PVE Story Missions and Overwatch 2 Flashpoint impressions — Bring your tissue box!

If you are planning to purchase the Overwatch 2: Invasion Bundle, PVE Story Missions are an enticing addition to the package. The jarring news of Blizzard completely scrapping Hero Mode along with the talents and power progression features shown at BlizzCon 2019 really set the tone for the company this year. As a redemption attempt, Blizzard has offered to focus on the Story Missions this time, after paying $15 for access of course.

Each Story Mission is different in its own way. In my opinion, Overwatch 2 should just become its own animated series, which it sort of has with the releases of the anime shorts on Youtube. However, the stories of each character are some of the most interesting aspects of Overwatch 2. Playing the story missions offered deep lore for Overwatch 2 and connected many dots. Content was given that interested me for many of the characters I enjoy, including Zenyatta.

There are three focal points for Season 6’s Story Missions that are all enjoyable in their own way. Each comes with its own beautiful cinematics that really makes playing these missions worth it. Some were happy, some were tear-jerking, and all were informative.

The three maps are Resistance in Rio De Janeiro, Liberation in Toronto, and Ironclad in Gothenburg (arguably my favorite one). Picking up from Overwatch in 2016, during Winston’s recall, the story missions will include new enemies and new experiences, and the unfolding of the canonical Overwatch 2 story.

While these story missions are lengthy and commendable, I found that they do not expand too much on what we already know from the previous story of Overwatch. Progression seems anchored at Winston’s recall and doesn’t take too many strides to advance the plot. We know part of the Overwatch team is reluctant to join and we know the members who joined right away. However, it seems to stick to that, as if Blizzard is struggling to move on or taking their time to really refine all elements of the story. This gives the story of Overwatch 2 much potential to have longevity, and also for Blizzard to keep each part of the story progression behind a paywall in the future.

Regardless of the stagnant narrative, the story missions felt very much like previous Overwatch missions. You are able to hear some funny voice lines between characters until you reach your first objective. The main point of interest is usually protecting an objective against waves of Null Sector enemies. Surges of robots of all shapes and sizes and from all points of entry spill out to attack your team. From exploding bots to ones that fly above, the new variety was fun. It really comes down to paying attention to what the enemy is doing and, once you master that, the maps are completable in your sleep unless you jump the difficulty mode to ultra-hard.

The Overwatch 2 Story Missions weren’t exactly a letdown since I was really in it for the cinematics. They were beautiful and worth the hacking and slashing at the metal dummies for 30 minutes. Blizzard has no plans on allowing to play heroes other than the ones selected specifically for that narrative. This was sort of disappointing but it makes sense because of how important these stories will be to the future narrative. Hopefully, the coming story missions present more challenges and take a huge leap of advancement in the canonical story of Overwatch 2.

Overall, I am looking forward to seeing how all the characters come together, understanding the stories behind conflicting voice lines, and watching hours of cinematics to connect the story of Overwatch 2.

Flashpoint is a brand new core game mode in Overwatch 2 and the first core game mode added since Push. These maps are absolutely awesome. They are huge and I had to play the mode multiple times before discovering all the hidden spots. I will say, like every map, each character will have a ‘perfect’ place to have a vantage point from depending on the team composition. The two maps added were New Junk City and India.

Dismissing linearity, Flashpoint maps contain five different control points – yes, five. They are scattered around the map and are randomly chosen which one is active after the first, constant one that is in the center. Running to a new control point from different sides of the map was refreshing and kept me on my toes. It presented a dynamic element to each match and allowed for much confusion. Luckily, as a healer, I was able to just follow my trusty teammates to the objective.

Flashpoint is definitely different from Push. Personally, Push Mode is not fun when you’re losing as there is almost little to no chance to redeem the winning spot. I always felt like Push was hopeless after losing so many matches. However, Flashpoint changes my views on new modes for Overwatch 2. It feels balanced, like each team has an equal chance of gaining the upper hand, given the skills of each player per team as well as knowledge of the map layout.

From my gameplay, the options that Flashpoint presents in each part from the beginning to late game are unique. The tables could turn at any second, forcing teams to change whole compositions since each control point is different. Keeping your head on a swivel and focusing on entry and exit points is key to winning a control point.

I had a very hard time with this because my opponents came from different points every time. Ambushed from left to right, this game mode demands peak attention. Luckily, playing them enough offered me a chance to know where the enemies poured out from, however, it’s hard to store all that knowledge when each objective stays random.

I feel like this mode will probably be the most fun. With the dynamic aspect, it is able to be replayed and learned over a long period of time. It is going to be a favorite for me at least since I enjoy a challenge and a surprise factor! My favorite map was New Junk City! I enjoyed Junkertown already, so seeing the city really solidified the hype for Flashpoint. The concealed rooms, tight hallways, and higher platforms behind hidden walls allowed me to take advantage of my surroundings. Each part of New Junker City looked completely different from other areas and depending how good each team is will determine how long these matches will last.

There’s no doubt that Flashpoint will be at the top of the charts long after launch. The amount of times I played each map and had entirely new experiences is unmeasurable. As for now, these maps are stunning, but in the future within new seasons or hopefully, within seasonal roadmaps, there will be more maps because, no matter the replayability, anything can become stale.

The Overwatch 2: Invasion update will be chock-full of new content, new experiences, fun maps, and of course, Illari. For me, it was the cinematics and Flashpoint that took the cake. The stories and the new mode will be the backbone of Overwatch 2’s longevity along with the Battle Pass skins. However, I cannot wait to enjoy more Play of the Game clips from New Junker City and India!

Overwatch 2: Invasion is live right now and ready to play!

Dominique' McClain is an enthusiastic content writer and enjoys all things video games. She's highly obsessed with Lord of the Rings and loves dragons. You can chat with her on Twitter @Dommy_Bomb.

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