Game sequel disappoints avid fans


Illustration by Anthony Nguyen

Fans are questioning if “Overwatch 2” is a fitting addition to the series.

 “The world could always use more heroes,” Tracer said in the first game in Blizzard Entertainment’s “Overwatch” series, released back on May 24, 2016. The well-known video game now has a sequel—“Overwatch 2”— and it has had a number of substantial and positive reviews. Following the end of the testing beta period that ended in July, “Overwatch 2” was officially released October 4, 2022. The game was free to play, unlike the original, which was sold at the price of $60. In the time between both releases, “Overwatch” had grown in the gaming community with online and in-person tournaments as well as countless gameplays streamed online for audiences. Many historical moments for the game are heavily remembered by all in the community.

The game is classified as a first-person shooter, where the player looks through the eyes of the character being played and whose point of view is seen in the game. Featuring 35 playable characters to choose from in the roster and much more to come in the near future, accompanying the game are different modes to choose from including all multiplayer online experiences.

The game immerses the player in a fast-paced environment, dueling others on a selected map of locations both real (Nepal) and fictional (an ancient city named Ilios from Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey”). Each team is composed of five players, which can change depending on the game mode. The game also features custom modes, allowing players to get creative and make their own modes to play as well.

“Overwatch 2” presents a few good attributes for players compared to the original: namely, providing a connection with a massive player base with the ability to be put into many games in little to no time. The goal of this “matchmaking” system is to match players with others who have similar skill levels so that the game becomes more fair and fun, since it allows new players to learn how to play the game. 

Although good in theory, “their matchmaking system isn’t the best,” said Jordan Jagt (12). 

When the matchmaking system does work well, the gameplay keeps the player cautious and ready to go, keeping the experience engaging for both sides with dire and surprising moments that could happen at any time. Lastly, each character has their own uniqueness and playstyle that a player can mess around with, making it easy to discover new creative uses for each character’s ability.

However, there are negative attributes to this game, and its audience has been vocal about them. The balancing updates to make the game fair have been called inconsistent when it comes to fixing actual problems that players give feedback on. Some characters in the game are not able to keep up with current changes as well, being outdated against most others, making them unplayable or unsatisfying to play. Lastly, because of the game being free, to make profit from the game, Blizzard actually made the price higher than before with a slow challenge system to earn coins to buy in-game items such as skins and Battle Passes. This can easily add up, with some devoted players already spending nearly $100 each since the game’s release.

“They need to bring back the loot boxes, the market system is bad.” said Mark Agudo (12), referring to the increase in prices in the in-game purchasing options.

Still, the community of the game has grown large, consisting of two sides: First, new players, people who have never experienced the original overwatch and have tried out to play “Overwatch 2”. Then you have the veterans—those who have played before, having most of their progress transferred to the new game and reacting to the new changes. Both sides gave positive and negative reviews on the overall game when it was launched, though most reactions have been negative in the time since, with complaints of new changes to the system of the game and gameplay issues affecting players’ experiences. These complaints could lead to a decrease in players as they give up on “Overwatch 2” and leave, but the updates and changes could also lead to growth for the game in other events.

When I first played the game myself, it was a new experience from previous games, featuring a bunch of characters with different and amazing designs with astounding lore they have written for the Overwatch universe. There were moments where I was enraged at certain characteristics of the game like the unbalanced characters or connection issues within the servers. Blizzard could definitely improve on those aspects and more. However, the game should be given some slack as Blizzard will still be releasing future updates and content. 

Overall, the negative feedback “Overwatch 2” has received is fair. There are plenty of issues that are currently in the game, but it should still be given a chance to improve. The game has been out for less than two months, and not everything Blizzard planned to release is out. New games with updates will have bugs that are present at the beginning of the launch. Fans of “Overwatch 2” should be patient and give the developers time to fix issues with the game if they want a better gaming experience.