By NIMA MOVAHEDI
Unveiled at Blizzcon 2014 and later retailed in 2016, Overwatch has been accepted as a game of the decade. Becoming the highest-grossing paid game for personal computers in 2016 and having around 50 million players, Overwatch has been very successful throughout its life as a 6 person team based first person shooter game. To revitalize the game, Overwatch game developers constantly make game changes and occasionally add new playable characters and maps. The result of this stream of new content: an almost four year old game that has struggled to maintain its old playerbase.
However, to further boost the game in popularity, Overwatch 2 was released in Blizzcon 2019 to add upon the original game with new maps, cosmetics, gamemodes and a single player story mode. Despite its appraisal at release, the unveiling of the sequel has caused controversy amongst many Overwatch 1 players in regards to the new game’s value.
“I will only buy it (Overwatch 2) if it’s under 15 bucks… It’s not worth it because it has PvE (player vs. environment) and the graphic updates apply to both games so you’re not getting anything special except new maps,” UHS eSports Overwatch varsity captain Rustin Kabiri said, when discussing Overwatch 2. Other players share this same concern: since Overwatch 2’s graphics and cosmetics are also being brought to Overwatch 1, the single player mode and other updates may not make buying a newer version for $40 or $60.
As Overwatch 1 has had many free downloadable updates that expanded the game, many veteran players wonder why the new content of Overwatch 2 isn’t just added into Overwatch 1.
“They should have added it to the original game… it’s basically a DLC (downloadable content),” Junior Wesley Tsai, a former Overwatch 1 player, said.
“I was disappointed by the Overwatch 2 reveal and probably don’t plan to buy it because it’s overpriced and doesn’t expand enough on the original game to warrant a purchase,” UHS eSports varsity main tank, Anthony Bonfa said.
Similar to other popular games like Fortnite and Destiny 2, Overwatch 1 has a strong reputation for delivering refreshing content to maintain the game’s popularity and playability for long time players. This shift from adding to the existing game to creating an entirely new video game has divided the Overwatch fan base between people excited for Blizzard Entertainment’s new approach and others who are disappointed by the new game’s inception.
Junior Cortland Ribant is hopeful for the release of the game.
“It’s gonna expand on the story of different characters in more ways than the animated shorts and comics do,” Ribant, a highly skilled competitive player, said.
One of the unique qualities of Overwatch, as a team based first person shooter, is the story line and unique backgrounds of characters. The lack of lore and a dedicated single player campaign in the original Overwatch have excited many such as Ribant to the game’s announcement. Also, the addition of the new ways to play in Overwatch 2 has interested junior Jonah O’Brien, an Overwatch GrandMaster, the most skilled players that comprise less than 1% of the game’s players.
“I’m excited for the co-op missions with new abilities and skill trees which will add some more variety and give players something else to do other than the classic multiplayer game modes,” O’Brien said.
In addition to being playable alone, the PvE also allows for friends to play along with one another as they complete the campaign, providing more versatility in Overwatch 2.
Whether Overwatch 2 will be worth its unannounced price and have enough content is still unknown. Until then, old and new players alike will need to wait and see if this video game sequel can live up to its predecessor.