We still don’t know when Overwatch 2 will release, but a beta test is approaching later this month. After a quiet period for the new shooter sequel from Blizzard, the beta should finally give us a better sense of what to expect, including its shift to a 5v5 format. In the meantime, one concrete bit of info that Blizzard has afforded us is a peek at how a number of the game’s existing heroes will be getting a new look in Overwatch 2.
Numerous characters–from Mercy to Bastion to Baptiste–are getting a redesign. Overall, these are not dramatic overhauls; you aren’t going to suddenly mistake Sombra for Widowmaker, as characters’ general silhouettes and appearances are largely the same. But changes both big and small have been made to various aspects of their clothing and physical appearance, lending a fresh coat of paint to the experience. We don’t yet know what everyone will look like in the new game, but we’ve rounded up all of the redesigns Blizzard has revealed so far below.
Of course, the more meaningful changes will be the gameplay ones. We’ve heard about how Bastion will be mobile even in his sentry form, while Sombra gets various buffs that help to make her more aggressive. We’ll need to see how these play out in the beta and beyond, but Overwatch 2 is set to change up the meta with changes like this and the aforementioned removal of one player from each team.
Overwatch 2’s beta begins later in April, though it will not be available for everyone. Its imminent arrival comes as part of a plan to decouple the PvP and PvE components of Overwatch 2 in order to deliver something more quickly. The PvP mode will offer cross-play with players of the original Overwatch, although there are still many questions about just how that will work and what Overwatch 2 will bring to the table to justify its name. Blizzard is also dealing with ongoing allegations of a hostile work environment, with reports of sexism and other issues. Among other things, Blizzard has taken steps to address this by making changes within its games, such as the renaming of Overwatch’s McCree to Cassidy.