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Overwatch 2 Officially Announced, Will Have a ‘Shared Multiplayer’ With Overwatch 1

Overwatch 2 is finally official after a week or more of leaks and rumors swirled surrounding the unique sequel to the popular game. And unique it will be. While Overwatch 2 will be a full-fledged sequel with a brand-new story mode, Blizzard is also ensuring that no players are left behind by integrating a shared multiplayer experience with Overwatch 1.

After passively-aggressively scolding the countless Overwatch 2 leaks, Jeff Kaplan introduced Overwatch 2 with an announcement cinematic. Get your tissues ready. If you know Overwatch cinematics, you’ll know that this one’s sure to bring a tear or two to your eye.

Overwatch 2’s big elevator pitch is a renewed focus on the story. Overwatch’s deep lore has been most frequently explored externally through cinematic shorts and digital comics, giving life to its many characters, but the sequel will bring that into the game. Featuring more story and PVE along with cooperative mode, Overwatch 2 features a complete story experience. It will also come with Hero Missions, highly replayable co-op missions with a full progression system that gives you the opportunity to upgrade and customize your heroes in various ways.

Yes, Overwatch 2 is going to feature a renewed focus on story, but fans of the original Overwatch don’t need to worry. The 6v6 team competitive experience is not going away. In fact, Blizzard is adding a new core competitive game mode called Push that will be featured in Quickplay, Competitive, and even played in the Overwatch League.

All 31 of the original game’s heroes are returning along with multiple new heroes. So far Sojourn is the only one confirmed, shown briefly in the gameplay trailer below, but many fans are speculating that Echo (the blue-faced white android in the cinematic) will also finally join the fray. Echo was originally introduced some time ago in another Overwatch short and fans have been waiting for them ever since. Every hero is getting upgraded looks, and Blizzard will take some additional time this weekend to go further into the engine upgrades and new art style behind Overwatch 2’s visuals. You can get a closer look in the gameplay trailer.

Kaplan was sure to share that Overwatch 2 is not a traditional sequel. Story and PVE content (as well as the engine and visual upgrades) will be unique to the new game, Overwatch 2 will have a shared multiplayer experience with the original game. Original Overwatch players get new Overwatch 2 maps and heroes. There will be a shared multiplayer environment between games, so Overwatch and Overwatch 2 players will fight alongside one another in the game’s multiplayer modes. For those that do choose to upgrade, they’ll take all of their unlocked cosmetics with them. There’s no need to worry about leaving anything behind. Overwatch 2 is wholly additive to the original Overwatch experience. Blizzard’s goal with this is that no player gets left behind. Kaplan said that additional details about this shared multiplayer system will be coming throughout BlizzCon 2019.

There’s currently no release date for Overwatch 2, but we do know that it’s coming to PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch. No mention of next-gen consoles was made.

Blizzard also announced Diablo IV at BlizzCon 2019, opening the show with a return to the dark gothic roots of the series. There are still two days of BlizzCon remaining, and there will be plenty of additional details about both Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV forthcoming during that time.