Overwatch 2 is making some "shocking" changes to the tank class, and one popular character, in particular, is getting a pretty large overhaul in the process. Yesterday, Blizzard revealed new looks for Widowmaker, Reaper, McCree, and Pharah. On top of this, it also revealed some gameplay changes to the characters from the first game who are back for the sequel. And right now, it sounds like Reinhardt is getting re-worked more than any other character, or at least any of the game's major characters.
As noted, Blizzard is making some changes to the tank class it describes as "shocking" and that brings them closer to the action. In other words, tanks should be right at the epicenter of the action, like their class name suggests they should be. In Overwatch, this isn't always the case, but it's something Blizzard is working hard to ensure is the case for the sequel.
"One of the more shocking changes that we've been exploring for Overwatch 2 PvP is a change to the tank role entirely," said Jeff Kaplan, the game's lead designer. "We want to try to make them more toe-to-toe brawlers and less characters that just stand back and protect other people."
For Reinhardt, this means changes to both his charge and his Fire Strike that will give players more control over the hero and allow players to play more aggressively. Can Reinhardt still be played just like a giant shield and position holder? Yeah, but it sounds like players can be more aggressive with the hero in the sequel as well.
"So, for example, for Reinhardt we've given him two charges of the Fire Strike so he can throw Fire Strikes a lot more aggressively and more often," added Geoff Goodman, the game's lead hero designer. "Also his charge, he's able to cancel now, and you can steer it more aggressively so you can not quite turn a corner, but you can definitely more accurately pin targets. And because you can cancel it, it allows you to use it more aggressively and really go after those key targets without feeling like you're going to sacrifice all of your positioning to get there. He's almost most terrifying now, being able to unleash his full arsenal more often than just being the guy with the shield."
Blizzard notes that all of these changes are a work-in-progress, or in other words, far from final. By the time you play the game, some or all of these changes may change themselves. That said, right now it's still unclear when the game will release.
Overwatch 2 is in development for PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. At the moment of publishing, there's been no word of PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions.