Blizzard Cancels PvE Hero Mode Campaign for Overwatch 2, Disappointing Fans
Blizzard Entertainment has announced that it is cancelling the highly anticipated PvE Hero Mode campaign for Overwatch 2, the sequel to the popular hero shooter game, which was slated for release in 2023. The mode was originally intended to offer an alternative to competitive multiplayer, featuring character-specific progression systems and story missions that would give the game some much-needed in-game lore and story developments. Fans had been looking forward to the unique PvE component, which would have presented a drastic change from the typical objective-based game modes of Overwatch. However, Blizzard has now confirmed that the Hero Mode with talent trees and long-term progression is no longer in its plans.
Blizzard had announced in 2019 that Overwatch 2 would receive a substantial PvE component, giving players less competitive content than the usual PvP modes. According to reports, PvE was introduced to cater to the fervently demanded narrative material that enthusiasts had been requesting since the game's inception in 2016. The Overwatch community was teased with the promise of “hundreds” of Hero Missions, offering a fresh perspective on the game and the opportunity to enhance characters' abilities through upgrades. This unique feature would also add depth to the personalities of the heroes.
Back in 2019, when Blizzard officially revealed Overwatch 2, one of the new features that were talked about was a PvE mode that would allow players to team up and play through a co-op, narrative-driven multiplayer experience. Each of the heroes would be reworked for PvE, and the mode would have its own progression system where players could unlock new talents for the characters. In their recent update on the future of the game in 2023, Blizzard has revealed that they have abandoned their previous plan. The PvE component is being reworked to fit the team’s plans and philosophy for Overwatch 2.
The PvE campaign mode of Overwatch 2, also known as Hero Mode, appeared to be highly ambitious. It featured progression systems tailored to each character and story missions that would provide the hero shooter with much-needed in-game lore and story advancements. Blizzard initially stated that Overwatch 2 would be a free-to-play game and that the story mode would be released later. However, it has now been clarified that the story mode content will not be released at all.
Blizzard has revealed the Overwatch 2 roadmap for the rest of 2023, including details on when the first story missions are coming to the game. Season six is expected to commence in mid-August, and they will be made available then. The latest Overwatch 2 roadmap for seasons 5 to 7 has been released, revealing that the PvE Hero Mode will be replaced by Story Missions.
Speaking about the development of the game and what went into launching Overwatch 2 in October, Game Director Aaron Keller said: “We had a difficult choice to make. We could continue working on our original vision for Overwatch 2 without a definitive end date in sight or change our strategy and get something in front of players sooner. We chose the latter and released Overwatch 2 last October with new heroes, new maps, new modes, and regular seasonal updates. But more than that, we shifted our values for how we want to develop the game.”
Blizzard has just dropped a preview of its upcoming roadmap for Overwatch 2, detailing its plans for the next three seasons. Although every season guarantees an abundance of thrilling content, Season 6 appears to be the most crammed Overwatch 2 season yet, and could potentially introduce the most significant alterations to the game that enthusiasts have ever witnessed. Another big change to Overwatch 2 is the addition of a new support hero, a Sombra rework, and many more exciting features. However, the cancellation of the PvE Hero Mode campaign has left fans disappointed and wondering what the point of the switch to Overwatch 2 was, as its biggest differentiating feature is no longer part of the game.
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1. “Overwatch 2 PvE Campaign Mode is Basically Canceled” GameRant, 16 May. 2023, https://gamerant.com/overwatch-2-pve-campaign-co-op-mode-canceled-why
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6. “Overwatch 2 PvE Hero Mode Canceled, Story Missions Coming” Siliconera, 16 May. 2023, https://www.siliconera.com/overwatch-2-pve-hero-mode-canceled-story-missions-coming/
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8. “Overwatch 2 PVE Cancelled – Planned Sequel Content is Officially Never Coming” Esports.net News, 17 May. 2023, https://www.esports.net/news/overwatch/overwatch-2-pve-cancelled/