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Overwatch 2 will radically change Bastion, who has a hat now

Blizzard shows off Bastion and Sombra ability reworks

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Blizzard Entertainment is making some big changes to the heroes of Overwatch for Overwatch 2, including everyone’s favorite point-and-kill turret robot, Bastion. In addition to sporting a baseball cap borrowed from Torbjorn, Bastion’s abilities are being reimagined for Overwatch 2, Blizzard revealed on Saturday evening at the Overwatch League finals.

In the first Overwatch, Bastion could transform from a walking robot (Recon mode) to a stationary turret (Sentry mode), gaining a higher rate of fire and large ammo reserves at the expense of mobility. In Overwatch 2, Bastion will gain the ability to move (albeit at a slower rate) while in turret form. Bastion is also gaining a new ability — a secondary fire that launches bouncing sticky bombs — and losing one — the power to self-repair.

Bastion’s ultimate ability is also changing completely for the sequel. Rather than turning into a tank, Bastion will go full-on siege mode, launching three targeted artillery blasts that rain down on opponents.

Blizzard is also updating Bastion’s appearance, with “sleeker, more modern materials,” according to Overwatch character art director Arnold Tsang. Like the rest of the restyled cast of Overwatch, the character redesigns are noticeable, if not drastically different.

Another character getting a big ability rework in Overwatch 2 is Sombra.

Overwatch game director Aaron Keller says these change will soften Sombra’s crowd-control abilities, while giving her more damage-dealing opportunities. One component of that is Sombra’s hack ability, which is getting a shorter cooldown and a big tweak in Overwatch 2: Hacked enemies will take 50% more damage while hacked. Enemies’ abilities are disrupted for a shorter time (just one second) while hacked, but they’ll take extra damage for a full eight seconds. Hacked enemies will also be visible through walls, both to Sombra and her teammates. Oh, and Sombra can now hack while in stealth mode (though she’s momentarily visible during the process).

Sombra’s ultimate ability will now deal damage to opponents caught in the hack’s area of effect — 40% of their current health, instead of draining their shields — all of which should make her a more capable damage selection in Overwatch 2.

The latest look at Overwatch 2 also revealed a more subtle change: At least one of the Easter egg tributes to former Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan has apparently been scrubbed from the sequel’s New York map as part of Blizzard’s pledge to remove in-game references to real-life employees. A sign that used to read “Jeph’s Corner Pizza” now just bears the latter two words.

Developers did not provide an update on when players will get their hands on the sequel, but Activision Blizzard has already said that we shouldn’t expect Overwatch 2 until 2022 at the earliest.

Blizzard’s latest update on Overwatch 2 comes shortly after the departure of the game’s executive producer, Chacko Sonny, and amid ongoing turmoil at publisher Activision Blizzard, which faces wide-ranging allegations that it maintained a toxic workplace environment that’s particularly hostile to women. California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Activision Blizzard in July, alleging that women at the company are paid less and subject to sexual harassment, without meaningful punishment applied to perpetrators. You can read more about the allegations against Activision Blizzard in Polygon’s explainer.

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