Blizzard has announced Overwatch 2 Halloween Terror, the first in-game seasonal event since its relaunch as a free-to-play shooter earlier this month. There’s a returning co-op activity, and some minor unlocks, but to the dismay of fans, the only way to get any of the fresh batch of seasonal skins is to throw money at the game’s cosmetics store… the one exception being a Winston skin that requires you watch Twitch streamers for four hours.
If you play the game this Halloween, you’ll be able to unlock some special rewards that include the Nightfall Over Adlersbrunn Name Card, the Jack-o’-Lantern Weapon Charm, and boosted Battle Pass XP. We’ll have to wait until the event update goes live later today to see all of the rewards, but these seem to be smaller trinkets, as opposed to full character skins – certainly they would highlight them if that were the case..
Fans of the game’s occasional co-op modes (before the full co-op campaign comes out in 2023) will be able to partake in the original Junkenstein’s Revenge co-op Brawl, which is returning for a limited time.
However, it seems that all of the fun Halloween themed skins that Blizzard has prepared for this event are tied up in the in-game store, with anyone that wants them having to shell out their hard-earned cash. Most other free-to-play games will at least have some more significant unlocks available as aspirational freebies and rewards for actually playing the game (albeit locked behind loot boxes) but the sole free Legendary Skin you can earn this year comes not from playing the game, but from watching it.
Connecting your Twitch and Battle.net accounts and then watching streams in the Overwatch 2 category will earn you a Werewolf Winston Spray after 2 hours watched, and the Werewolf Winston Legendary Skin after 4 hours watched. Great if you like watching streamers playing Overwatch, great for Activision’s ability to pad their engagement stats, but daft if you consider how this affects the game event for people who want to feel rewarded for playing.
The generally held suspicion is that this situation has come about because of the issues that Overwatch 2 ran into around launch. With extended server downtime, DDoS attacks and difficulties with account merging, Blizzard announced that they would be handing out some free cosmetics by way of apology. Obviously these cosmetics don’t come from nowhere, and fans now reckon that the Cursed Captain Reaper Legendary skin was siphoned off from the Halloween event to be one of the freebies – it seems pretty obvious given the theme of the free skin, and technically it is being given away alongside the rest of the Halloween event, just automatically rewarded to all players.
Of course, this is all visual frippery around a solid multiplayer shooter. In our Overwatch 2 review, Nick said:
“Overwatch 2 has a lot of common ground with the original, but it’s managed to take what we know and breathe a new life into a landmark hero shooter. The fact that it’s now free-to-play means more people can enjoy this truly wonderful shooter, though the monetisation feels heavy handed compared to other games.”