One of Overwatch's best qualities is how distinct every hero feels, but a result of that diversity is that some recent heroes have gotten complicated. I'm not always in the mood to aim Echo's weird finger guns or play babysitter with Baptiste's immortality field. Many nights I just want to point and shoot, which means I end up on Soldier 76. I do love Old Gun Dad, but the two-year hero drought has left me desperate for another kit inspired by the simple fun of classic FPSes. Looks like I got lucky—Sojourn, the first new hero of Overwatch 2, is exactly my jam.
Sojourn's entire deal can be described in a single sentence: she shoots a machine gun on left-click to charge up railgun blasts on right-click. It's a gratifying one-two punch—the machine gun (which isn't hitscan, but shoots fast) is perfect for chipping away at HP to soften heroes up. Once Sojourn's charge reaches 80-100 (visible on her center reticle), the instant hitscan impact of the railgun is enough to finish most heroes off with one big shot. It's a bit like having Soldier on left-click and Widowmaker on right-click with all of the potential pitfalls that those heroes have, too.
After a few weeks in the closed Alpha, it's clear the threat of a fully-charged Sojourn is gnarly. A railgun headshot is often a one-hit-kill from full health. She essentially has the power of a sniper in a gun that doesn't require her to scope in like Widowmaker or slow down like Hanzo. Her railgun is just as accurate standing still as it is when she's running, sliding, or jumping, but that's also what makes her challenging. A Sojourn that misses every railgun shot is just a worse Soldier, so her usefulness hinges on periodic skillshots.
In a way it's the opposite dynamic of Soldier's gun/rocket combo. While Soldier whittles down targets from afar with hitscan damage and finishes with a slow rocket, Sojourn starts with her more erratic projectile gun and closes with an instant hitscan finisher.
Despite similarities to Overwatch's resident dad, Sojourn does still fill a unique role.Unlike Soldier, Sojourn's E ability can directly help set up kills for her or her team. Disruptor Shot is an AOE field that Sojourn can launch anywhere she wants. Enemies in its wake take continuous damage and are slowed—ideal conditions for Sojourn to line up a railgun shot and finish off a pesky Ana or Junkrat.
The many ways that Overwatch heroes have to yank, freeze, lift, or push other characters around can be overwhelming and annoying, but going against Disruptor Shot hasn't been a hassle so far. I found it pretty easy to avoid if you see it coming, and even when I didn't, I was able to walk out of it without taking much damage. It's a bit like getting out of the way of Moira's poison orb, except it doesn't follow you around. The ability seems a little wimpy on its own, but I ate those words a few times when I died after getting yanked into Disruptor Shot by a Roadhog hook or Orisa's new javelin throw. I can also imagine a few other scenarios where Sojourn could get a lot of value from it, like forcing weaker enemies off a payload or snaring heroes already caught in Zarya's Graviton Surge.
Sojourn's other main ability is the Power Slide. Tapping Shift sends Sojourn into a rocket-propelled slide in whatever direction she's facing. It's a very quick burst of movement that covers a lot of ground (it reminds me of Echo's initial flight speed boost speed if she were glued to the ground). Sliding is handy for catching up to the action, but it's an even better escape tool thanks to its omnidirectional control. You don't have to turn your camera around to retreat like with Soldier's sprint. Sojourn can also cancel out of the slide at any time into a mega jump. She can't get quite as high as Baptiste with fully-charged boots, but it's high enough to get to virtually any piece of high ground or peek over a Reinhardt shield for a cheeky railgun shot.
Power Slide is the one aspect of Sojourn that might be overtuned. It's very fun to use and useful in basically any situation, but it's even more powerful when stacked up against similar skillshot heroes. Sojourn makes Ashe's shotgun-propelled backwards leap look cumbersome and Widowmaker's grapplehook seem slow. Soldier, meanwhile, is looking up from ground level wishing he'd thought of rocket legs. Maybe it's not a big deal—after all, an easy escape is nice but Sojourn needs to stay in the thick of a fight to build up power at a steady pace. Camping on a rooftop for half of the match just won't get the job done.
Sojourn's ultimate, Overclock, might be the simplest part of her entire kit. For a few seconds Sojourn builds energy quickly and automatically, allowing her to shoot off fully-charged railgun blasts every second or two. Overclock is instantly way more interesting than, say, Soldier's aimbot mode that's really just holding left-click. Blizzard accurately describes Overlock as "Genji's Dragonblade if it were a gun," though Dragonblade is erratic and annoying so I consider this an improvement (and guns are better than swords). It's a moment for Sojourn to totally pop off and kill half the team… or whiff every shot, which I did a lot.
That's really all there is to Sojourn—she shoots, leaps, and tosses slow orbs. That may sound a little too simple for some, but I think it's rad. I love playing Overwatch with friends, but I don't love always having to be 'on' to succeed with a hero. Heroes like Tracer, Sombra, and Genji ask me to flex three different brain muscles to effectively plan, flank, and escape from hairy situations. Sojourns lets me turn off every part of my brain that isn't laser-focused on headshots.
It is also rad simply having a railgun in Overwatch now. Railguns are cool as hell and don't show up enough in modern shooters (probably because they tend to be overpowered).
I'll also note that all of my time with Sojourn was in Overwatch 2's 5v5 environment, which already feels a lot different than 6v6. Heroes have more room to breathe without an extra tank clogging up chokepoints and I suspect this will have an especially big impact on long-range heroes.
It's hard to say for sure after just a few weeks on alpha servers, but Overwatch 2 feels more like a deathmatch game than ever. I didn't see as many teams teamfighting in a single lethal clump like they used to. My fights were often spread out, and also longer than before. I like it, at least right now. The thing is, solo Overwatch isn't really Overwatch to me. I'll have a much better read on it when the beta comes around and my friends can (hopefully) jump in a squad with me.