Overwatch 2 Beta announcement still feels like it’s too late

Although a playable version of Overwatch 2 is finally on the horizon, Blizzard’s gradual rollout of the sequel feels like a little too young after years of relative silence.

It’s been 860 days since Overwatch 2 took center stage at BlizzCon 2019 for its unveiling.

Throughout this stretch, the original game has endured Draft Unjustified Content While ardent fans and professional players alike were left to speculate What is the purpose of the full complement.

New maps, modes, and heroes were part of the initial live service’s vision for the ongoing multiplayer game. So what exactly does the latest Overwatch 2 . roadmap Bringing to the table now that PvP has officially split from PvE?

Even with a brief explanation from game director Aaron Keeler, who admitted that the Overwatch team had “left [fans] down, “The new Beta announcements did little to make up for the abuse of an enthusiastic community.

Blizzard

Overwatch 2’s first beta comes as a more standard update than our first taste of a complete sequel.

The content in Overwatch 2 Beta is very poor at launch

Upon launching the first closed beta period, select players will have access to a small portion of the new content. These additions include Sojourn (the long-awaited damage hero), fixes to four existing characters, four new maps, and a Push game mode first revealed in 2019.

On the surface, it’s touted as Overwatch’s most important update since launch, according to Keller. However, when placed under a microscope, this suspension does not hold much weight.

It’s been 723 days since the last hero, Aiko, was introduced. And even more so in the 1,061 days since Havana arrived as the last non-Deathmatch map in Overwatch.

Overwatch Havana
Blizzard

It’s been over a thousand days since Overwatch players got a new map for the standard game modes.

This represents the largest content gap in Overwatch history by a large margin. Compared to the previous cadence of new updates to the core game across 2016-2020, we could have seen at least four new heroes and six new maps since Overwatch 2 was revealed.

Put simply: Had Blizzard not given up on the original title to focus on the sequel, Overwatch fans would currently have a lot more content than the upcoming beta would provide.

This begs the question, is Overwatch 2 just an update or a proper sequel? With more betas expected “later in the year”, we have no indication how much additional content to expect.

Obviously, numbers aren’t everything. Getting rid of 20 new heroes for that would be far from ideal. But with PvE content now discontinued for a separate release, there’s nothing in the PvP side that really feels like it deserves to be labeled as a sequel.

From the switch to 5v5, to the “ping system” we haven’t yet seen in action, it all comes as changes that would have been gradually rolled out to the original game.

An extremely excited community has been left in the dark for years for what now comes as a minor update. It is not sitting properly at this point in time. Maybe that will change when we see more in the future, but again, there’s nothing to expect or when we’ll see the remaining content.

As a side note, a large portion of the Overwatch player base is still in the dust even with today’s Beta announcement. Since the upcoming PvP tests are PC-exclusive, those on console will continue forward without any new content, likely until 2023.

Is everything else falling behind?

Since Overwatch 2 was revealed in 2019, we’ve slowly received many details of hero reworks and teasers about how the fan-favorite characters will change. While it sometimes seemed as if Blizzard wasn’t sure which direction to go, it looks like we finally have four certain changes locked in.

strongholdAnd the sombraAnd Orisa and Doomfist are the first heroes to be reformed for the sequel. While we already know what to expect from the first two in terms of new capabilities and functionality, the latter two remain somewhat of a mystery.

Overwatch 2 fortress
Blizzard

Bastion now has a hat in Overwatch 2. It’s clearly one of the most exciting developments in Part Two.

Given a group of previous comments on the likes of domfestAnd the OrissaAnd the MercyAnd the BrigitteAnd, and much more, overall balance still feels like it’s up in the air for Overwatch 2. If only four of the game’s 32 champions are ready to launch by April, that doesn’t quite bode well for the rest of the lineup as we move into 2022.

How long will it take before looking at the remaining 28? Is everyone staying true to their Overwatch 1 builds in the meantime? Are the rest in line for comprehensive reform? Where does this leave any additional heroes joining the roster? There are still a lot of unanswered questions after the beta announcement.

If that’s where we’re at today in terms of hero balance alone, it’s hard to feel confident about the rest of the pack. With an exclusive focus on PvP, it seems entirely plausible that PvE could come out of the 2022 window.

Overwatch 2 winston big robot fight
Blizzard

Developing an AAA game isn’t an easy task, but fans can still wait years to try out the full Overwatch 2 bundle.

It’s great that the wheels seem to be moving and that the full launch of Overwatch 2 is getting a lot closer. But today’s beta announcement and content roadmap feel very insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

Players have been waiting patiently for years already as the base game slowly dies and even the most abstract event in the game has been drastically hindered. After all this time, what would be considered a regular content drop does not live up to expectations nor inspire confidence for a full sequel.

Blizzard has once again promised to “connect more frequently” going forward, but we’ve heard that too few times before to instill any faith. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see how the first beta period for select players arrives in April.

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