Overwatch Animated Shorts — Just Marketing, or a Lesson in Co-Existence?

By | April 4, 2016

If marketing is building hype, Blizzard is definitely marketing their new MMO F2P, Overwatch.

They’ve already launched several top-notch trailers, now they’re hyping it up with animated shorts. And if the game is anything like the animated shorts, the game will rock. Check out a couple here:

Of course, these “animated shorts” are actually 7-10 minute commercials, not much different than trailers, and very similar to kids’ cartoons like Transformers and G.I. Joe.

No, these aren’t art pieces. No profound insights on life. But they do have a level of cinematic and artistic quality to them.

The Alive short introduces us to one of the most intriguing characters of the game, Widowmaker. She’s French and she’s an assassin. Like a spider, she swings around on wire, but unlike a spider, she stings her prey from afar, with a rifle.

She’s the narrator, says she used to be afraid of spiders as we see her about to do some widow-making. The target in this scenario is some VIP leader. Like MLK, he preaches tolerance and co-existence. In this futuristic society, the coexistence is not between races or even species, but between living tissue and robots. The VIP himself is a leader. Ultra AI beings who are capable of emotion.

It’s this setting that’s the most intriguing about this world. The animated short spends a considerable amount of time with the assassin and a Brit who tries to stop her. They battle it out on London’s rooftops in repetitive shootout action. But what I really wanted to get to was this world where robots and humans are told to co-exist, and perhaps those who prefer segregation…or perhaps worse, genocide, of one or the other.

We’ve seen it in BladeRunner, Terminator, Matrix, et al…machine and people can’t live as equals. That’s just the way it is.

Or perhaps there is hope, and change coming in the world of Overwatch….

We shall see.

The game’s open to Beta Testing in May.

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