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Overwatch 2May 22, 2023 10:00 am CT

The Starwatch: Galactic Rescue event in Overwatch 2 ends today

Overwatch 2 has been keeping the game fresh by offering lots of limited-time game modes, and the latest is an epic two-week space opera. Starwatch: Galactic Rescue is the first time we’ve seen a hybrid PVP and PVE event that is clearly in no way whatsoever inspired by a certain sci-fi franchise created by George Lucas. Here’s the scoop on this special new Arcade mode and why you should queue up to save the galaxy while you still can.

Which side will you choose?

The premise here is that there are two factions: the Empire and the Rebellion. Whoops, I mean the Infinite Empire and the Watchers. You can pick your allegiance each time you queue up, or you can choose to go neutral as a Mercenary and just get matched to a game ASAP. Like with some of the other PVE events in Overwatch 2, there’s a limited cast to choose from and you have to run a balanced team comp of a tank, a support, and two DPS.

The two teams will square off on a reskinned version of the old Horizon Lunar Colony map. It’s been reimagined as a four-point Assault map. On the Infinite Empire side, you’ll be protecting your space with special artillery to fight off the intruders. The Watchers will be accompanied by an AI-controlled Doomfist for a little extra beefiness in facing down the turrets. The whole place is also equipped with Gravity Implosion Barrels that either team can leverage to create a Zarya-style black hole trap for their enemies.

I queued as a Mercenary and got assigned to the Watchers for my test run. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect with the hybrid concept, but from my perspective, the only real PVE element was the addition of Doomfist on my team and the artillery turrets for my opponents. There are no waves of AI enemies on a script like you’d find in the old Archives Arcade modes. The match took just under 10 minutes, so pretty on par with other casual Overwatch games.

It’s not reinventing the wheel, but it’s a fun change of pace if you’re mostly playing the typical 5v5 modes. I felt similarly about the Battle for Olympus event, which felt like it had decent rewards for playing and also had an exciting power flex in the deified abilities. To me, this is a good direction for Overwatch 2, and I hope they can keep delivering on these enjoyable twists on the existing formula.

Get the galactic goodies

But I know you aren’t nearly as interested in the fate of the galaxy as you are in loot. There are of course cosmetics to be won by completing Event Challenges related to this new mode, most notably a neon Asteroid skin for Wrecking Ball and a new voice like apiece for Doomfist and Sigma. The Challenges will also give you XP boosts for Battle Pass progress, which has several of the hero skins used in the fight. You can also pick up themed bundles in the Shop while the event is active. This first week has the space opera looks for Torbjorn and Echo.

Finally, for the readers amongst you, the Starwatch event has been paired with a new comic from Sam King and Claudia Aguirre called “An Echo of Hope.” This piece sets up the events of the Starwatch event. But in a clever twist, Blizzard will be tracking the total number of wins racked up by both the Empire and the Watchers over the two-week event. After Starwatch ends, there will be a second comic that shares the galaxy’s ultimate destiny, decided by whichever faction was most victorious.

Starwatch: Galactic Rescue ends May 22, so you only have a few hours left to experience this event first-hand — and finish up your achievements. Go save or rule the galaxy!

Originally posted May 9, 2023. Updated May 22, 2023.

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