What I, your friend who is terrible at Overwatch, want to see in Overwatch 2
Okay, I love Overwatch — I love the setting, the characters, the lore, and the hints at a deeper, broader story just percolating beneath the surface. This isn’t just me — when even Jeff from the Overwatch team goes ahead and says that they get a lot of people saying they want more of Overwatch and its story, you know that people who play the game (or who, like me, constantly fail to play the game) want more of the story, setting, characters and that’s why I’m loving the idea of an Overwatch 2 that focuses more on PVE.
As quite possibly the worst Overwatch player in the history of the game — and thus potentially the most unqualified yet desperately interested person ever to have an opinion on the topic — here are some things I really want to see in a PVE focused Overwatch game.
Glimpses of the past
Guys, I know we all hate prequels. Except every time Overwatch does one of their Overwatch Archives events, it’s amazing and fills in the backstory and is just the best and I sincerely think they should consider just doing that. Like, imagine if we had an entire game that was basically Overwatch Archives, letting you move through all the interesting and currently unknown periods in the game’s story. So far we’ve seen Uprising, the tense and violent Retribution and the manic Storm Rising, and those are all great. Both Retribution and Storm Rising focus on the conflict with Talon, which I’m interested in, while Uprising shows us some good old fashion Omnic vs. Overwatch action.
Any Overwatch game that focuses on PVE needs to take a good, long look at the Archives and figure out how to make that kind of content. We need to get to look at things like the Omnic Crisis, the formation of Overwatch, and all the little moments we’ve heard about but not seen. Imagine getting to see Junkrat and Roadhog’s first meeting, Sombra’s early days with Los Muertos, or the conflict between Lucio and the Vishkar Corporation. Any of those would be excellent stories to get to see and play through, not just read about.
Implausible, downright weird scenarios
Look, one of the most wild rides in Overwatch is the seasonal Junkenstein’s Revenge and it’s one of the earliest examples of PVE content in Overwatch. Now, it doesn’t actually have anything to do with the lore of the game, but it’s a fun alternate story that hangs together on its own and I definitely think it needs expansion for a new game.
If we’re getting a PVE focused Overwatch, then why wouldn’t you look at Junkenstein’s Revenge and start getting crazy with ideas? You could do a co-op that was essentially Overwatch in Space, or put everyone in medieval garb and do Reaper and the Knights of the Overwatch, or even a cool swashbuckling pirate adventure. Taking chances and deviating from the game’s lore feels like it would be a great way to spice up a PVE Overwatch.
Bring on the bad guys
Imagine getting to play as Talon, or as a squad of enemy Omnics dropping in to tear things up? We’ve seen both as enemies in the various Archives but with the exception of specific characters with a connection to one or both factions, we’ve never played as them. Getting to play as Talon troopers or Omnic units or Los Muertos members, or security from the Vishkar Corp… imagine starting play from the perspective of the people who usually get run over by the ‘heroes’ and getting to see the world from their eyes. It could go a long way towards filling in the gaps in the game’s lore.
One of the things I’ve wanted forever is for the game to give us a look at the people of Junkertown and the Junker Queen. There’s so much going on in the Overwatch setting, the potential for a new game to play around with characters and stories we’ve only seen hints of so far is really amazing and I definitely would love to see Blizzard run with it.
A different approach to who you play as
Overwatch is a game where you pick one of many characters like Moira, Tracer, Reaper, Doomfist, etc. Every Tracer player is effectively playing a class, and that class is Tracer — they all have the same abilities because Overwatch is a team shooter with a PVP focus. It’s an elegant and streamlined way for your choices to reveal the story and the setting and I think it works beautifully.
But it doesn’t have to be the way Overwatch 2 does it. If we’re going for a PVE focused game, one thing that could be introduced is a character creation system. Imagine getting to choose from several factions — you could roll a Junker, a Talon agent, an Overwatch hero, a renegade out for themselves, maybe even an Omnic character. You could choose from several archetypes and customize your powers and loadout to suit a character concept of your own instead of effectively being the same as any other Reinhardt or Soldier:76 playing the game.
A Campaign mode
I want a straight up campaign, one that tells a story in the Overwatch setting and fleshes out events like the Omnic Crisis, the fall of Overwatch, Talon and what they’re up to, and maybe reveals what the hidden connection between all these pieces of the puzzle really is. Imagine a game where you interact with some or all of the characters like Maximillian and Gerard Lacroix, perhaps even moving all the way through from the Omnic Crisis and the founding of Overwatch to its disillusion and the present day, when Winston sends out the Recall signal. That could even be the triggering event for the campaign — your character answers the call, and the story alternates between the past and the present.
In the end, a PVE focused Overwatch has a lot of potential to break new ground and be a different kind of game than its predecessor — a game that takes risks, focuses more on story and story development, and perhaps even adopts some elements of customization and player choice that would be overkill for the current game. I’d love to see it.
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