Overwatch 2 is still in its beta, but there are already a lot of red flags indicating that Overwatch 2 isn’t long for this world.
Overwatch 2 doesn’t feel like a sequel. Some would even say that the game only feels like a sizable patch or a fan-made mod. At worst, some would even argue that the supposed sequel is actually a demake.
Activision Blizzard erringly pats themselves on the back too early, boasting that their 2 million strong viewership on the first day of Overwatch 2’s Closed Beta Testing on Twitch was a good thing. They boasted that the game immediately exceeded previous viewership records for any other Blizzard game ever. However, that viewership number quickly floundered from 2 million to just a couple of thousand just a few days after. Why? Well, fans were just excited to get their hands on Closed Beta Keys to access the game, which were given away to viewers of the live streams. And then, after the folks got their keys, their interest dissipated. No one actually wanted to watch Overwatch 2 live streams – they were only after the access codes.
Overwatch 2 Beta Test Amplifies Feelings Of “This Doesn’t Feel Like a Sequel”
And so, fans got their hands on Overwatch 2 through the closed beta test environment. People finally got to play the sequel to 2017’s hottest esports game ever! But now that people got their hands on it, the hype has finally died down.
The hype, all by itself, hasn’t been that strong in the first place. Fans have been bemoaning the fact that Activision Blizzard’s initial teases and previews didn’t really explain how the game is different from its original. And now, with the game finally out playable in the open, fans find out that they had great reason to fear.
The game itself plays and feels like Overwatch 2. In some ways, that’s a good thing. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel, or fix something that isn’t broken. The familiarity will ease in longtime fans to the new title, making the game feel comfortable to play and appealing to old players.
However, there lies in the problem. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel, but when the spokes have gone out, you’ll have to replace them. No need to fix something that isn’t broken, but in fans’ perspective, there’s a lot to fix in Overwatch.
Same Old Crew, Same Old Teams
First of all – the lack of new characters. Granted, Overwatch 2 introduces Sojourn, a former Overwatch Captain whose gameplay consists of mid-range kits and increased mobility and artillery. However, for a sequel game, there has to be more. It becomes more painful when you realize that Sojourn somehow doesn’t feel new – as if she’s like a character straight out of the original Overwatch. The first new character in any sequel game should be able to embody what the sequel is all about. If that character is Sojourn, then she’s an apt representation of what Overwatch 2 is actually like. It’s the same old game, with the same old characters.
There will be new characters to arrive soon, we’re sure. However, choosing Sojourn to lead the charge feels like a bad decision. Sojourn doesn’t significantly change the gameplay experience nor offer a lot of new things in terms of gameplay variety. She’s just… another Overwatch character.
Then, you have the returning characters. Each of Overwatch 2’s agents has been reworked with the premise that they have to be adjusted for balancing issues as the game transitions from 6v6 to 5v5. However, sticking with the old tarnishes Overwatch 2 even further, as many people already feel that the game feels stale. Keeping to the old only amplifies this feeling of sameness. Fans are hungry for something fresh, yet Activision Blizzard chose to serve something cold.
Maybe, the Best Is Yet To Come
The problem with Overwatch 2 is in the perception players have on the game. The title itself is a huge problem. Slapping 2 to Overwatch made people think of a traditional sequel – games with a lot of brand-new things to enjoy. An entire new world if not completely revamped gameplay. New weapons. New characters. New everything.
Instead, the Beta has shown people that this game is more of a 2.0 version of Overwatch rather than a complete sequel. In Blizzard’s defense, they have been communicating this clearly to their audience through articles and in interviews. However, not everyone reads these articles and watches these interviews. Most people look at the title and build their expectations based on that.
Well, the game is still just in its beta phase, so there’s still room for improvement and a chance at redemption. After all, the beta is only showing off only half of the intended game. Indeed, Overwatch 2 will have both PvP and PvE game modes. We’ve only seen the PvP so far in the Closed Beta Testing Phase, and maybe, the best is yet to come for Overwatch 2. Maybe the “Story Experience” it will offer at launch will be reason enough for people to take on the game. Maybe it will be that great that it’s going to be the game’s main appeal. However, lacking that in the Beta Test, we won’t be able to tell for now. We can only hope that the best is yet to come and that Overwatch 2 isn’t really dead in the water yet.
We can only hope.