I don’t think so. There seems to be a more RPG style to the leveling system, and from what I get out of it, I think that the Characters levels stay after missions, but only affect PvE.
I don’t think it will be as strong as Battleborn, for a few reasons.
Firstly, as what Max said, Overwatch is a differently paced game. I don’t fully agree with all his points, but its fairly accurate from a PvP sense. The PvP of Overwatch is a lot faster, with more focus on individual play, but I would argue that BB was similar to this during Year 1, until the AoE Nerfs hit. Battleborn had a fairly fast playstyle, and due to the increased mobility of most heroes, positioning mattered a lot in Battleborn, but retaking postions could take more work. Dispite the MOBA nature of battleborn, it still played like a general shooter at Launch, with so many of the Damage Characters being Generally strong, healers being potent and powerful, and tanks being Devastating to Bots. Each Battleborn was different enough to pack a punch, and it played faster. Battleborn became alot more synergetic and strategic than Overwatch in terms of having multiple objectives to help the main goal, which leads to more callouts and better oriented teams. This splitting can increase the length of a match, and elongate the time players are alive, though they can still die if they don’t get strong positioning, or get swarmed and don’t get away in time.
In Contrast, Overwatch never had Split objectives, or as much focus on mobility. The games fast pacing comes from the pure focus being to defend ONE objective against a team of 6 people. It does play like a normal shooter, but I think its more cooldown focused than Battleborn.
To that end, Battleborn is more MOBA-esque compared to Overwatch, but in teamfights it plays very similarly. When two teams go head to head in battleborn, team shot tends to be a major player, but the fights aren’t won till the last man dies. 1v2’ing isn’t imposible in Battleborn (Or it wasn’t back at launch) if you had the right mobility and positioning and knew when to back out and strike again. I think Battleborn at Lauch had a larger focus on Movement and positioning, and I still think it retains this, (Due to CC) but CC is so strong that the CC heavy team does not have to deal with positioning as much nowadays.
And Sadly, a lot of this carries into the PvE.
While there isn’t the Enemy team aspect, a fair amount of Battleborns PvE had areas where the team would split up to cover areas from enemy waves. This splitting up and taking ground made for impactful wave gameplay, and the boss fights required synergy to effectively do the best. Overwatch has not had this focus in its Archives missions, though it has had moments of greatness. This impacts how skills are created and picked, and in Battleborn the customization was everything, but I don’t think Overwatch 2 has been created with these in mind, since it has its own pacing and less skills in general.
Speaking of the overall pace of the missions, where in Battleborn there is the respawn mechanic for waves and revival, and the lack of this for bosses (if I remember correctly), but in overwatch it has no Respawn Mechanics, only revivals. This also increases the pace of the game, and makes the game increase the need for heroes to have high self reliance for most waves, and creates a reliance for healers in the boss fights. This can be good, and on its own is fine, but it really hamstrings the skill trees to be self reliant to get most value.
And then, theres the amount of skills that can be taken. We saw 6 skills total, and it didn’t seem like any were level locked. It also seems that the leveling carries between PvE missions, and that significantly alters the amount of experimenting and synergy that can occur. Since you might not always be with certain heros, there won’t be as many situational skills, and most seems to be just cool buffs. I don’t think this is bad, but by comparison to Battleborn, it just is different and not as expansive as the Battleborn system. This may be a major issue, since maxing characters might make missions dull, and leave no main reason to play.
Which brings me to the last point: What is the point of the PvE?
In Battleborn, the PvE served 3 main purposes: Story, Loot, and Practice.
Story Wise is obvious, its fun and interesting and shows us character interactions. At Launch, the Story unlocked these Characters, making it a must for all players.
The Next Note is Loot. Doing Story missions gave gear and loot packs. These where the driving forces for us, since it allowed us to find the best gear and farm it for PvP and PvE.
Thidly, Practice. This is the most under-rated part, but most impactful: PvE let you find the Best builds and learn how to play them against bots and practice and improve mechanically with Skill Usage. You learned how to be impactful with each character, and this is what made the PvE so special. You could get comfortable and have fun, then bring it to PvP and use the newfound skills to be effective (It also lets you find the best Helix trees for each playstyle).
The most important aspect of this is that the PvE is a Loop. You play to get new Characters, the story, and Loot, then You play to learn new characters and get better loot, and then you take the loot and your skills to BATTLE!
But Overwatch is missing two of These Aspects. Because the Skills are not in PvP, there isn’t the practice to get better. Bots are bad aim targets, and with how the skills act so differently in PvE with the trees from the PvP without the trees, you can’t get as strong Mechanically.
As well, there is no Loot to grind for. There is no gear, and since none of the PvE can interact with PvP, unless they have skins, there won’t be much reason to repeat them. And if its a guarenteed drop, there won’t be much replayability to these missions. (Also, due to the Coop and Random Drops in Battleborn, some players will group together to grind a mission till they all have the best loot, and there are alot of variety to it.) Battleborn out-preforms Overwatch 2 in these aspects extremely well.
TL;DR, I don’t think Overwatch 2 has the complexity in its PvE to be compared to Battleborn, and although I think it will be fun, I don’t think it will be worth a 40$ pricetag.
The Only thing going for Overwatch 2 is its Story. If the Story is superb, it could be great. Overwatch has a lot going for it, and a lot to explore. But it would have to blow me away. And if it doesn’t have more than 15 hours of Missions (before hero missions) its probalbly going to be not enough for me.
But thats just my two cents.