Overwatch 2 was announced as a free-to-play game available for those who played the first title in the series. This wasn’t surprising as the first game received massive success upon launch and praise from the gaming community. Just how well does the sequel stand up to its predecessor? Is it just a reskin of the first game? The answer is a bit more complex as Overwatch 2 is both a very familiar game and boasts just enough new features to be a sequel to the first. Below we go over whether Overwatch 2 is worth your time or not.
No Hacks Required
Let’s just touch on the most glaring issue of OW2 to start with. The launch was rough. Blizzard suffered a DDOS attack that completely shut down the servers on day one. This, coupled with the awkward launch time, made the game a bit rough to review. I found myself waiting in hour-long queues to even get to the games menu, something that just generally shouldn’t be happening in 2022.
To be fair, though, it’s rare for games to launch without a few hiccups nowadays, and a DDOS is something completely out of the developer's control. One of the things that I was a bit annoyed by, however, was having to link both my account and phone to the game on PlayStation 5. I’m not a huge fan of having to make a secondary account to play games. While this in itself didn’t really bother me too much, having to put in my phone number to access a game I’m playing over PSN was.
I feel like this was just an extra step to get into the game, and it’s not something that players, in general, are all that excited about. Blizzard has announced they are rolling back this feature, which is honestly for the best. I’m all for regulating competitive games to keep cheating out, but adding extra layers to the process just feels like a waste of time.
The biggest issue with this is the fact that users with pre-paid phones are locked out. This cuts out a sector of gamers who have low-cost plans and younger gamers whose parents aren’t ready to commit to placing them on a full-fledged plan. In short, this needs to be rolled back.
The bigger issue comes with the fact that the new role queue barely wants to work, and it’s not uncommon for matches to fall through. Regardless of what system you are playing on, you should expect to encounter hiccups in the near future when trying to load into the game.
Do you Ever Get That Feeling of Deja Vu?
Once I got past the janky launch issues, the presentation of the menu was rather nice. I did face some issues with importing over my stats from the first game, but I seemed to be the outlier out of my friend group for this issue. Upon logging in, any loot boxes you had saved will automatically open as the game now uses a battle pass system.
You will be immediately familiar with the menu set-up, although new features like role queue are much appreciated. With only one tank being allowed per match now, this helps everyone match with other players that won’t be fighting them over who plays D.VA. In addition, the maps and the characters from the first game all make their way over. In fact, you will most likely find yourself on one of the older maps to start with.
The characters do have slightly updated looks, and some of the characters' play styles have been tweaked. An example of this is Soldier 76, who now has recoil on his gun. Many players have moved around in tier lists, and players will need to familiarize themselves with everyone. Of course, some characters, like Genji, feel better than others. It’s guaranteed that we will be seeing nerfs and buffs in the next few months, something that has traditionally caused a lot of debate in the Overwatch community.
Step Into the Dojo
I will say that this next section is going to vary based on your playstyle and how loose you like your controls to be. There is a long menu that gives you the option to adjust how the game controls. For me, the controls of Overwatch 2 felt pretty awful before I tweaked them. When speaking with my teammate, who also just started the game, we both agreed that it felt like the game was sluggish. In addition, some PC players have the opposite complaint, saying that the game feels floaty when first started.
My movement reminded me of trying to swim upstream in other games, as it almost felt like there was resistance with each move my characters made. After tinkering with some sliders, this was fixed, but I don’t feel like the starting presets are great. In addition, the newly adjusted roster of characters can be a bit hit-and-miss. Soldier 76 now has recoil, but at times the gun feels like it bounces up a little too aggressively.
Some other characters, like Mei, who can no longer freeze enemies, have also divided players. While this is something that players knew about for quite some time, I’m a bit sad I can’t just hop back into the first Overwatch to play some matches with the kits I’m more familiar with.
Overwatch’s loot boxes were my first taste of a gacha system, and honestly, I had fun opening the free ones. In Overwatch 2, this has been replaced with a battle pass system that has a two-month cycle. It’s around $10 to purchase the pass and get the premium items that take up most of the levels. This system is made to make up for the fact that OW2 is free, but I can’t say it feels fun.
Progression for the battle pass is a bit slow, but this can be sped up by paying more money to buy levels. Of course, the higher you go, the more rewards you get. In honesty, this is just standard fare for free-to-play games these days, and it’s not a horrible price. I may pick up the pass, depending on how much my friends plan to play the game, and this will likely be the case for most other players as well.
If you plan to play for a few hours over the weekend or pop on for some matches at the end of the day, then you will likely make your way to the top of the pass before the time period runs out. It is a bit sad to see some of the premium skins locked behind a paywall, but at least this way, you're not relying on RNG to drop a skin for a character that you actually enjoy playing. In many ways, I feel like this was a good move for OW2.
I’ve Got You In My Sight
There’s a lot of back and forth in this review, so I want to cover the questions that you are probably thinking about the most. Yes, Overwatch 2 is still a fun game that I have already indulged in playing for several hours. It is a free-to-play game, so whether we like it or not, the battle pass won’t be going anywhere, and if you want shiny new costumes, then you’re going to have to pay. This isn’t really a negative in my book because the game is completely playable otherwise.
The controls do more or less feel janky when starting out, but you can adjust them to fit your playstyle. Like many players, I am concerned about a few of the character changes, but all of the matches I’ve played have been well-balanced. My biggest issue when in a match comes from uncooperative teammates that don’t understand we need to move the payload. When the servers are up and running, they work pretty great, and I’m a huge fan of the role queue.
This helps to cut down on the issue of fighting over certain characters that players from the first game are all too familiar with. Of course, if you want to play a tank, you will have a longer wait time, whereas queuing for a support role will get you into a game much faster. The game also gives bonus battle pass points to players who are willing to play needed roles.
When it comes to battle pass length, I’m not entirely sure I will be able to hit level 70 every time without paying. For busy college students and working adults, the battle pass may pose some issues, especially if you tend to switch games often. In this case, though, you can simply avoid buying the pass and play the game regularly unless there’s a new character you want.
The other issues, such as server issues, will be fixed within the coming weeks, and the game has years of content planned. If you want a fun hero shooter to play, then Overwatch 2 is just as fun as its predecessor.
So, what’s your take? How would you rate Overwatch 2? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.
Overwatch 2 Review (Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, Switch & PC)
Overwatch 2: Game On
Overwatch 2 isn’t without its problems, but it remains a faithful followup to the first game.