You better sit down before I tell you this: In Overwatch 2, Bastion no longer stays still while in turret. Yes, a character’s infamous mounted chaingun can now move around as a turret. Bastion is completely transformed – and is not alone.
I’m playing the Overwatch 2 closed alpha PvP test ahead of the April 26 closed beta, which will invite members of the public. This allows me to try out a small slice of PvP and play as a new Sojourn character – who is awesome and I’ll get to that in a bit – as well as some major rework for existing heroes Bastion, Doomfist, Orisa, and Sombra. There are new maps and modes, a new ping feature, five-on-five team sizes, a graphical overhaul, and a new UI, and they all combine to make Overwatch 2 feel refreshingly, even remarkably. news.
Bastion’s new abilities.
First Bastion. The robot has been redesigned with the philosophy of becoming more of a skirmisher that moves and fights on the go, rather than one that finds sneaky spots to mow down teams – and that’s a philosophy you can feel through a large part of the character reworks and Overwatch 2. The mood seems to be about keeping the momentum going and getting things done.
The bastion can still turret, but the turret moves and you can only turret for a short time. It looks a lot like the old Ultimate tank Bastion had, but with an infinite ammo chaingun and not a cannon. And as you spend more time on your feet, Bastion’s arm gun has been buffed (it’s more accurate) to reflect that, meaning you’re more doable as a damage dealer between of them. To help, a throwable bouncing bomb replaces Bastion’s old repair/heal.
Bastion’s new Ultimate, meanwhile, locks you in place like a large stationary artillery cannon, which fires up to three shells in a circular area.
Blizzard explains the Bastion redesigns.
Orisa also feels very different now and has acquired a lot of offensive moves to make her much more viable on her own rather than as a buffer and shield. In fact, she has no shield at all now, and her ultimate damage buff is gone.
Orisa’s new abilities.
Instead, she has a fancy new spear, which she uses in a number of ways. The first is thrown: she throws it like a javelin to damage and knock enemies back, and it works especially well if you smash them against walls. The second spins the spear, which destroys incoming projectiles, knocks enemies back and gives a small boost. The third use is part of her new Ultimate: she holds the spear aloft and charges a targeted area attack on the ground that appears to trap and hold any enemies caught in it.
Orisa’s weapon has also changed. It’s still pretty much the same – capable of a steady stream of fire – but it works differently. It now has infinite ammo and is regulated by an overheating mechanic. Use it too much and it will get stuck and have to cool down, so frequent bursts are a better way to go.
Orisa still has her Fortify move, which empowers her and now helps cool this weapon down, but it no longer roots her in place – again, it’s part of the overall vibe of the pro move.
Doomfist’s new abilities.
This brings us to Doomfist which, at first glance, doesn’t look all that different at all. He still seems to have most of the same moves. But the big difference is that he’s now a tank, not a glass cannon, so his health has gone from 250 to 450. He also gains temporary health when he deals damage, and he has a new ability to blocking where he sweeps his big chunky mecha. -arms on his body like a vampire carrying a clock, and blocks frontal damage.
Gaining that block means losing an existing ability to make room for him, and the lost ability is the uppercut that allowed him to fly away easily, so in a sense he’s now pinned down. His charged punch and ground leap still give him some airtime, but not nearly as much. He spends a lot more time in the scrum, on the ground now.
Sombra is the latest of the redesigns, and while her abilities are still the same, there’s a lot behind them that has changed. In general, she acquired a lot of “finishing ability” as Blizzard calls it. His hack now disables characters’ abilities for less time, but improves the amount of damage Sombra can deal to them while revealing them to hidden characters.
Consider that when used with her Ultimate, which hacks all enemies in an area and reduces all of their health by 40% (which is a lot for higher health characters, obviously), and she now has a lot more biting. This Ultimate no longer removes all shields from an area, by the way.
Blizzard explains Sombra’s rework.
Then to the new character Sojourn, who is notably the first black female character in the series. She has a similar kind of feel to Soldier 76, in that she’s a run-and-gun skirmisher with good handling and damage output, but it’s achieved in a slightly different way. The key to it all is his weapon, which includes a railgun.
Abilities of Sojourn.
The railgun must be charged to be used. The primary way to fire is an automatic machine gun (like Soldier 76’s but based on projectiles, not hitscan – meaning bullets must travel before hitting a target). Each time Sojourn fires at a target – and it can be a shield – she gains charge. She can then release this charge to produce a beam of light attack. The rail instantly hits enemies no matter how far away they are, and when you’re in Ultimate mode, it can pass through an enemy to potentially hit another. Ultimate mode also automatically charges the railgun for a short time.
Sojourn’s movement speed is slightly improved and it features a fast ground-gliding move that you can jump (cancel) to propel yourself high into the air. In practice, this means you can slide towards and then over barriers – or onto platforms – in one quick motion, and gives him plenty of options while moving.
Her other ability is a glowing blob she casts that slows nearby enemies and drains their health.
The new character selection screen. Note the team limit of five.
Playing as Sojourn therefore involves patiently working the Rail Charge to take down annoying aerial targets or finish off softened – and potentially booby-trapped – ground targets in one shot. She has no heals, but her maneuverability allows her to quickly gain heals, and when the ultimate time comes, she can help unlock choke points and clustered blobs on the enemy team. I had a lot of fun with her. Its damage isn’t particularly flashy but it’s still high.
These are the new or reworked characters. I’ll cover the new maps and new mode in a moment, but first I wanted to mention ping. This allows you to target certain areas of the map in combination with a radial menu of commonly used comments – things like “I’ll protect here” or “Need help here” or similar. Using it should contribute to the clarity and speed with which you can convey important messages and information to your team in the heat of the moment.
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The new game mode is Push and you can feel that philosophy of making things happen again. It’s a competitive escort mode, essentially, where both teams fight to escort a big robot around a map. What really speeds it up is the robot’s ability to run – not walk – back to the last position the previous team came to, meaning domination can quickly play ping pong .
One of the push cards was Colosseo, inspired by the Colosseum in Rome, although you cannot enter it – it is closed. You’re playing right outside and there’s an incredible view of Overwatch’s version of Rome to watch. The other map is New Queen Street in Toronto, which is all wintry ice blue against maple red, with shimmering glass architecture surrounding brick buildings, and beyond, the towering cityscape of Overwatch Toronto. These are two very nice cards.
The beautiful new map of Toronoto, New Queen Street.
Overwatch 2 is beautiful. It’s a nice subtle genre because it still unmistakably resembles Overwatch, but it’s when you go back to the old game – or step right out of the old game – that you notice the difference. Characters have more detail on them, especially their faces, and the UI has been tidied up. It feels roomier and more sophisticated, if not entirely new.
Another major change, which I left for last, is that Overwatch 2 is reducing party size from six to five. Obviously this has fundamental implications for how competitive matches will feel in-game. The idea behind this is to de-clutter the action a bit and make it more readable, which I suspect will allow people to do something before they are shot. And it feels more spacious now, especially on smaller, more claustrophobic maps. It also raises some interesting questions about group compositions. Two healers, two damage, two tanks will no longer be the norm – I wonder what will.
I couldn’t get a clear idea of how 5v5 is changing PvP because the closed alpha ended abruptly before it was originally scheduled, and in the day I spent playing , I couldn’t find another human – let alone two groups of them – to play against. I had to resort to bots, which was fine for testing out character tweaks, but less so for gauging the ebb and flow of battle. Much more will become clear when the closed beta begins on April 26.
Overwatch 1 on the left, Overwatch 2 on the right.
All in all, it’s a slim representation. There are some exciting changes and a fun new character and mode to play, but there’s no escaping it, it’s still Overwatch as we know it. Maybe we wouldn’t have it otherwise, it just makes the value proposition of a sequel harder to gauge when it is. Maybe the part that will really feel like something new is the PvE part of the game, but talking about “decoupling” from PvP“so we can bring PvP to you sooner” raises questions about it, and we haven’t seen anything PvE since I played with it at BlizzCon 2019.
We’re hoping for concrete answers this year, but there’s a bigger picture to consider around Overwatch 2’s blurry progression, and that’s what’s happening at Activision Blizzard in general. It’s a company shaken by alarming allegations of a ‘frat boy’ work culture and management’s alleged cover-ups around himand it’s a business locked in litigation because of that. There is also Microsoft about to acquirewhich suggests there’s been considerable upheaval and turbulence internally around Overwatch 2 – not that it’s the biggest thing in that equation by far.
What all of this means for the game’s release, we don’t know yet because it doesn’t. This year, next year? We will have to wait and see.
Article source https://www.eurogamer.net/overwatch-2s-sojourn-is-great-and-its-hero-reworks-are-transformational