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Early Reviews For Overwatch 2 Are Saying The Same Thing

"Overwatch 2" has already made wave with critics and is scheduled to replace its beloved predecessor later this month. There's no indication of Activision Blizzard slamming the breaks, even with disappointed reactions to the Battle Pass and existing problems it still has to fix. However, it seems that "Overwatch" fans and critics have a tiny bit of good news. 

Early access previews from IGN to PC Gamer analyzed the new team shooter for days before coming to their unified conclusion: It's fun, but not perfect. Simon Cardy, Senior Editorial Producer at IGN, favorably wrote about the "Overwatch" sequel with only minor concerns about the meta. "It fully drags Overwatch 2 out of the stagnant meta swamp its predecessor found itself in over the past couple of years, but also denies itself some of the lustre of its satisfying team play," read his review-in-progress. He credits the 5v5 team comp, which "promotes aggressive play and gives 1v1 fights more significance than before," and revamped hero abilities (such as a lack of stun abilities) for the shift.

"If the pertinent question to ask about Overwatch 2 is simply if it's a fun game, then the answer right now is yes," he wrote. 

Here's what his peers have to say about the game, including critiques about the gameplay, world-building, and battle pass.

Pros: World-building, fresh gameplay

"Overwatch 2" is fundamentally different from its predecessor with its approach to battle. Its still a "shooter for people who don't like shooters" with a heavy emphasis on world-building and characters stays strong, though. 

Jess Howard, who previewed the game for GameSpot, also pointed out that the fresh gameplay had its drawbacks. "Changes to the core gameplay are steps in the right direction, but it is surrounded by new points of friction where there previously were none," she said. "Thankfully, as a live-service game, things will be added or altered once Blizzard has more player feedback, so at the very least the studio has a strong foundation to build upon."

CNET highlighted that immersiveness with an emphasis on voice lines as one of the "most surprising highlights" of the game, especially the ones that only play in odd scenarios. "I don't want to ruin the joy of discovery, but try putting Kiriko and Wrecking Ball on the same team if you want to hear some of the funniest prematch voice lines. Moments like that are such small details, but they have an enormous influence on how immersive the game feels," wrote reviewer Adam Benjamin.

So what's the biggest sin with "Overwatch 2"? Unfortunately, critics are fairly unified on that too: the live service model.

Cons: Battle pass and monetinzation

PC Gamer's Tyler Colp was one of many critics unimpressed with the game's "shameless monetization scheme." The grind to Battle Pass Tier 55 to unlock a new character wasn't as terrible as he thought it was going to be, but it took some of the strategy out of team comp for the sake of completing Battle Pass Challenges.

"I played Quick Play in roughly two-hour chunks each day and could fill out three to four levels of the 80-tier battle pass as long as I picked the appropriate heroes to satisfy my challenges. That was with the 20% boost from owning the Premium Battle Pass too," he said. "I picked Reinhardt even when he wouldn't be particularly effective because I wanted to get my mitigation challenge done—and I wouldn't blame others for doing it too."

Meanwhile, Dalton Cooper suggests that Activision Blizzard is missing the point of Battle Passes in the first place. "Whereas free-to-play games like Fortnite refrain from putting anything truly important to gameplay in their battle passes for the most part, Overwatch 2 locks new heroes behind the battle pass," he wrote in his GameRant preview. This point in particular could be problematic for longtime fans, who consider heroes as one of the fundamental and most fun things about the game.

"Overwatch 2" launches on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch on October 4.