Overwatch 2: postcards from Rome and New York, the new maps

Overwatch 2: postcards from Rome and New York, the new maps

Overwatch 2

Although it did not find space during the opening ceremony of BlizzConline, Overwatch 2 became the protagonist of two panels that revealed a lot of new information about the project. We haven't received a release date, but we were able to take a look at the two new maps of Rome and New York.

Overwatch 2 will introduce quite a few new maps. We have long known Toronto (theater in the new Escort mode), Gothenburg (a Conquest map like Hanamura and Temple of Anubis), India and Monte Carlo (types still unknown). Rome and New York also joined the roster during BlizzConline.

Rome has been described as a location that mixes ancient romantic architecture and emblematic places like the Seven Hills and the Colosseum with futuristic Overwatch-style technology . It seems to be one of the maps the developers care about the most. New York, for its part, marries the art-deco style, with high-tech technology alongside iconic elements of the Big Apple, such as fire hydrants, pizzerias and street-facing shops known as bodegas. You can admire some shots in the gallery at the bottom of this news: the first three portray Rome, the next New York.

BlizzConline also showed us the new heroine Sojourn in action, equipped with an unprecedented rail cannon, unveiled the new look of characters like Widowmaker and Reaper, and anticipated important changes to PvP, with the introduction of passive abilities: the Tanks, for example, will receive resistance to knockbacks.

More ‘Overwatch 2’ News Could Arrive As Soon As March

Overwatch 2 is taking shape, including its take on a New York City map.

Blizzard Entertainment

Fifteen months. Fifteen long months. That’s how long Overwatch fans had to wait between the announcement of Overwatch 2 at BlizzCon 2019 and more details about the sequel at BlizzConline. Thankfully, the gap between updates won’t be nearly as long in the future.

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In fairness, game director Jeff Kaplan warned people all the way back in November 2019 that the team was going dark and they wouldn’t have anything to share for a while. From now on, though, you can expect the team to be much more transparent and to provide more regular updates.

There’s no promise that you’ll get a developer update every month in the lead up to the Overwatch 2 release date, whenever that might be. But Kaplan suggested your next look might only be a few weeks away.

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“[We] definitely want to be more communicative. And our plan is not to go dark for an extended period of time,” he told IGN in an interview. “In fact, we were discussing as recently as yesterday the opportunity of there maybe being some cool stuff we could talk about in March or April to keep people updated and to keep people going. So it's very front-and-center in our mind to communicate more.”

That’s great to hear. Given that Overwatch 2 probably won’t arrive for at least a year, knowing that there’ll be more frequent updates about the progress takes a bit of the sting out of the long wait.

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Kaplan touched on several other points in the interview, such as the fact that there’ll “very likely” be at least a closed beta for Overwatch 2, if not an open beta. Cross-platform play remains a possibility if Blizzard can “overcome the hurdles.”

On the subject of the possible changes to the tank role that Blizzard is toying with, Kaplan said the team is considering changing the name of the role from “tank” to “brawler.” That might not happen, but it’s at least being discussed.

There’s also the possibility that you’ll be able to play story missions solo with the help of AI teammates. That’s something I’ve been hoping for, and I’m glad it’s at least on the table.

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