Lifeweaver and Bob from Overwatch 2

‘Overwatch 2’ Delivers the Goods With New Season 4 Additions

Two months after the controversial Mercy nerfs and Overwatch 2‘s first-ever brand collaboration with One Punch Man, another season has come and gone, and season 4 of Overwatch 2 is officially live. In addition to a number of balance changes and reworks for heroes including Brigitte, Mercy, and Moira, we’ve also got a brand new hero, Lifeweaver, and a new Space Opera-themed battle pass. With plenty of cosmetic changes, potentially meta-shifting reworks, and everyone’s favorite (already controversial) plant-based pansexual, let’s dive into everything new that Overwatch 2 season 4 has to offer.

Recommended Videos

New battle pass offerings in Overwatch 2

A new season of Overwatch 2 means a new battle pass for viewers to either work their way through manually or pay to access. The theme of this season’s battle pass/skins is Space Opera (think Star Wars without the licensed brand names) and features a number of glossy new skins. The crown jewel of the Space Opera skins is the mythic-tier “Galactic Emperor” Sigma skin: the final reward at the end of the 80-tier battle pass. Other notable skins in the battle pass include Space Prince Lucio (legendary), Infinite Annihilator Bastion (epic), Extraterrestrial Winston (legendary), Phi Ta Khon Lifeweaver (legendary), Festival Hanzo (legendary), Intergalactic Smuggler Ashe (legendary), Bonebreaker Doomfist (legendary), and Infinite Seer Mercy (epic).

Alongside the space opera-inspired skins and additional cosmetics, the battle pass also features a number of tongue-in-cheek Star Wars references scattered among the voice lines and sprays. Sigma has an “unlimited power” voice line in homage to Emperor Palpatine, Lucio has a Princess Leia hologram-inspired souvenir, and there’s a new name card with schematics for a space ship and alien writing that looks awfully similar to the Star Wars language, Aurebesh.

Overwatch 2‘s newest character

Lifeweaver in 'Overwatch 2' season 4

For many players, the big draw of the battle pass this season is the introduction of new support hero Lifeweaver, a “plant-based pansexual” with a kit that includes a floating petal platform and an ability to grab allies and pull them towards him. Though Lifeweaver isn’t playable in competitive mode quite yet, players who buy the premium battle pass will have immediate access to him in quickplay and arcade modes. If you’re not looking to shell out the cash for the premium pass, you’re still able to access the hero—you’ll just have to grind to level 45 of the free battle pass to do so. Once you’ve got Lifeweaver unlocked, give his kit a spin—his abilities are certainly going to shake up the meta this season. For a deep dive into the character’s full kit, backstory, and design, check out our Lifeweaver hero guide.

Updates on PvE (story mode)

Since the release of Overwatch 2, there’s been constant chatter and speculation about the promised player vs. environment game mode. Now that we’re back at the start of a new season, some players hoped there might be an update about a potential release date for this PvE mode, and in some sense, we got our wish: Lead game developer Aaron Keller shared a blog post highlighting a number of PvE elements he was hoping to introduce to Overwatch 2 this season via the PvP Starwatch game mode. Starwatch is a limited time event for season 4, but Keller explained that it includes some game features that he hopes will carry over/lay the groundwork for an eventual full PvE mode: “One of the things that I’m most excited about with Starwatch is that it introduces some PvE elements into a PvP match. Turrets are placed for the Infinite Empire and Doomfist will play alongside the Watchers. We’ve been talking about game modes like this lately and would like to explore them more.”

Though this is hardly the full-blown PvE mode players have been hoping for (at least, not yet) these game elements seem like an encouraging stepping stone, and hopefully promise more similar elements in the future.

New character buffs, nerfs, and reworks in Overwatch 2

Now, for the meat of the season 4 updates: the character changes. Season 4 brought one major character rework—Brigitte—in addition to some significant changes to Moira (a buff) and Mercy (a change that developers view as a buff but community members have voiced their frustrations with). Only two tanks saw changes: Sigma’s accretion receiving a 20 point damage reduction and an increased knockdown duration, while Reinhart saw a 50 point reduction in armor health supplemented by a 25 point increase in base health. There were also only two damage heroes to get updates: Sombra is now able to disable Mei’s Blizzard with her EMP, while Cassidy lost 25 points of base health.

It was supports who saw the most updates/balance changes this season; the most prominent being the addition of Lifeweaver to the roster, though as previously mentioned, he isn’t playable in competitive mode quite yet. Ana’s sleep dart now has a 30% maximum duration reduction on tank heroes, which developers noted was to account for the more significant role of tanks in the five-person game. Brigitte’s ultimate “Rally” was reworked: now, the ultimate upgrades her barrier shield (increased size and health, from 300 to 750), shield bash will stun enemies and be able to impact multiple heroes at once, she now gains a 100 restorable armor health for the duration of her ultimate. This Rally rework is also in addition a 15% decrease in bonus movement speed and five meter range decrease on repair pack.

Mercy and Moira both saw changes, though not as significant as rally. Mercy was reverted back to her prior balance after the poor community response to the season 3 changes: She now heals 55 points per second and no longer has increased healing for allies under half health. They also reversed the increase on the guardian angel cooldown (back to 1.5 seconds), but the guardian angel jump and crouch ability is no longer able to be manually interrupted to begin the cooldown early, in addition to the cancel ability state duration being increased from 1 to 1.5 seconds. Though I’m glad to see Mercy’s guardian angel cooldown restored, preventing players from canceling guardian angel manually to start an early cooldown could prove to be a frustrating move that renders the other changes meaningless.

Last but not least, Moira got a much welcome buff: biotic heal’s lingering heal duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds, and she can now fade while using coalescence (though her bonus movement speed has been reduced 10%).

Miscellaneous Overwatch 2 updates

As for other general updates, map pools have now been removed, seasonal rank decay is gone (thank goodness) and the post-match screen now shows a whole slew of information regarding a player’s rank and competitive progress, which should hopefully alleviate feelings of frustration or confusion among players regarding rank. For arcade fans, there’s a new community-designed map, Talantis. A new hero, a newly reworked Brigitte, and the first baby steps towards PvE make Overwatch 2‘s season 4 updates especially exciting—and players can experience it live now that the season is up and running.

(featured image: Blizzard)

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Lauren Coates
Lauren Coates
Lauren Coates (she/her)is a freelance film/tv critic and entertainment journalist, who has been working in digital media since 2019. Besides writing at The Mary Sue, her other bylines include Nerdist, Paste, RogerEbert, and The Playlist. In addition to all things sci-fi and horror, she has particular interest in queer and female-led stories. When she's not writing, she's exploring Chicago, binge-watching Star Trek, or planning her next trip to the Disney parks. You can follow her on twitter @laurenjcoates