Blizzard Releases Overwatch 2 Beta

Overwatch 2 Beta

After months of ups and downs including widespread misconduct allegations, worker walkouts and a $68.7 billion purchase by Microsoft, Blizzard is finally back to releasing games. Earlier this week, Blizzard rolled out the beta test for Overwatch 2, the sequel to its popular team-based shooter.

Overwatch 2 isn’t officially out yet, but players can try its PVP mode as part of a test that runs through May 17. The test represents multiple major milestones for Blizzard: It’s the studio’s first major release since misconduct allegations arose last year, it’s also the first time since 2020 that Overwatch has received a new playable character. The original game’s update schedule had become essentially non existent leading many players to move on from the franchise.

Overwatch, which released in 2016, was one of the biggest competitive shooters for years. Regular updates and announcements were met with great anticipation. Overwatch’s popularity reached its peak in 2018 with the debut of Blizzard’s Overwatch League, a franchised esports league with team slots reportedly costing in the tens of millions of dollars.

Judging by Twitch viewership numbers, Overwatch 2′s beta test is off to a strong start. Twitch viewership peaked at 1.4 million concurrent viewers on Thursday.

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Halo Infinite Is About To Get Some Juice

Halo Infinite, released last November, is the first game in the series to feature a free-to-play model. It’s continued success is built around a seasonal framework. For the most part the game has been met with positive reviews but criticized for the expensive cosmetics and a general lack of new content.

Season two, “Lone Wolves,” is set to release on May 3 and it looks like something people are going to want to check out. Developer 343 Industries dropped a brief trailer that included a reel of new maps and cosmetics.

In January, 343 announced that players could earn credits that could be spent on Halo’s microtransactions via simply playing but didn’t get into the details. Now, we have some.

Those who buy the premium battle pass for season two, which cost 1,000 credits, can earn 1,000 credits over the course of the pass. In theory you could bank those 1,000 credits and spend them on the premium battle pass for season three.

“Free money” isn’t the only thing worht mentioning, Infinite is getting a bunch of new additions next month, including two new maps.

Arena playlists will get Catalyst, a map that looks to be set on a Forerunner structure. Big Team Battle is getting a new map called Breaker. Unfortunately 343 still hasn’t yet featured remade versions of popular maps from previous games.

King of the Hill will be available from the start of the season. As will Attrition, the team-based deathmatch that was playable for a few weeks in January.

Last Spartan Standing mode is also being added. It’s a “free-for-all elimination mode,”according to the release but details, like its release date or even a an explanation of how it works, haven’t been made available.

The big question for Halo players is if Season 2 can pull players back in.

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