Overwatch 2: An Unexpected Disaster

Avery Piktel, Staff Writer

Where should I begin…

Overwatch is a multiplayer digital shooter game that was released in 2016. Upon release, the game was widely praised and won Game of the Year 2016 soon thereafter. Gaming leagues formed around it, streamers and Youtubers flocked to it, and Overwatch was even called the “TF2 Killer”, in reference to Team Fortress 2 (one of the most popular shooter games since the early 2000s). Its heavily anticipated launch didn’t disappoint, and an ecstatic fanbase foresaw it becoming the greatest game ever made!

When Does Overwatch 1 Shut Down? Answered

*Spoiler Alert*  

It wasn’t. Even worse, just as the game developers were started to address Overwatch’s bugs, the game was abandoned for 3 years, leaving enraged fans to turn to other video games. Their furious cries resembled a deep-rooted sadness as the development team ceased content production. The game became a shell of its former self, and on October 2nd, 2022, the game was shut down for good. At the end of the day, Overwatch 1 had a good run but simply fell short.

Then comes Overwatch 2!

A new free-to-play experience with 35 incredible heroes, 22 global maps, 6 distinct modes and more. Jump in Overwatch 2 on Oct. 4. - News - Nintendo Official Site

Despite being hyped up by fans, Overwatch’s successor proved to be much, much worse than the original. Think about your favorite food, and now imagine someone threw it in mud and asked you to eat it.

That’s what Overwatch 2 is.

You’re likely to enjoy it if you liked Overwatch 1, but when it comes to eating mud or nothing, I’d sooner choose the latter. 

Overwatch 1 became a shell of its former self, but Overwatch 2 was destined to be a shell of the first game. Although Overwatch 2 was promoted as a PVE (player versus environment) style game instead, players were understandably frustrated upon seeing a game with Overwatch 1’s PVP style. A few play-style changes were made such as removing one of the tank classes or reworking characters, but it appeared to be a rehashing of the original game. 

Firstly, at launch you needed a post-paid phone number to play the game. This means that young kids without phones, players with less money, or anyone with a pre-paid phone couldn’t play the game. Developers claimed that this feature was implemented to stop people from cheating in the game with illegal cheats, but could you guess how much of a slap in the face this was to Overwatch’s original players? 

Trying to add my number to the Battlenet site in preparation for Overwatch 2 and I keep getting this message. Anyone knows why and what exactly is a “post-paid phone number”? :

Some Overwatch players paid 60 dollars for the original game,  yet now couldn’t play due to of their phone number. Eventually, Blizzard (the parent company), upon waking up to a community in disarray, allowed players from Overwatch 1 to skip this process. New layers tolerated this despite the game supposedly being “free to play”.

The second point I’d like to discuss are the queue times. Assuming you were lucky enough to have an *acceptable* phone number, the time length to enter Overwatch 2 was impossible to predict. The load screen would notify the player that they had to wait behind as many as 40,000 fellow gamers.

These times could be anywhere from 30 mins to 5 hours! You’d think you’d be safe once entering, but players risked being sent right back to that loading screen after waiting for hours due to unpredictable errors. Blizzard publicly stated the queue times were due to DDOS attacks and that they were doing everything in their power to fix the servers, but these shenanigans went on for almost a week.

In Queue Players Ahead of You' Overwatch 2 Meaning

On top of that, Overwatch is stocked with microtransactions, a new trend in gaming, but the game has taken it to a whole new level. Overwatch used to be known for most in-game character designs being free at random via the loot box system. Nowadays, players can now expect character designs such as skin, sprays, and voice lines to be paid expenses. Skins can average around 22 dollars each. 

This Week Is Blizzard's Test Of 'Generosity' In 'Hearthstone' Packs And 'Overwatch' Loot BoxesHow does the shop work in Overwatch 2?

Blizzard added a new battle pass system, popularized by the gaming juggernaut Fortnite, and restructured the game to lure people towards purchasing in-game items. Evidence includes a new, paid currency was developed that looks similar to the old, free currency. Blizzard has baited players into purchasing a digital cosmetic pack for 25 dollars by linking people to it whenever they wanted to download the free game. 

Best way to level up your Overwatch 2 Battle Pass fastOverwatch 2 The REAL Cost of Skins!...Legendary, Epic and Rare! - YouTube

Worst of all, the playable characters in the game used to be free but are now part of the battle pass. This encourages paying for the new character, as you’d have to spend some two weeks grinding to obtain it otherwise. 

All in all, Overwatch 2 is a complete disaster. I’ve only been able to watch as Overwatch characters remain unplayable due to bugs, updates are delayed, and Blizzard often ignores the pleas of their fan base. That being said, although I’ve ripped into Overwatch 2 as hard as I can, there are some positives! They have a wonderful art and concept team who pours so much love into the game. This is evident in their first new healer, Kirko — a meticulously designed character who adds a new healer to the game along with creative gameplay and a fun design! Obviously, there is still much enjoyment to be gained from Overwatch 2, but the question still remains:

Are you willing to look past the mud?