Overwatch 2’s Bot Escort Mission Could Use Some Work

Overwatch 2 introduces the latest game mode, Push into their catalogue of ranked matches. While not a great showstopper of a game mode, it is an interesting game mode that is pushing a different type of gameplay and possibly subject to change based on how the game is balanced. That shouldn't stop anyone from trying it out for some fun with friends.

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Overwatch 2‘s initial release on all platforms hadn’t really provided players with the best first impression of the game; with extremely long queue times, some players being able to play only a few matches before being booted, and other issues. However, the stabilization of the game has been found, for the most part as of writing. Players jump back into the world of Overwatch with the hero shooter that helped bring the genre the popularity and notoriety.

One of the additions to the balance and flow of the gameplay with there being only five heroes per team and only one tank allowed. The addition of a new mode of play is introduced as an escort referred to simply as Push. The rules are simple, capture the bot, then have the bot push the barricade the furthest to win. However, while the rules are simple and easy to understand, the task of doing so becomes increasingly difficult when the opposing team is seemingly steamrolling. It’s a mode with some clear problems in balancing, but it does have a lot of potential. 

Overwatch 2 Gameplay Trailer

The Rules of Push

The first one is an obvious one: the robot moves at the same pace no matter how many heroes surround it, unlike the payload. Which leads to a possibility with only one person in control of the bot with the rest of the team trying to catch up. At least one teammate must be present to move the bot; unlike when moving the payload, which requires at least three people for the payload to move at its full speed. Unlike the payload maps there is no added benefit of playing around the robot since it does not provide healing. However, with the robot’s set speed it is important to not accidentally leave the bot being escorted too far behind.

Now usually the gamers aren’t too keen on escort gameplay but that is the name of the game essentially. The objective is to escort a robot that must be captured in order to push a barricade to a point the furthest. The gameplay of this mode leaves quite a bit to be desired. However, there are some unique strategies to victory with this mode. 

Introducing the Push Bot

Introducing the Push Bot

What Push Tries to Accomplish

With the added benefit of the bot moving in a set path, it becomes easy for the opposing team to set up ambushes. This leads to the bot constantly switching from being in one team’s possession to the other of the teams’ rather frequently. However, the inverse is possible as the bot moves at a set speed. Other teammates can peel off and engage the team far away from the point of contention. This goes against most of what Overwatch has been about, battle for a point of contention. Either control of a point or a payload. Essentially turning it into team deathmatch. However, ultimately this mode does foster that teamwork is key to victory.

Skirmish for the Bot

Skirmish for the Bot

One thing Overwatch and in essence Overwatch 2 has been moving toward is limiting the power of ultimate abilities. Maps like these encourages tight coordination and no one hero can win this battle alone. Another aspect of Overwatch 2 bot escort is that the maps are much larger than average Overwatch 2 maps. These maps give differing spawn points depending on where the current push is being made. Which means death could lead to an advantageous flank, or a long trek back leading to a team greatly staggered team. This mode in a way exercises the core concepts of the game overall. Though this is not in approval of the game mode, as it is often frustrating and difficult to organize around a constantly moving capture point. 

Push Bot pushing the barrier.

Bot pushing the barrier.

I Already Have a Plan: Attack

One factor about Overwatch 2 Bot Escort mode compared to others that it is the closest that Overwatch 2 will have to a competitive team deathmatch. Because unlike other game modes with points that must be captured, the push bot will not move with the opposing team present. So, the only option of moving the robot forward is removing all opposing team members. This leads to a key strategy of this battle mode, aggression. There will be constant engagements in this mode. Sometimes to the point you may lose track of the robot to finish a fight. Push maps are full of multiple flank routes too allowing heroes with movement abilities to be a real a menace to the enemy team. DPS is a big part of the battle of claiming the robot. Leading to this match mode being Overwatch 2′s closest version of a team deathmatch. To claim the robot multiple skirmishes are needed and could possibly take place all over the map. 

Heroes escorting the Bot

Heroes escorting the Bot

Keep the Momentum

The balance of this mode is often unfair, as the team with the most momentum in a conflict is able to have their bot escorted the furthest. Unlike other game modes in competitive, there is only one round. This means that the team pushing with the most momentum often have the greatest chance of victory. With one team pushing the furthest, with the ultimate point of victory being the opposing team’s original spawn point. Ultimately this leads to the mode leaning towards more combat heavy heroes, or at least those who are able to output large amounts of DPS. The evolution of the hero shooter still continues on with Overwatch 2‘s Bot Escort. Trying different things is how the medium evolves. So, while not perfect, fans should be willing to share their thoughts about it this hero shooter. 

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