(Pocket-lint) - It's certainly been a long time coming, but we're finally getting closer to the point where Overwatch 2 is going to release - the game is in testing and we're getting to see and try more and more gameplay by the week.
After the success of the first Overwatch, Blizzard has its work cut out to create another hit, but things are looking pretty positive. Here are all the details you need to know.
Overwatch 2 release date and beta
We don't know when Overwatch 2 will be fully releasing - Blizzard is playing its cards close to its chest on that front, even though it's been refreshingly open about the game's long development and the changes it'll bring to the table.
However, there is an ongoing PC-only public beta test going on right now, which started on 26 April 2022. It's invite-only and you can sign up to see if you get into the game here. The beta runs until 17 May, so you'll have about three weeks to play if you got in at the first attempt.
Whether this means we can expect the game in 2022 is anyone's guess, but it certainly suggests that Overwatch 2 shouldn't be too far away - sometime in 2023 should be the latest point when it might appear.
Overwatch 2 gameplay details and heroes
There are some sizeable changes coming to Overwatch 2 right from the off, that we know about - the biggest one being that it's changing the entire game from a 6v6 multiplayer game to 5v5 one - reducing the number of possible team compositions and tightening up its maps.
This is going to be very interesting to guage over time, but it'll certainly be a little unhelpful for clans, teams, and groups that are used to playing together. Still, if it results in a game that's easier to keep balanced, that might well be worth it.
There will be a wide range of heroes available in Overwatch 2, including reworked or tweaked versions of every hero from the first game. We know of at least one new addition, too - Sojourn.
She's a soldier with a powerful railgun that's a bundle of fun to use, and her mixture of firepower and mobility could be potent in the right hands.
Beyond that, Overwatch 2 doesn't look to reinvent the wheel, with team-based modes that are familiar, including objective capture modes , control-point pushing and more. The core of the game remains that fine balance between countering the abilities of enemy heroes and managing your own for maximum efficiency.
The full list of confirmed heroes for the game is as follows:
- Soldier 76
- Wrecking Ball
We also know that, somewhere down the line, Blizzard is planning a full PvE co-op experience for Overwatch 2 that sees players team up against AI enemies, but this has now been de-coupled from the PvP core of the game, which will come out first.
It's a welcome step that Blizzard has taken to ensure that the game doesn't take too long to come out, and since competitive multiplayer was the heart of the first game, it's reassuring that we're getting that section first for its sequel.
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