Overwatch 2 promises to be more of a storytelling experience than its predecessor, blending the original game’s familiar gameplay and surgically-dosed lore. The time leap between both installments affected each hero differently from a storytelling perspective—and their new looks reflect that change.
The visuals in Overwatch 2 aren’t just cosmetic, though. They’re actually another element of storytelling that narrates how the characters spent the years between games. To create them, artists were tasked with the challenge of giving heroes a fresh model while simultaneously keeping the spirit of their original design.
Here are some comparisons of Overwatch characters’ new and old appearances.
Fans got their first official look at this robotic ninja’s new attire when he made a magnificent entrance in “Zero Hour.” Genji is among the heroes who changed the most—he’s now wearing actual clothes.
The hero adopted a sportier look by wearing a hoodie, pants, and shoes over his armor. His sword sheathes also received a slight rework, with a sturdier frame and accent colors in his trademark lime green.
The Brazilian DJ’s appearance was tweaked to look more dynamic. His long sleeves, armor padding on his arms and chest, and baggy pants make him look more like a futuristic pro athlete than just a DJ. Lúcio’s rollerblades and glasses were slimmed down and, more noticeably, his hair was dyed to a shade of green similar to his speed aura.
His new color palette features a mix of greens, blues, and darker colors. His T-shirt was changed from green to blue and some of the original model’s yellow details were scrapped altogether.
One detail that can go unnoticed is a small accessory on his wrist. The new version of Lúcio wears bracelets in green, yellow, and blue, colors that represent his home country, which will be the stage for one of the story missions in the new game.
Mei is coming to Overwatch 2 with a few changes. Her hair looks longer and is tied with a futuristic version of a scrunchie rather than with her signature hairclip. The artists also got rid of her cumbersome harness and toned down the arctic theme.
Most of the insulation and padding in her collar and boots was swapped for a generally technologic, if not casual, look. Her new palette sprinkles a lot of blue in areas with otherwise neutral colors, such as her previously-white sleeves. Mei’s robotic companion, Snowball, looks as adorable as ever.
Dr. Ziegler fully embraced the “battle mercy” style by donning an upgraded version of her armor. Her color palette saw the addition of gold and ochre as accent colors and inlays to her suit. Her new collar, coupled with her shorter hair and halo, give her a slightly clerical look. Mercy’s wings also saw the addition of details in yellow and orange and model adjustments, which make them look a lot more resistant.
It’s nearly impossible to imagine Reinhardt without his armor—it’s the core of his role as a tank and former Crusader. His metal suit received a major overhaul in Overwatch 2, probably from the hands of his mechanic-slash-squire, Brigitte Lindholm. It looks new, unlike his old battle-torn model. The new version has accents in yellow, Brigitte’s base armor color. Reinhardt also ditched his Crusader helmet and let his beard and hair grow longer.
Overwatch poster girl Tracer couldn’t be left out of the sequel. But changing one of the faces of the franchise is always a tricky task. The artists tried to preserve Tracer’s core elements, like her color palette and the sense of motion. At the same time, they felt it was necessary to drift away from her retro design.
The end result saw her ditch her trademark glasses in exchange for a pair of tactical glasses reminiscent of her Cadet Oxton skin. To water down the retro aviator look, the artists gave the heroine smaller gloves and a slimmer combat jacket. They also changed the chronal accelerator in her chest.
Overwatch’s simian scientist didn’t receive as many changes as some of his fellow heroes. His armor was revamped for a more tight-fitting look, while his thrusters got an upgrade. He seems to have a technological interface on his right gauntlet, probably connected to Overwatch AI Athena. The Horizon Lunar Colony symbol on his left shoulder pad was replaced with Overwatch’s.