After over two years of waiting, the news Overwatch fans have all been waiting for is finally here.
After over two years of teasing, setbacks, and lack of real updates from the development team, Activision Blizzard has announced that the Overwatch 2 Beta will be coming in late April.
According to the website, the PvP Beta will be accessed and will include a bunch of new features. The main one being the long anticipated new hero Sojourn, who would be the first Black female hero in the game's nearly six-year existence. There will also be four new maps which includes Circuit Royal, Midtown, New Queen Street, and Colosseo. The first two are an Escort and Hybrid map, respectively while the last two are part of the new Push mode.
As expected, instead of it being 6v6, it will be 5v5, consisting of one tank, two DPS, and two supports. As was said earlier, this new system would have required many hero reworks that were previewed earlier last year, with Orisa, Doomfist, Bastion, and Sombra being redone in order to fit the new play mode. Also there will be a new Ping system, which should make gameplay a helluva lot easier to manage.
But if you want to go for the beta, you may have a bit of trouble there. As of publishing, the site has been crashing with potentially thousands of eager fans waiting to see some new Overwatch content.
Game Director Aaron Keller has also been featured in the newest Developer Update video, first off apologizing to fans for not being transparent in their progress and not providing content to them other than Deathmatch and Experimental Patches in over two years.
"We recognize we haven't communicated well," Keller admits. "Haven't kept you up to date. And honestly, we've let you down when it comes to delivering Overwatch content. We hear you, and we're committed to more continual updates on all things Overwatch 2."
Recognizing that with the Overwatch League season starting in less than two months, if there is no access to the game before then, the disconnect between the potential audience and the esport would be too much to overcome. Keller expressed that as a result, they have "decoupled" the PvP from the PvE aspect of the game in order to give players the former mode sooner. This will allow players access to most of the games new modes, maps, and more importantly, heroes.
"When you put it all together, this represents the most new content we have brought to our game since launch," he says.
Keller explains that the reason why there was little content provided in Overwatch was that the team was so focused on developing Overwatch 2, that they "had forgotten their core values" by updating the game and delivering regular content. The goal now, he says, is to provide much more content for this game than has ever been released, and making it "the most vibrant and dynamic PvP experience anywhere."
So How Can I Play?
PvP testing will begin this week in a closed alpha, which will contain many of the new features as well as the hero Sojourn. The only ones with access will be Blizzard employees and Overwatch League pro players in order to prepare for the new season on May 5th.
The closed beta for the game as mentioned above will begin in late April.
Additional public beta testing will be available in the year, which will include the same new features and even new heroes. This all but confirms that the game itself will probably not be officially released until 2023, something that was gathered from earlier information.
"This is going to be an exciting year for Overwatch," Keller concludes, "And we're looking forward to taking this journey together. Thank you for your dedication, your passion, and your patience."