With a recent trailer at this year’s Xbox Games Showcase, and now a whole dedicated reveal event, it’s been a busy week of Overwatch 2 news. There’s so much new info about the Blizzard shooter sequel that it can be quite hard to take in all at once. That’s why we’ve distilled all the new details we’ve learnt here so you can easily see all you need to know:
1. Overwatch 2’s PvP is launching in early access on October 4th and will be free-to-play.
2. A Beta will also be launching on both PC and consoles on June 28th, with sign-ups starting June 16th.
3. A new hero – Junker Queen – and a new map – Rio de Janeiro – will both be playable in the upcoming Beta.
Overwatch 2 PvP Beta Screenshots
4. Crossplay and cross-progression will be available from launch in Overwatch 2.
5. Loot boxes will no longer exist in Overwatch, instead being replaced by seasonal battle passes. Each of these passes will have both free and premium rewards.
6. Weekly challenges will cycle in and out to provide extra XP boosts and a quicker way to climb the battle passes.
7. A store will also be available alongside the battle pass system.
8. Each of these seasons will last nine weeks and be themed.
9. Every season will bring with it either a new hero, map, or mode.
10. A new hero will join Overwatch 2 every other season, meaning every 18 weeks. That’s a similar cadence to when Overwatch first launched in 2016.
11. Three new heroes will join Overwatch 2 at launch – the damage hero Sojourn, recently revealed Junker Queen tank, and a currently unidentified support character.
12. Game director Aaron Keller told us that clues are in the reveal video. A turquoise spirit fox running towards a Torii gate is seen briefly in the reveal video. Could this be an ability of this mysterious support character?
13. Junker Queen’s origin story was revealed in a punk-infused animation that charted her rise to ruler of the lawless Junkertown.
14. She’s armed with an axe in one hand and a shotgun in the other, setting her up as an aggressive closer-quarters tank with attacks that drain enemies’ health and restore hers.
15. Her quick melee is not just a punch, but an attack that can inflict a wound on an enemy.
16. Her secondary fire is a throwable knife named Gracie that lodges into enemies and can then be recalled, dragging enemies towards her.
17. She also has an ability called Commanding Shout, that boosts the speed and armor of teammates around her.
18. Junker Queen’s ultimate is called Rampage, which creates a whirlwind of magnetised metal, dealing damage to any who stand in her path and preventing them from healing for a short period of time.
19. Other new heroes that will join the roster are a mix of ones we’ve previously seen glimpses of in story content and others we’ve never heard of.
20. Six new maps will also be included at launch. These look set to include locations such as Rome, New York, Toronto, Rio de Janeiro, Monaco and Portugal.
21. The reveal event gave us our first look at the Portugal map, complete with classical architecture and trademark Overwatch sci-fi touches. It’s another map for the new Push mode.
22. More than 30 new skins will be added to the cosmetics pool on October 4th also. Including a brand new “mythic” skin.
23. Mythic skins are a new cosmetic that are a level higher than legendary. They are individually customisable and we are shown a cyberpunk-looking Genji skin during the reveal event.
Overwatch 2 – Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase 2022
24. New cosmetic items such as weapon charms and player banners will also be available.
25. Previously existing maps have been tweaked to accommodate the game’s shift to 5v5 from 6v6. These tweaks include changes to pieces of cover or moving a door from where it used to be.
26. All maps have also gone through a makeover with new lighting and shadows resulting in a global glow-up, and the option to now play some maps at both day and night time.
27. Ambient sound has been recorded from real world locations to give their respective Overwatch 2 map’s an extra layer of authenticity.
28. Overwatch 2’s Competitive Mode is being revamped in Competitive 2.0, which includes reworked scoreboards and the ability to see a more detailed breakdown of your performance after each match.
29. Competitive skill ratings will no longer be presented as hard numbers, but instead players will be placed in smaller tiers within broader ranks depending on their performance level.
30. Overwatch 2 will support home theatre and Dolby Atmos setups, as well as take advantage of 3D audio features on console.
31. New voice lines and conversations have been recorded between all of the heroes. In total, 25,000 voice lines have been written for Overwatch 2.
32. Season 2 will begin on December 6 and includes a new tank hero, new map, 30+ skins, a new mythic skin and battle pass.
33. Throughout 2023, new seasons will arrive alongside new heroes, maps and modes, over 100 skins and the arrival of Overwatch 2’s PvE.
34. PvE maps will arrive as seasonal content and move the story of Overwatch forward.
35. The story centres around the return of Null Sector and members of the Original Overwatch team requiring help from the younger generation.
And that’s everything new that we’ve learned about Overwatch 2 this week. Be sure to stick with IGN for regular updates on the sequel ahead of its launch on October 4th 2022.
Simon Cardy absolutely cannot wait to get lost in this game again. Follow him on Twitter at @CardySimon.