What you need to know
- Blizzard has unveiled much of what fans can expect from Overwatch 2's launch, including the game's new seasonal release model, battle passes, new cosmetics, gameplay details for the upcoming hero Junker Queen, and more.
- Junker Queen's "The Wastelander" cinematic was also shown at the end of the showcase, giving fans a look at her backstory.
- Overwatch 2 is slated to launch in Early Access on Oct. 4, with the game's next beta becoming available on June 28.
During the Overwatch 2 June 16 Showcase, developer Blizzard Entertainment gave fans an extensive look at many of the additions and changes coming to Overwatch when the sequel launches on Oct. 4. The most significant of these is Overwatch 2's move to a seasonal battle pass model, which will see the game get regularly updated with new content and battle passes for players to progress through every nine weeks. Battle passes will have a free and premium tier and will offer an extensive number of cosmetics, including new items like weapon charms and special Mythic skins that have customizable colors and designs. This system, as well as a new in-game store, will replace Overwatch's loot boxes.
Each season will bring at least one new hero, map, or game mode, with Blizzard confirming that a new hero will come out every other season. Season 1, which coincides with Overwatch 2's launch, is particularly stacked with content; three new heroes, six new maps, the Push game mode, and the game's first battle pass will all go live come Oct. 4. When the game launches, Sojourn, Junker Queen, and a new support hero will officially join the Overwatch roster. When Season 2 begins on Dec. 6, a new tank hero, an additional map, and another battle pass with additional cosmetics will be added to Overwatch 2.
In future seasons coming in 2023, additional new heroes, maps, game modes, and cosmetics will be added. Overwatch 2's PvE content will also begin to release in 2023, providing players with several missions to play with their friends. The campaign will give players access to PvE-exclusive hero upgrades to use in battle, and narratively, the story will follow members of the Overwatch peacekeeping force as they take the fight to the omnic terrorist group Null Sector.
Blizzard also gave fans an in-depth look at Junker Queen, one of Overwatch 2's new heroes that will be playable during the Overwatch 2 beta on June 28 (sign-ups are now available). Junker Queen is an aggressive close-range tank hero with a powerful scattergun, devastating melee strikes, a knife throw that can pull enemies towards her, and a Command Shout ability that buffs herself and her allies with a speed boost and damage reduction. Her Ultimate, Rampage, allows Junker Queen to slash at opponents with magnetized metal, debuffing them with an anti-heal effect. All of Junker Queen's melee strikes heal her as well, and also cause a bleeding damage-over-time effect. The Wastelander short was also released during the showcase, which explores Junker Queen's backstory in the Overwatch universe.
Overwatch 2 is slated to launch on consoles and PC on Oct. 4, and with all of the additions and enhancements it's offering, there's a good chance it could become one of the best Xbox shooters available.
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