Despite the axing of Overwatch 2’s ambitious PvE mode earlier this year, the game has just received its most comprehensive content update yet in the form of Overwatch 2: Invasion. Invasion brings all-new PvE content, a new game mode in Flashpoint, improved player progression systems, and Overwatch’s latest support hero; Illari. There’s a breadth of stuff to sink your teeth into here, so let’s break down what to expect when you login to Invasion for the first time.
New PvE Content Marks the Beginning of Overwatch 2’s Canonical Narrative
Story missions are the hallmark inclusion of the Invasion update, marking the beginning of a narrative being told in Overwatch 2. Able to be played in coop or as a solo player, each mission takes you to the homes of different heroes as they attempt to fight against the looming threat of Null Sector. Invasion is launching with three missions out of the gate, each fitted with cinematics, new enemy types, and difficulty settings for added replay value. A unique set of heroes are available for each missions to fit within the narrative context at hand.
Each character combination brings with it unique interactions and lines of dialogue offering up even more replay value. Blizzard poised Invasion’s three missions as the start of a specific story arc, with plans to expand for many years to come. Null Sector are more dangerous and capable now than they were in Uprising. New systems have also been put in place to support these new missions and map sizes. Most impressive is a destructible limb system with the Null Sector enemies, where parts are blown off in combat, limiting their functionality.
On top of this, players can also expect Event Missions to be released seasonally, alongside the addition of Hero Mastery Missions. These replayable single-player experiences are built to hone and refine a player’s skills with specific heroes in Overwatch 2. Invasion brings the first courses for a selection of heroes, with more to follow in future seasons. Hero Mastery Missions are also scored and placed on a leaderboard against other players, incentivizing you to flex your abilities as you compete against one-another for the highest scores.
Illari is a Peruvian Support Hero Powered by the Sun
Touted as an attack-centric support, Illari is Overwatch’s second South American hero. Hailing from Peru, Illari is a young and fierce solar warrior with new healing mechanics and a focus on precision play. Her design is heavily inspired by Peruvian culture, with a strong focus on the sun motif as well as culturally significant details like her hair. She’s also Overwatch’s youngest hero thus far, but her trauma has hardened her into one of the more mature heroes to be found among the cast.
Her main source of healing comes in the form of Healing Pylon; a deployable piece of tech that attaches to any surface and single-target heals allies with low health. Her Solar Rifle allows for long-range precision shots that automatically recharge, with an alt-fire that functions as a healing beam. Outburst acts as a much needed keep-away and repositioning tool in moments of peril. Illari’s Ultimate is unique in that she’s the first support hero with an ultimate that targets enemies. Captive Sun fires off an explosive ball of solar energy that slows enemies when hit, and also triggers an explosion after they take significant damage.
Flashpoint Brings Overwatch’s Biggest PvP Maps to Date
Overwatch 2’s latest PvP mode, Flashpoint, is also launching with Invasion. Invasion is played on Overwatch 2’s biggest maps yet; Suravasa and New Junk City, where teams compete over rotating capture points. Capturing three of them before your opponents do results in victory. Available in both Open and Role queues, Flashpoint is set to become a staple game mode within Overwatch 2. New maps and a Competitive Queue for Flashpoint are also set to be implemented into the game at later dates.
Bigger maps also allow for new locations and deeper representation previously unexplored in Overwatch. Suravasa and New Junk City are massive in scope to accommodate the total of three capture points, simultaneously improving spawn locations and preventing excessive amounts of steamrolling. Much like Push, Flashpoint looks to be a game mode built around momentum swings and more fluid gameplay loops as opposed to the more static nature of modes like Escort.
New Player Progression to Flex Your Skill
The last major inclusion brought with Invasion is a new player progression system. Hero Progression tracks the way you play heroes through individual categories. As your heroes level up, so does your account, earning you emblems and name card upgrades that show-off dedication and skill in a particular character, as well as your playstyle. These bonuses can even be earned in PvE, and are exclusively unlocked through levelling heroes.
All in all, Invasion is a beefy update for Overwatch players to get into in full, while also offering a PvE component for players who don’t gel as much with the PvP side of things. Illari is also charting new ground as far as support hero design goes, offering a particularly offensive playstyle not found with other heroes of her type. Overwatch 2: Invasion is live right now on all platforms, including Steam! You can also check out our hands-on impressions of the update right here.