Overwatch was released in 2016, became an instant hit, and effectively invented the modern hero shooter sub-genre. Overwatch players could choose from a variety of quirky and endearing characters, each with their own unique abilities, with an emphasis on 6-v-6 PvP multiplayer. The concept was a huge hit, earning high Metacritic scores and attracting a devoted following, as well as its own Esports league. Because of this illustrious history, the sequel to Overwatch will undoubtedly be scrutinized. To say the least, the stakes are high.

Overwatch 2 was announced to much fanfare at Blizzcon in 2019. It’s only natural that fans of the IP salivate at the prospect of an updated installment of the series on newer, more sophisticated hardware, given that it’s the sequel to one of the most influential games of the previous generation of gaming. However, in the months leading up to its release, Overwatch 2 has caused a lot of concern among fans due to its resemblance to the first game and the departure of some key Blizzard Entertainment personnel.

Regardless of reservations, Overwatch 2 is set to release in early access in the near future, which is an exciting prospect, and here’s everything we know about it right now.

With all of the excitement comes the age-old question of when players will be able to get their hands on the finished product. The term final product is merely the operational term in this case, as Overwatch 2 will be released to the general public on October 4, 2022 — but only in early access form. While players will be able to jump right into the game’s highly anticipated multiplayer action, the game will not be released in its entirety. Instead, many of the sequel’s newer elements will be saved for later in the series.

A mission-based PvE component is still in development, and when players will be able to enjoy those sections of the game is unknown. With that in mind, it’s likely that the game’s PvP sections have been overhauled in recent months, as they didn’t do much for players during beta testing. Twitch viewership of streamers playing the beta fell off the map hard a week after it was released to the public, with a 99 percent drop in viewership in a week. In early October, players will learn how much has changed.

Blizzard Entertainment was not ready to announce a firm release date for Overwatch 2 even during the beta phase. The game was delayed in November 2021 and was not given a firm release date as a result, leading many fans of the IP to fear that the game would not be released in the calendar year 2022. Blizzard, on the other hand, allayed these fears with a release date announcement trailer that aired on June 12, 2022, during the Xbox Showcase & PC Games Show.

The trailer features the most iconic Overwatch characters, both new and old, all engaged in the series’ signature high-octane, frenetically paced gameplay. Despite the game’s difficult development cycle to this point — and fan concerns about its graphical fidelity — the majority of fan feedback on YouTube has been positive. Many fans were ecstatic that Junker Queen was included in the trailer on Reddit.