The Only Redeeming Factor Of Overwatch Today Is Its Cinematics

Amidst god-awful feedback, broken promises, and barely any new content, it seems the only redeeming factor of Overwatch is its animated cinematics.

Story Highlights

  • With the recent cancelation of the much-anticipated story missions, Overwatch 2 is being bombarded by players for many reasons.
  • As the content department of the game falls short almost every season, the game has started its decline into obscurity.
  • Although other sections of the game are still massively underdeveloped, the cinematics that Overwatch 2 pushes out are of the highest quality in the market, and possibly its way forward.

Every aspect, from Overwatch’s ranked gameplay system to how the balancing of heroes works, is disliked by most players. In a game where you can play as ninjas, cowboys, sentient androids, and talking monkeys, why do I have to push a payload? You would imagine that after years of development and a sequel, this would have changed, but I guess not.

This is one issue, the other is the heroes and how long it takes for the devs to push out patches. For weeks, some heroes will reign the meta and some will never be played. This causes every game to feel like a steamroll game, either you defeat the opponents with relative ease, or you can barely do anything and get steamrolled instead, in any case, it is not a good look for a game built on hero-based models.

These issues have barely been addressed, and keeping a live-service game afloat is not Blizzard’s strong suit, but what they are good at, is their animated cinematics. Overwatch, since the start of its life cycle has had some of the best animated shorts and character trailers out of any game on the market. These videos act more as advertisements for future content updates, but the setting, the story, and the art styles deserve a full representation to a wider audience.

YouTube video

Whenever a new hero is announced, or after about half a year of hiatus later, Overwatch releases a short film that ends up breaking expectations and hypes up its future content much more than any normal gameplay trailer ever could. The one problem with this method is that there are about 5 minutes of gorgeously detailed story-telling, then months of silence. 

Overwatch And Its Animated Allure

Now Overwatch may have a steady hold on its animated sector, but just how good is it? Well, it is not just me, but many other users have expressed time and time again just how good the animated shorts for the game are. Out of all their cinematics, Dragons, Honor and Glory, and Reunion contain some of the best storytelling and animation out of any franchise.

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Their animations like The Last Bastion show a sentient robot, understanding the idea of life after a war filled with death and destruction. Hero shows Soldier 76 after the fall of Overwatch, still fighting alone, as a soldier would. Every one of these has some incredibly unique take, and with some investment, could be incorporated into an entire project featuring the same core principles.

YouTube video

This world is undeniably alluring and filled with a lot of opportunities both in where the story can lead to and its flurry of unique styles incorporated for every hero’s origin and cinematic. Its animations target boundaries between sentient machines and humanity, trying to coexist but eventually failing. This foundation is pretty solid and can revolve into a well-crafted masterpiece.

An Investment Into Animation

Some time ago, a recreation of League of Legends blew up on the internet; Arcane, a show featuring the protagonist Jinx, aired on Netflix with almost perfect reviews. League of Legends was always known to have extremely well-crafted animated shorts, but an investment into an entire feature-length show was unforeseen, but a welcome addition.

The show has gone on to win the Emmys and made millions of dollars of profit and has also been regarded as one of the best and most refreshing pieces of animated media in recent history, really driving the idea home. If this isn’t validation for Blizzard to invest in animation, I don’t know what is.

YouTube video

Overwatch has a problem, just like League of Legends, in its story, you can’t just kill or change characters because if you do those changes need to reflect in-game. This is a risky endeavor because changing mechanics, removing skins, or even deleting characters in a live-service game such as these can cause a massive backlash. But in Arcane’s case, a non-canon series worked best in its favor. 

Overwatch has consistently released some of the best worldbuilding in any game, but the fact that the development from the start of its world to where we are now has been extremely slow-paced with barely any major plot points being resolved or added. The story is still nurturing, but with its status right now, it will be dulled down before we know it.

Creators like Kojima have already seen this, and their ideas are incepting into new forms of media to keep players engaged. Not only Kojima, but other publishers like Sony and Microsoft also want to invest in the movie industry to further increase the reputation and popularity of their franchises.

Death Stranding And God Of War, Seeping Into New Horizons

Stories and ideas based solely on video games are usually the most unique and thoughtful out of any piece of media here, and their traversal into film was just a matter of time. We have already seen The Last of Us and Halo with their live-action representations storming the media with insane viewership and animated representations like Edgerunners and Arcane.

With the success of shows like these, major creators and publishers like Xbox, Sony, Kojima, and a ton of smaller indie teams are looking to convey their original source into some sort of series or film. Now there has been a lot of speculation if Blizzard will ever decide to go for some sort of anime-based project or not, but with so many studios piling up, Blizzard should at least start considering or set up a small team to do some minor storyboarding.

Just recently, Overwatch revealed a new cinematic titled ‘Calling‘ a 7-minute long animation featuring Soujourn, and it was absolutely beautiful. If the team is able to cook up such high-quality scenes and such engaging characters perfectly, then I can’t fathom how the game has been falling this badly in recent times. Times are moving, and Blizzard has a gold mine here, the only question is, when are they going to mine it?

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Ahmed Shayan is a News Writer on eXputer with decent experience writing about games. He’s a machine learning enthusiast with a passion for a plethora of gaming genres. Ahmed is fond of Soulsborne games in which he has invested more than 3,000 hours! You can follow Ahmed's gaming activity on his PSN Profile.

Experience: 1.5+ Years || Mainly Covers News Stories on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Data Science.

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