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Overwatch 2: Impressions of the History of Push and Rio de Janeiro

There is good news for fans of the original Overwatch in BlizzCon: The new competitive mode, Push, is already playing as a great new addition to Overwatch 2 and you will also come in the first game .

But I am less convinced that the historical missions of Overwatch 2 will be worth the considerable time based on hands-on experience with the Rio de Janeiro mission in BlizzCon 2019.

To focus on the positive, Push is a new type of PvP game that Blizzard calls basic multiplayer mode. This means that Overwatch will be able to play fast games and racing and Push will be played in Overwatch League matches. Push is close to the Overwatch escort games in which teams need to escort a walking robot as it pushes a metal barrier as far as possible. Push cards are symmetrical and each team has its own barrier for the robot to push.

But Push differs from Escort in key ways. The robot that players need to escort through cards does not heal teams and is at greater risk of being left unattended by the payload of Escort cards. Push is also ideal for breaking a tie; there is almost no chance of Push playing to end with a draw and end-of-game battles requiring each team to aggressively fight against the robot to decide who wins.

Blizzard says that Push Cards are designed with a flank in mind, not for controlling throttle points. This was evident in the few Push games I played on the new Overwatch 2 Toronto map. The Sneaky Reapers and Pharahs forced my team to closely monitor our environment. Even still, the enemy team's Roadhog, and later Ashe and Bob, managed to sneak behind us as we moved our robot through the winding streets of Toronto.

Better yet, the robot has a sweet personality that the escort payloads just can't match.

The biggest new feature of Overwatch 2 four-player historical missions didn't do much to sell me over on Blizzard.

Blizzard Entertainment [19659010] If you played the original Missions of Archive Archive of you will have a good sense of how the historical missions of Overwatch 2 are structured. The Democratic mission at BlizzCon launches May, Reinhardt and Tracer into the war-torn streets of Rio de Janeiro, where an Null Sector attack has flooded the city with deadly robots of all shapes and sizes. After joining Lucio, they clear out wave after wave of bot. The quartet breaks into a Null Sector ship, battles even more mechanized mobsters, and then deals with a large boss machine while trying to break the core of an overheated reactor.

I played this mission in Rio as May and again as Reinhard. In these cooperative missions, Overwatch characters play with slight variations of their usual PvP abilities. The May blaster freezes enemies faster and stays frozen longer. Reinhardt builds his ultimate ability meter simply by absorbing damage with his shield, and he can move faster while his shield is up.

Each character in the missions of Overwatch 2 will also have special talents. May, for example, can immediately freeze nearby enemies after heals his ability to cryo-freeze. Or the enemies that it freezes will be destroyed in death, damaging nearby enemies. Things can get a little weirder too – one of May's other talents turns into an ice bowling ball when she uses Cryo-freeze, which allows her to roll and hurt her enemies. And Reinhardt can win a talent that turns his ultrasmutural ultras into a 360-degree wave that shatters everything around him.

Unfortunately, few of these intriguing new abilities were playable at BlizzCon, and the mission in Rio de Janeiro played too much like the useful Archives missions that appeared in Overwatch over the last three years. It's kind of incomprehensible to play them every year during their three-week availability while breaking down arcade profits and cosmetics, but I rarely find them compelling.

Blizzard is trying to add a little variety with drop shipping items. Crates were placed at several points during the mission in Rio containing special items: a corrosive grenade, a mini tower, a healing station, and a barrier. These elements can add a little strategic variety to the mission, but have incredibly long cessation periods.

The appeal of Overwatch to me is the interaction of six heroes fighting with six other characters, and the diversity and strategy that comes from these coincidences. To play with a set of locked characters, 20-minute stretches against AI-controlled opponents were not a draw for me in the Archives, and so is the case for Overwatch 2 . Perhaps Blizzard will add a compelling rewards system to the Overwatch 2 hero-oriented and story-driven missions that will ensure they return to them again and again, but it's unclear what will entice players. For now, the current implementation doesn't do much for me.

Without being able to try out new talents – some of which, of course, sound super interesting! – or the promised progression to BlizzCon's Overwatch 2 it's too early to tell if the PvE side of Blizzard's sequel is worth the wait.

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