Overwatch’s Uprising mode needs to be a permanent addition
For the rest of April, Overwatch players can partake in the game’s latest event, Uprising, which includes both new cosmetic items and the titular new Uprising co-op mode. More than your standard PvE Horde mode, Uprising epitomizes virtually everything that makes co-op play so compelling, which is why I’m going to be really disappointed if both of the mode’s variants disappear completely when May 1 (the day on which the larger Uprising event will end) rolls around.
Second Time’s The Charm
As seasoned Overwatch players know, Uprising isn’t the first time Blizzard has introduced a PvE co-op mode into the game. Last October, Overwatch got a special limited-time Halloween event which included a unique co-op mode called Junkenstein’s Revenge. Overall, while Junkenstein’s Revenge was certainly a welcome change of pace from the game’s more competitive modes, it also quickly grew pretty stale since it involved a group of four players standing around a single location and fending off a static series of AI enemies while playing as specific heroes. When the event ended, the mode went with it, once again making Overwatch into a purely competitive shooter.
Uprising corrects pretty much all of the issues players had with Junkenstein’s Revenge. Instead of being stuck in a single location for the entire match, players must instead move around the King’s Row map and complete various objectives all while fighting off enemy robots which can take on a variety of forms (including AI versions of Bastion and Orisa). Blizzard also addressed player complaints of being forced to play as specific characters by offering two different versions of Uprising, one in which players must control the default story-based team of Tracer, Reinhardt, Mercy, and Torbjorn, and one where they can play as any hero they want.
Thanks to the above two changes, Uprising has way more replay value than Junkenstein’s Revenge ever did, especially since a typical match only takes about 10-15 minutes and there’s four different difficulty levels for players to progress through. In short, the Uprising mode finally makes Overwatch feel like what is, in my opinion, a complete game, one that can appeal to both PvE and PvP fans on a near equal measure.
This is why making the Uprising mode completely inaccessible when the event ends would be one of the stupidest things Blizzard could do.
Checks And Balances
I get that Blizzard wants to make seasonal Overwatch events (and their associated modes) feel special hence why they’re only available for limited stretches of time, and I know that, at the end of the day, Blizzard designed Overwatch to be a competitive-focused game at heart (game director Jeff Kaplan even said as much in the most recent developer update video), but completely removing the Uprising mode once the event ends on May 1 would honestly do more harm than good.
It would likely kill the enthusiasm of any PvE players who had revisited (or considered buying) Overwatch to give the mode a try, and it would also likely do the same for players who felt that Uprising finally gave Overwatch something it has honestly been missing since launch: actual story-based content which has the same high level of quality as the game’s various pre-release short films.
When May 1 comes around, I wouldn’t mind losing access to the Uprising loot boxes and corresponding cosmetic items (okay, I *would* mind losing out on the chance to get that sick Blackwatch Genji skin, but that’s beside the point) and I even wouldn’t mind losing access to the more structured story-heavy version of the Uprising game mode. But if Blizzard really does care about player feedback and making sure that Overwatch is a shooter game that’s as inclusive as it is unique, it will do the right thing and at least make the more open-ended version of Uprising (the one where you can play as any hero) a permanent addition to the game.
Blizzard already proved it’s willing to make new modes permanent thanks to the Capture the Rooster mode from the recent Lunar New Year event, but if it really wants to build some long-term goodwill with PvE fans (like myself), it will extend the same courtesy to the Uprising mode. Heck, if additional PvE modes like Uprising were added in future events and Blizzard made all of them permanent, they could coalesce and come together into a sort of faux story campaign, though I know that at this point that’s wishful thinking more than anything else. For now, I’d be happy knowing I could access Uprising whenever I wanted.