The visual design and user interface of Overwatch 2 leaves fans of the latest Blizzard game deeply unsatisfied. After several periods of Overwatch 2 server downtime and numerous bugs, including one causing accidental in-store purchases, players who actually got to hang out with the multiplayer game seem to be mostly okay – it’s fun to play, but its presentation is just… bland.
Blizzard made a lot of changes to Overwatch 2 in its sequel, which led players to feel disappointed with its presentation. No more medals and player cards at the end of matches, no more “on fire” mechanic that lit up player portraits when they were on a good streak, no more levels and player borders to show off your veteran with the game. Blizzard spoke out pre-launch about their decision to remove them – in many cases because they felt they caused increased toxicity for players – but at what cost did these changes come?
Both Twitter and Overwatch 2 Reddit are inundated with posts lamenting missing features, calling the game’s UI a “simplified version of OW1” or expressing various issues with its new UI design. One of the most common complaints is the end of round screen, which players say looks “low effort” with solid blue and red colors that don’t match the default palette and don’t scale. to your team’s color settings like the first game did.
Others point to the new scoreboard, which many find confusing to read at a glance and hard to watch mid-game due to its brief opening animation. It also seems somewhat contrary to Blizzard’s decision to remove medals and player cards – if players are concerned that their teammates are “underperforming”, a screen highlighting all of your key stats in a match seems to be a bad decision. Players also say they miss approving the enemy team after a game, and I agree. Sometimes you really have to hand it to them. One commentator notes, “It’s a huge morale boost to be recognized by enemies.”
The “on fire” mechanic was purely a cosmetic bonus to performing well – your player portrait smoldered in flames, and you usually got a celebratory voice from your character to match. Oddly enough, the voice lines are still there, suggesting that the mechanic still exists behind the scenes. Fans say they’re ‘hopeful’ it means the feature could return – one remarks: ‘I didn’t expect ‘on fire’ to be one of the things that I miss the most in OW1. Even in matches where not everything is going your way, it can be nice to have those comments you’ve made, especially for classes like support where it can often be less immediately obvious.
It’s not just the UI that bothers gamers, as many are express disappointment in its character redesigns, especially the new character portraits. The new-look art brings all the characters into a somewhat similar format — and in many cases, better represents their in-game models — but it lacks some personality and pizzazz. Junkrat in particular stands out: no more missing hair and charred face in favor of a glamorous steampunk catwalk model with perfectly slicked back hair. Also notably absent from the game is Ana’s parrot, which appears to have flown into the nest.
As for the in-game models, concept artist and longtime animator Tommy Millar caught on Twitter to discuss the returning cast’s new looks, remarking that “the universal direction here seems to have been ‘busier, more detail, more sci-fi’.” storytelling” by removing visual information from their outfits and remarks that “for me, it just subtracts from the fundamentals”.
Some of the new legendary skins also come under fire – the subreddit’s first post at the time of writing asks why many of the fanciest (and most expensive) skins for new heroes in Overwatch 2 often look less exciting than their default values. Highlighted are Junker Queen’s legendary Wastelander and Circuit Breaker skins, both of which give the Aussie tank a fairly simple black outfit and hair coloring. By comparison, her default look features spikes on her glove, a fun graphic on a ripped crop top, and her faded blue full-length mohawk. This left players playing a guessing game over “which skin is legendary”, with many saying they would have assumed the default skin was the paid one in comparison.
Similar remarks are made about support newcomer Kiriko’s Legendary Athleisure skin, which gives her a new coat instead of her usual robes, but barely alters the look of her leggings, with no visual changes at all. his shoes or any of his equipment. There’s a bit more difference in his Sukajan skin – currently available via Twitch drops – but still only a minor change. Luckily, her Hinotori skin has a more dramatic look similar to what fans have come to expect from legendary tier cosmetics, but you’ll need the premium battle pass to get your hands on it.
It’s important to point out that it’s not all bad – several positive posts and many comments say they’re enjoying Overwatch 2 despite the issues. One thread says the game “is extremely fun and the majority of its issues are fixable”, and that certainly seems fair. If demand exists for these removed features, they might be able to make a return. Other users have even started sharing their own fun ideas for what systems such as a new end-game screen should look like. Players are wary of the future though – one comments wryly: “They’re fixable, of course, but that doesn’t mean Blizzard will fix them.
If you’re eager to try things out for yourself, our Overwatch 2 tier list and Overwatch 2 meta guide at launch should help you find your footing. We also have an explainer for Overwatch 2 Competitive Rankings and a complete guide to Overwatch 2 settings. from the first game, hopefully it will bring new looks that bring more joy.