day one of Blizzcon 2019, rumors shared across the internet were confirmed: Overwatch 2 is coming. And while some studios will announce their new installments with lone cinematic previews, Blizzard Entertainment released a second trailer focused on gameplay.
It’s exciting not only to see the story of Overwatch finally take center stage, but also so many new mechanics, missions, heroes and locations. Echo was downright mesmerizing in the cinematic, I can only hope she’s as fun to play! But here’s that bit I didn’t even know and is just huge: All skins, cosmetics, and other progress will carry over.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OVERWATCH 1 AND 2
Shout-out to Archgunner for making this. Hopefully this answers your stuff! pic.twitter.com/YOCbOoSMKN
— HITSCAN – Ryan & Mysca (@HitscanYT) November 2, 2019
The cosmetics being imported from Overwatch to the sequel is great because no one wants to reacquire all those hard-earned (mostly gambled-for) skins! I’ve somehow landed 4 of McCree’s special event skins and I’m glad I still get access to them in the next stage of Overwatch as a game. Progress being carried over could still be tricky. New players will have a lot of work to do if they complete the early phases of PvP and break into the free for all that is your average Overwatch match. Still, I’d assume the Players vs AI matches will return and that’s certainly been my go-to for improving my skill with the game (though granted that heavily depends on free time!) And that’s the kicker, I’m worried Blizzard could take a page from the microtransaction playbook and offer “Time Savers” to purchase, see Ghost Recon: Breakpoint.
Personally I’d withheld from watching these trailers until I was asked to discuss. It was really cool to see all of this, hell the story missions are the main thing I liked about the original Overwatch! I hardly play the game these days, it’s just not my taste, but I played the Blackwatch mission Retribution upwards of 10 times over despite how short and block-by-block the whole event was. I nearly cried when Mercy descended to heal Mei. The light washing across Winston’s face when Genji appeared mirrored my own.
Overwatch itself is a beautiful concept. An organization comprised of international heroes sworn to protect the world. And this isn’t just some conglomerate like a government military force, these heroes are all fully-realized characters, their individuality is highlighted from every angle. There is a great deal of passion in Overwatch, with lovingly rendered designs and impressive talents voicing them. Every voice matters. Think globally.
Essentially, Overwatch embodies some very profound ideals, ones Blizzard itself calls their own. My problem with that, however, is that Blizzard Entertainment and Activision are not heroes. I’m talking about the people calling the shots, not the hardworking creative teams. I’m talking about the people who jumped to ban professional Hearthstone player blitzchung for protest symbols and statements — this to say nothing of the live stream casters in Taipei interviewing him, who were banned as well despite literally ducking out of frame to avoid association.
And you’ve probably heard this all before, but it’s all still very relevant, especially given the player and casters are still banned and Blizzard’s chief executive J. Allen Brack opened Blizzcon with a widely-criticized non-apology. The Beat‘s Matt O’Keefe has written an editorial all about the situation.
Blizzard is not our friend. It is a company, a corporation, whose goal is to make money. “We aspire to bring the world together in epic entertainment,” Brack stated on stage. I for one find that pretty hilarious when you consider the lengths the company has silenced a peaceful protester to placate an authoritarian government (because through censorship said regime controls a massive market.) I won’t even talk about how World of Warcraft is a disgusting show of live service monetization, not today.
So while Overwatch 2 promises long-awaited story focus with characters old and new, plus new mechanics, let’s not forget who we’re dealing with here. One could argue the “separate art from the artist” but consumers are still struggling with that because money talks. If you don’t want to support a publisher, you don’t buy their games, but then some of us want to support the people making the game itself! It’s an internal conflict people will have to tackle leading up to Overwatch 2’s launch. Let’s just bear in mind that there’s a great deal of bankable potential with Overwatch as a whole and Activision-Blizzard knows it.