The new season of Overwatch 2, dubbed Overwatch 2: Invasion, is perhaps the greatest and most important development since the game’s early access launch in October of last year. The much-anticipated story objectives, a new permanent game type, a new hero, hero mastery tasks, and upgrades to the training range are all included in this season’s release of Blizzard’s well-liked online shooter. The biggest content influx since the game’s release, it’s a terrific place for new players to start.
While it didn’t seem like an entirely new game, there were a ton of new toys to play with, including numerous features that should assist new players ease into the game. I also got to speak with developers and check out all the new modes on a test build prior to launch. Here is all you need to know about the newest season of Overwatch 2, whether you’re an experienced player or a newcomer who is interested in the Overwatch tale.
Three new story missions for Overwatch 2: Invasion are hidden behind a $15 Invasion Bundle, which also gives you $10 worth of in-game currency that, coincidentally, is enough for the seasonal battle pass that instantly unlocks the new hero. The first three tasks of the game can be completed on four different difficulties once unlocked. The missions itself recount the tale of what transpires following Overwatch’s unauthorized reunion in the Zero Hour cinematic.
For lore-obsessed fans like me who have been waiting years for a genuine Overwatch story, the opening and closing cut scenes are fantastic stuff, but the gameplay itself, with the exception of a few sections, felt fairly repetitious. In terms of gameplay and content, the second story mission—which takes place in Sojourn’s hometown of Toronto—was substantially more compelling than the previous two, which felt more like expanded versions of the Archive PVE events. All three had cool moments, but if you’re only playing for the gameplay and not the plot, these missions might not be worth the $15 price of admission.
The game’s replayability is my main issue; when I asked the developers what features they included to entice players to keep playing these story missions, they mentioned various dialogue options based on the heroes you choose. Although comparing Reinhardt’s reactions to those of Winston can be entertaining, I doubt that will be enough to keep most players coming back. Keep players interested in the game mode by offering achievements or unlocked cosmetics like player icons and titles.
New support hero: Illari
Illari, the solar-charged supersoldier from Peru, joins the game’s support cast in Season 6 as another new hero. She introduces a novel healing system to Overwatch in the form of a deployable healing pylon that will provide brief spurts of healing to a visible ally. Illari has a secondary fire that she can use to heal other heroes. This secondary fire is a short-range beam that uses a finite amount of energy, much as Moira’s healing.
Illari’s ultimate, which sends her flying for a short distance as she charges her weapon with a focused burst of sunshine, is her true weapon. You can fly in any direction while in the air, and you can also fire a single brilliant bullet that will pass past foes while dealing minimal damage, slowing them down, and briefly marking them. When an enemy dies while being marked, they will explode, delivering damage to adjacent foes. These nearby enemies may then explode, dealing extra damage to other enemies, setting off a chain reaction that will likely cause the opposing team to complain in match chat.
With his “wait and react” defensive technique, Illari provides a significantly different playing style than our previous new hero, Lifeweaver. The developers claimed that was intentional. “The main pillar of the design was that we wanted to create an attack-centric support,” said Piero Herrera, one of the hero designers who worked on Illari. Pulling away from your team without depriving them of resources is made simpler by the healing pylon. Just be aware that your secondary fire’s healing capabilities are severely constrained. Healing your crew won’t be enough to keep them alive during a battle; in order to put a stop to the conflict more quickly, you’ll need to weave in full-charge primary fire.
In that it seems to reward players who are able to handle both jobs in the middle of a fight, Illari’s design resembles Baptiste’s. I got the most out of her when I was able to position my healing pylon away from the opponent team and concentrate on pressing down the enemy supports while still providing brief bursts of healing for my team. I like that style of gaming, and Illari should be enjoyable for those searching for a support with more intricate mechanics.
New game mode: Flashpoint
Players in Flashpoint are tasked with seizing numerous objectives on expansive areas. There are five control points on each map, and they are unlocked one at a time, beginning with the center point. The winning team on the map is the first to score three points.
I questioned the developers about how they created Flashpoint maps for various team compositions during media interviews before to launch, specifically whether there would be a mix of close-range spots and lengthy sightlines. “[Players] are going to get a really cool variety of gameplay types within a single experience,” said Daniel McGowan, principal environment artist for Blizzard. Some capture points may favor closer-range brawl compositions, while other points or areas between points may favor long-range sniper heroes.
That dream mirrored my reality. Suravasa and New Junk City are the two maps Flashpoint brings to the table. Suravasa, a game based in India, has more tightly packed goals, whereas New Junk City, a game situated in the center of Australia’s Junkertown, typically has more open plans. However, both of the maps had a mixture of small and large areas, as well as elevation variations and other subtleties that gave players the ability to master the maps by carefully studying their designs.
Though challenging, achieving that skill will be very worthwhile. Flashpoint felt much more skirmishy and unexpected than other game modes when I played it in early access: Some clashes will occur on the goal, but many will occur nearby or in the transition between one point and the next. Fights can occur at any time or place, therefore you need to be prepared for them. In comparison to players who merely wander around, those who understand the maps and the strongest positions at various spots will have an advantage.