Overwatch 2 — 2 hours of gameplay footage doesn’t answer biggest question

overwatch 2
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Overwatch 2 is in the works — and sometimes, it feels like that’s all we know about the game. Blizzard has been fairly cagey about the multiplayer shooter sequel, revealing a handful of characters and screenshots, and not much else. However, thanks to a recent livestream, you can now watch two-and-a-half hours of Overwatch 2 gameplay. And if that sounds like too big of a time sink, the biggest takeaway is Overwatch 2 divides players into teams of five, rather than teams of six like its predecessor.

The livestream debuted on Blizzard’s official YouTube channel, and it’s still there, if you want to watch it. Overwatch personalities Matt “Mr. X” Morello and Mitch “Uber” Leslie hosted both Blizzard developers and popular Twitch streamers, who showed off a variety of Overwatch 2 maps, characters and gameplay features.

It would take too long to detail every single feature that Blizzard covered over the course of the long livestream. However, we know that multiplayer teams will now consist of five players apiece, as opposed to the first game’s six-player teams. We know a variety of playable characters from the first game will be returning, including Mercy, Winston, Reaper, Tracer, Mei, Zarya, Symmetra, Genji and more. We know that players will still have to capture waypoints, escort vehicles and take out competitors as many times as possible.

In other words: If you like Overwatch, but feel that it needs a mild overhaul and a handful of new features, Overwatch 2 seems like what you’re waiting for.

Playable characters won’t have the same abilities as last time around, though. In terms of passive abilities, heroes who dish out damage will move faster; heroes who support other players will regenerate health; heroes who soak up damage won’t be knocked back as far, and so forth. Other heroes will have new secondary firing options for their weapons, changes to their active abilities or complete reworkings, depending on how well they’re balanced in the first game.

For all we learned about Overwatch 2 in the stream, however, Blizzard has yet to address one very important question: When is the game coming out? Overwatch 2 doesn’t yet have a release date, a price or any platform availability. (It seems safe to assume that the game will come out on PC. The Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PS5 are also good bets. Anything beyond that is anyone’s guess.)

In the meantime, the original Overwatch is still alive and well, with frequent updates and an active player base. Blizzard’s underrated MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, also has a fair amount of Overwatch heroes in it, so maybe that’s worth checking out as well.

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Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.