Blizzard has just announced Overwatch 2, the sequel to its popular team shooter Overwatch, onstage at Blizzcon 2019.
The original Overwatch was released over three years ago, and while Blizzard has continued to expand the game with new heroes, maps, and game modes, it hasn’t gotten a major update like this in the lifetime of the game.
By adding an actual story mode, the sequel will look to expand on the lore that Blizzard has slowly been building for the Overwatch universe over the past few years with in-game content and elaborate cinematic shorts.
The Overwatch 2 announcement movie picks up after the variety of short films that Blizzard has released so far, seeing the heroes of Overwatch facing off against Null Sector — an invading robot force. Unlike the original game, which was primarily a PvP multiplayer experience, the sequel appears to be emphasizing cooperative PvE content that will see players face off against a multitude of computer enemies in both story levels and more replayable “hero missions.” Players will also be able to level up their heroes and customize their abilities, in another first for the franchise.
There are still PvP modes and maps, too, with Blizzard promising a new core “Push” mode as well as new maps and heroes (who’ll be added alongside the existing 31 heroes that are already returning). The game will also still heavily feature six-versus-six team combat, similar to the previous game.
Also new is a brand-new visual style, with all the characters and existing maps getting fresh designs for the sequel. Two of those new heroes are Echo, a robot featured in Overwatch’s Blizzcon short last year, and Sojourn, which Blizzard exec Jeff Kaplan teased but wouldn’t provide any more details on.
Blizzard is taking an unconventional approach to the sequel, promising “a shared multiplayer environment,” where current Overwatch players will be able to play against Overwatch 2 players in PvP multiplayer and will have access to all the new Overwatch 2 heroes and maps. The company also promised that it plans to support all of players’ existing unlocked cosmetics from the first game.
There’s no word yet as to when players should expect Overwatch 2 to be released. Blizzard has only announced that the sequel is “in development” and that more details will be coming soon.