author: Patrick Manelski
Am I Dreaming, or is Blizzard Slaying Another Game?
Blizzard's failed promise of a story-driven campaign with talents and cooperation disappoints players with missions akin to original Overwatch, severely damaging trust. How long can players be deceived?
Blizzard, stop haunting my games. Seriously, I liked your works. Warcraft 3: Reforged may not have been the greatest game ever, but anyone can make a mistake. The two previous World of Warcraft expansions also ultimately turned out poor – fortunately, Dragonflight has (so far) not disappointed. Nevertheless, Blizzard killed Heroes of the Storm, which really vexed me. Now, in turn, you're ridding Overwatch 2 of the element that was supposed to be its bargaining chip and the main reason for even making a sequel. Quo vadis, Blizzard?
A pain in the less noble part of my back
As you all well know, Blizzard has released Overwatch 2 without the PvE mode called Hero Mode. A long time ago, a dedicated story campaign was announced, aimed at expanding the lore of this universe. A talent system affecting the abilities of heroes was promised, along with a progression system that would make repeating missions worthwhile. And, of course, cooperation! And now we forget about all this and pretend that nothing like that was ever planned at all.
Already in 2019, Blizzard reported a delay in the development cycle of Overwatch – caused by the desire to prepare new, awesome PvE content. A year later, the pandemic broke out, obviously resulting in further delays, but apparently the whole thing was being thoroughly tested. Then, the year 2021 came and news dropped that the company was closer rather than further – but from what? Well, from releasing, in 2022, an update that added a digit to the title, introduced a handful of changes in PvP and made the game available to everyone for free... And so we got Overwatch 1.5, trying to pass off as Overwatch 2.
Nevertheless, it was announced that this was early access of Overwatch 2, and the story campaign would appear in 2023. As it recently turned out, after four years of misleading the players, we won't receive anything like that. However, to avoid hurting too much, we will get regular PvE missions. You know, something that the original Overwatch already offered. Now, we will get basically the same thing, just better, yet far from what we were promised. I don't know about you, but I simply feel cheated and disappointed.
Where is the Blizzard of yesteryear?
I can be considered a "fan" of Blizzard, or rather – I simply like their games. I still didn't cancel this company despite many scandals, because ultimately, its games gave me plenty of fun. However, there's a certain limit of trust and, in my opinion, it has been severely abused. Some of you may think this isn't surprising (or an exaggeration) and that nothing has realy changed in the company's approach to consumers. And indeed, it's not the first time – do you remember the PvP which was also promised for Diablo III? Well, actually, I get what I deserved, since I keep playing – despite how they treat me. I guess some things require a more mature approach.
Not keeping their word about PvE in Overwatch 2 was the final nail in the coffin for this project – at least for me. I can honestly admit that the "continuation" didn't win me over. I generally liked the direction, but I can't play this game for longer periods – it simply doesn't draw me in, it lacks that certain "something." Subsequent seasons come and go, new characters appear along with crossovers, temporary modes, and other attractions, but I still miss a specific novelties, ambitious content. Now – after Blizzard have up on the story campaign – I know I'll never get it.
I have no reason to be interested in Overwatch 2 anymore. In my opinion, Blizzard did the same thing to their title as they did to Heroes of the Storm, simply wasting the game's potential. It's a shame because I had great affection for both titles. Does this mean that I won't play anything from Blizzard anymore? No, but I'll watch their hands and I won't trust them. If I won't be reviewing something personally, I'll wait for the players' opinions, and I sure won't be rushing to the store on release day.
It's time for reason and the wallets to speak, not heart and nostalgia. I will keep much greater vigilance, even when it comes to Diablo IV or the announced, new survival game. Who knows if we are not being fooled again. I will stick to this simple rule – forgive, but never forget.
Patrick Manelski | Gamepressure.com