Overwatch 2 came to Steam today as part of a new Blizzard initiative to publish some of its games on Valve’s platform. The debut is an opportunity to attract a new audience, but it has also opened the gates to an onslaught of negative player reviews.
Blizzard’s free-to-play hero shooter has received over 6,000 user reviews and a “Mostly Negative” tag on its first day of release. Many players criticize how Blizzard has handled the last year of development, from the transition to the sequel to the gutting of its promised PvE Hero mode. The top review under “most helpful,” posted by Steam user Ornge, knocks the game for locking new heroes behind its premium battle pass and for having the audacity to sell the newly released Invasion PvE missions for money.
“The game is fun, I still feel the experience I love so much in there, it’s just damaged by such intrusive greed [that] I can’t recommend it to anyone,” they wrote.
Many of the top Steam reviews sound like they come from current or retired players who are taking this opportunity to express disdain for Overwatch 2. Scrolling through them, I see plenty of memes and ASCII art, as well as people calling it a “cash grab,” recommendations of alternative FPS Paladins, and one person who hates Hanzo so much they think the entire game isn’t worth playing.
It’s a different vibe from your run-of-the-mill unpopular game launch because a large number of the reviews are presumably coming from longtime players with hundreds of hours under their belt. It wouldn’t be accurate to call this a review-bombing, but more than most service games on Steam, Overwatch 2’s review section reads like a pulse check of what players are angry about at the moment.
“Downloaded it just to leave a negative review,” Steam user Ignite wrote.
Overwatch 1’s confusing transition to Overwatch 2 made it one of the most baffling sequels in gaming, and the cancellation of its PvE Hero mode earlier this year just made things worse. Current and lapsed players alike have routinely slammed Blizzard for monetizing parts of the game that weren’t monetized before, like locking new heroes on the premium battle pass and selling $20 skin bundles on the shop. So it’s not surprising to see these brought up in a majority of the negative reviews. Disappointments aside, there is some hope that Blizzard can earn back goodwill over time: Season 6’s new support hero Illari is instantly fun, and the story missions are pretty neat (but probably not worth the $15).