I’m stuck in the corner of an old, crumbling Greek ruin. I try to bash my keyboard and move my mouse, but it seems as if nothing will release me from the hellish torture of constantly being stunned and incapacitated by several Lucios.
Even with Ramattra’s incredibly stylish Poseidon skin, I am no match for the support classes' most daring DJ, Lucio, who has a remarkable ability in Overwatch 2’s Battle for Olympus event that allows him to stun enemies with his Sound Wave. I am the god of the sea and the leader of a revolutionary omnic force. How have I been lowered to such depths?
I can do nothing but silently wail as the Lucios reduce my health bar to nothing. It's one of my most humiliating deaths in Overwatch ever: cold, alone, and surrounded by DJs shouting, “That's how you get tinnitus”. I’ve had enough of this; you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. It’s time to change to Lucio.
I immediately feel the power flow as I dash uncontrollably around the baking-hot Greek ruins. I fly through the air, refusing to stop until I see a poor unsuspecting Roadhog making his way to a health pack. I jump on the hook-wielding tank, bouncing him away from health and applying a stun. As if by magic, the rest of the Lucios descend on him. Booping the defenseless enforcer from side to side, they ruthlessly sap him of any health. I watch on in horror as I question my role in this attack.
After his untimely death, the defeated Roadhog types, “why so many Lucios?” in chat. To this, I respond, “it’s either bounce or be bounced”. That’s just the law of the land in Overwatch 2’s Battle for Olympus event.
Not another one
As a one-off occurrence, that match was a funny shambles, but the rest of the event games I played were just as surreal, chaotic, and soul-crushing. Overwatch 2’s winter event let me down thanks to its underbaked game modes and subpar rewards, and it's happened again with Battle for Olympus.
I expected the event to capture the grand mythological gods that inspired Blizzard, but the format is a standard FFA (free-for-all) Deathmatch. Sure, the heroes’ ultimates have been buffed, but it’s much like many of the alternative battle modes I could play in Overwatch 2’s Arcade. I want an event to feel like, well, an event.
In one way, Battle for Olympus is actually worse than a normal arcade Deathmatch mode: only seven out of the 36 heroes are playable. Worse still, these seven – Ramattra, Junker Queen, Roadhog, Reinhardt, Pharah, Widowmaker, and Lucio – neither complement nor counter each other, making the games disjointed.
Blizzard could have made up for the formulaic design and limited hero pool by making significant changes to the maps, like all the extra paths and rooms added in Overwatch 2’s Halloween event. But the maps were almost unchanged. Petra, set in South Jordan, had the same stone pillars as well as the usual deep caverns and caves. And, while Illios has two new bridges on the edge of the map, it’s not made a dramatic difference to how it plays.
I was hopeful Overwatch 2’s first Battle Pass event would be a large-scale affair, not a standard mode, with two tweaked maps and some buffed ultimates. Especially after the Halloween event, Blizzard gave us a revitalized Junkerstein’s Revenge event, where you could play in groups of four heroes and venture through a cobweb-filled dark and dusty Eichenwalde. You could come across various bosses, locations and fights; it was a memorable event. I wish I could say the same for the Battle for Olympus and Winter events.
A relentless challenge
So what are the prizes for surviving the onslaught of mediocre event matches in Battle for Olympus? Instead of getting sprays like in the Winter event, some name tags are up for grabs. Zeus’s Favorite, Herald of Hermes, and Sentinel of Hades, for instance. But if you want the full set, according to a post by Reddit user SirBubblegum, you’ll have to play Battle for Olympus for 90 minutes straight every day for two weeks and sink time into each available hero where only Lucio is having a good time.
Other than the nametags, there’s not much else by way of rewards. While you can try the snazzy new Greek god skins during the event, you only get the Posideon Ramattra skin and the Hades Pharah skin in the Battle Pass, which you also have to pay for. The others are only available in the Overwatch 2 store.
The average price for one of these skins is $22 / £18.92 / AUD$33.88. So getting all five could set you back as much as $110/ £94.5 / AUD$169.40.
The one skin you can earn for free by completing challenges in Battle for Olympus is the Winged Mercy skin that was free in the original Overwatch. So you can play two weeks straight of this event or grind 327 years of Overwatch 2 in hopes you can grab that Mercy skin along the way to completing your collection.
Honestly, I’m more tired than disappointed at this stage. Overwatch 2 is still in its infancy, so I’ll keep my hopes up and that Blizzard figures out how to make its Battle Pass rewarding, but it has to do better than a half-baked event and skins that you can only buy in the shop.
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Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications.
Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.