Blizzard and Valve have finally opened up Overwatch 2 to Steam’s reviews system. Unfortunately for them, the game isn’t exactly getting a glowing reception.
As reported by The Gamer, Overwatch 2 is sitting at a Mostly Negative sentiment, from a staggering 7,500 reviews. Particularly popular is a review from Steam user Ornge, who describes the game as “”an attempt to pry open your wallet while masquerading as the game it used to be”.” 6,000 people marked that review as helpful.
Blizzard knows full well the reason it’s getting this critical drubbing. The fans have long had a love-hate relationship with the franchise, in particular because of its aggressive monetization. While regulators stepped in to end Blizzard’s practice of propagating lootboxes, Overwatch 2’s current monetization model, based around the new in-thing, season passes, is still (probably rightly) deemed too aggressive, and that will obviously turn the fans off.
However, the big narrative that Blizzard can only blame themselves for, is in relation to Overwatch 2’s PvE content. For months Blizzard promised sprawling ambitions for Overwatch 2’s narrative. Fans had hoped that Blizzard would flesh out the still potent storylines that were mostly grazed on in the original Overwatch. Blizzard sold their fans on the dream that we would be able to play these stories out, about its past and future, and that it would amount to one of the biggest narrative shooter experiences the industry had ever seen.
And then, just like that, they threw it all out, well after Blizzard had successfully shut off the original Overwatch’s servers. Blizzard’s reasoning for the abrupt change is hard to parse, and obviously, the fans don’t buy it. Whether this is a story of Blizzard not ready to live up to expectations, or changes in the company’s budget, whatever it is, Blizzard essentially broke their promises to Overwatch fans as soon as it was too late to take it back.
Overwatch 2 may have new heroes, a constant stream of new content, and even be free. But because of how Blizzard set this situation up, their own fans feel cheated by a free game. Reading that out, you would think that such a thing wouldn’t even be possible, but Blizzard found a way.
It’s not clear how Blizzard can smooth out their reputation now. I do think if they can make satisfying PvE content in the scale that they are working on now, they could win most, if not all, fans over. But fans won’t be quick to forgive, and truthfully, they’re right to feel that way.