Overwatch 2: Invasion brings story missions and new Support Hero

Illari joins the fight as Overwatch 2's newest Hero in the upcoming Invasion season.

Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch 2 is set to introduce its latest season, though Blizzard is determined to make this one a pivotal moment for the hero shooter. Titled “Invasion,” the next Overwatch will add Story Missions, Hero Mastery Missions, a new game mode, and a new playable Hero. The developers have touted it as the single biggest update to Overwatch since the first game launched in 2016, and I had a chance to play it before release.

New ways to play

A robot enemy in Overwatch 2.

Source: Blizzard Entertainment

Years after originally announcing plans to add dedicated PvE content to Overwatch 2, Invasion will finally see the addition of the game’s first story missions. These PvE missions are set in the canonical Overwatch universe, providing an alternate playstyle from the standard PvP experience. Heroes still function the same, but the new enemies will force players to rethink established strategies and approaches.

Since these missions are directly tied to narrative, the heroes for each Story Mission are pre-determined — you won’t be selecting from the game’s full roster when jumping in. The developers explained that the plan is to introduce new story missions on a seasonal basis that spotlight different Heroes.

Blizzard is also adding PvE content in the form of Hero Missions. These single-player missions are more designed to introduce players to a character, not only getting an understanding of how their abilities work, but who they are and what role they play in the larger universe of Overwatch. It should hopefully provide a more engaging way for players to step out of their comfort zones.

There are also Mastery Missions, which provide a tougher challenge and are for players looking to really hone their skills with a specific character. It’s also a good way to refamiliarize yourself with an old main you haven’t played in a while. Only a few characters have Hero Missions at the start of Invasion, but more will be added in future seasons.

To the Flashpoint

The Suravasa map.

Source: Blizzard Entertainment

Flashpoint is Overwatch 2’s newest core mode. It challenges both teams to reach rotating objective points on the map, with the goal of capturing all three before the opponent can. Momentum swings heavily as teams rally to each location. The mode raised some interesting strategic questions during my time playing. Is it smart to travel as a pack and take each location by brute force, while also leaving points unattended? Or, would it be more efficient to split the group into duos and a solo tank/DPS to put the pressure on every location. I look forward to seeing what much better players than me come up with.

Flashpoint will be available in standard Open Queue and Role Queue matchmaking. It will begin as Casual-only, but the developers have confirmed that it’ll join the Ranked rotation a couple of weeks after the season begins, giving players a chance to get comfortable with the mode before the stakes are raised. Interestingly enough, Flashpoint will feature some of the biggest maps in Overwatch. It will feature two maps at launch (Suravasa, New Junk City), with more planned in the future.

The power of the sun

Illari floating in the sky, reaching for the sky.

Source: Blizzard Entertainment

Illari is Overwatch 2’s newest Hero, making her debut in Invasion. This Support character hails from Peru and is the game’s first representative from the South American country. Illari uses the power of the sun to provide healing and aid to allies while putting the heat on the opposition. Here’s the list of Illari’s abilities in Overwatch 2:

  • Solar Rifle (Primary Fire): Long range auto-charging rifle.
  • Solar Rifle (Secondary Fire: Medium range healing beam that consumes solar energy.
  • Healing Pylon (E): Deploy a pylon that heals allies.
  • Outburst (L Shift): Launches you in the direction you are moving, knocking back enemies. Hold jump to go higher.
  • Captive Sun (Ultimate): Fire an explosive ball of solar energy. Enemies hit are slowed and explode after taking significant damage.

All of the new content will be available when Overwatch 2: Invasion goes live on August 10, 2023, at 12 p.m.PT/3 p.m. ET. For more Overwatch 2 news, stick with Shacknews.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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