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Overwatch 2 Players Stumble On PVE Maps Early

Though it has been criticized for its battle pass, controversial personal information requirements, and for being too similar to the first game, "Overwatch 2" is anything but a failure. Blizzard's sequel already boasts 25 million players in less than two weeks, but there's still something missing from the game: its highly-anticipated story mode. Though "Overwatch" servers are gone now, the original game was an entirely online team-based experience with no single-player or campaign at all, so it would be a step in a new direction for the now-series. Ever since Blizzard announced it would not include the PvE side of the game on launch earlier in 2022, the company hasn't said much more about it.

What we do know about the "Overwatch 2" story mode is that it will come out in 2023, according to the reveal event on June 16, 2022. We also know that it will feature much larger maps and more explorable world spaces than the online mode, but until now players haven't had much of an idea of what those maps would look like. In a video posted about two weeks after the game's launch, "Overwatch 2" player Squiggle posted a clip showcasing areas outside the normally explorable space on King's Row — and it's not the only "Overwatch 2" map with what appears to be a PvE section outside normal boundaries.

King's Row and Havana have explorable PvE sections out of bounds

In the 50-second clip, Squiggle plays as Genji to more quickly explore winding hallways and empty rooms that line the streets of King's Row's PvE area, as well as a unique underground subway zone. Replying to themself, Squiggle posted a screenshot of an out-of-bounds area in the map Havana, too, but its low-poly models and low-res textures make it appear not as "finished" as the King's Row areas. Having interactive elements outside of normal bounds is nothing new in video games, but these areas don't tend to be textured or lit, and they don't tend to be this well developed beyond where players can see. 

As a visual example of the norm, about five seconds into this "Half Life 2" clip from YouTuber Burny, barely-textured and low-res areas can be seen just beyond player view. These areas were intentionally designed to be low-res and low-poly to save space and rendering power, but the two areas shown off by Squiggle appear nearly complete. Being in such a finished state signals that these out of bounds "Overwatch 2" areas serve a larger purpose than just background decor. We don't know much about the new mode, not even whether "Overwatch 2" PvE will be free to play or not, but these explorable areas give fans a possible look into what's to come.