Overwatch 2's Rio Mission Has Few New Surprises

By Alex Walker on at

Overwatch 2's main hook – since you'll get access to all the multiplayer maps and heroes with Overwatch 1 – is the PvE content. One of those PVE missions was playable on the Blizzcon show floor, a trip to Lucio's home of Rio de Janeiro where a null sec ship is overrunning the city with robots.

Owing to the engine upgrades in Overwatch 2, the map is much more expansive than what you'd find in Overwatch's PvE events. None of the level was anything that's been seen in Overwatch, and it's much larger in scope, too. You start out by clearing out a small nightclub, before venturing to a more open area a little akin to the final battle in Retribution. The quarter of Lucio, Tracer, Mei and Reinhardt then make their way onto the ship to take out the reactor.

Whatever hero you pick, you're given the choice of one of two talents from the off. Playing as Tracer, you can pick an ability that triggers secondary explosions from your ult, or instantly reloading your guns whenever you use any ability. There was no XP gain or levelling up during our mission, so don't expect to grow over the course of a level like Heroes of the Storm or some action RPGs.

Most of the enemy bots were fairly straightforward, varying between basic bots, large turret-like beings that would have fit right at home in Borderlands 2 and enemies that fired rockets and hovered mid-air like Pharah. They weren't difficult to deal with and it's only the final boss fight that really offers a taster of what Overwatch 2 can do.

Whittling down the reactor core to its last legs brings out the giant Omnic, who has a charge akin to Reinhardt's and can slam the ground, electrifying the area. It's something that caught most off guard from what I saw playing, which makes sense. Most of the Overwatch PvE bosses just had the same skills as the heroes they were modelled off, so having something not be an immediate copy of Reinhardt, in this instance, made for a slightly more interesting fight.

Beyond that, however, there wasn't a huge amount of new features, enemies or tweaks in level design. The Rio mission was mostly a tech demo, one that showcases the extra scope of PvE levels in Overwatch 2, as well as the extra effects that can be applied throughout. And this is just anecdotal, but it also seemed like there were more robots and enemies on screen. That's to be expected by larger maps that have more room, but it would have been nice to see more diversity of robots throughout the mission.

This is just one part of Overwatch 2, though. The main hook will be the new PvP mode, Push, which will also be the main mode for the Overwatch League. That's playable on the show floor as well, and after I've had some hands on with that I'll let everyone know what it's like.

The author travelled to Blizzcon 2019 as a guest of Blizzard.