Overwatch: Widowmaker Stars In Animated Short, Alive

I’ve just been watching the latest Overwatch [official site] animated short, Alive. It’s the second of Blizzard’s trailers which give you a smidge more backstory on the characters from their first-person shooter.

This one focuses on the assassin, Widowmaker, as she attempts to assassinate a leader preaching peace between robots and humans. Timeshifter, Tracer, has a secondary role – you can take a peek below:

Ignore the Playstation branding – it’s for PC as well, it just has PS all over it because, I guess, marketing budgets and platform awareness-building etc etc etc…

If you ask me – and I am going to assume you did – it’s not as good as the Winston one. I think the main thing for me is that the dialogue is pretty hokey ALTHOUGH I did see that someone has made a version of the trailer where the opening and closing monologues are in French which I liked:

The other thing I just want to raise right now is that I don’t really get why Widowmaker has been given the femme fatale styling.

Like, that whole femme fatale thing is about being all alluring and sexy, attracting people and then killing them, right? And yet she’s the snipiest sniper in the game. She stands the furthest away from people of the entire cast and shoots them in the head, sometimes without them even seeing her. Who could she possibly be alluring? Are her opponents all Binoculars People from a Binoculars Planet? And they just spend their lives looking at leggy, catsuited women from miles away and are so captivated they ignore the fact she’s got a gun aimed at their faces which they would also be able to see through the binoculars?

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  1. Ferno says:

    It’d be very entertaining to see Tracer and Widowmaker swapped in design, with an incredibly cheery, light-hearted sniper blowing peoples heads off from a mile away while the alluring, femme fatale teleports around to save the day.

    • Metalfish says:

      Snipin’s a good job, mate. Then again, most of the TF2 cast are pretty cheery when they’re not being blown up.

  2. Jackablade says:

    Perhaps it’s more of a case of not having to get fully dressed if no one’s ever going to see her sitting way off in the background. Like sitting around in your underpants when you’re working from home.

    • Horg says:

      As a specialist sniper, she needs to use every tool in her arsenal to her advantage. When lining up a shot from the edge of the map, all it takes is for her target to catch a glimpse of her open chested spandex catsuit, and while they hesitate pondering weather or not they just saw a distant boob, she strikes : |

  3. ElementalAlchemist says:

    “I don’t really get why Widowmaker has been given the femme fatale styling”

    For the same reason that they had that other chick turn around and stick her ass out as a victory pose. Because the target market is teenage boys.

    • monsieurZb says:

      Ah yes, we adults are known to be absolutely bloodless and like our entertainment to be devoid of anything remotely sexual or alluring. Because, you know, we are adults.

      • king0zymandias says:

        I love sex, I love woman, I love everything about the female form. For example I loved the sex scene in Mulholland Drive, because it’s a confident expression of sexuality. For Blizzard though, it’s the execution that’s the problem, it’s absolutely tasteless, juvenile and idiotic.

        • Don Reba says:

          That’s all just name-calling, though, not anything specific that is wrong.

          • king0zymandias says:

            No there’s nothing wrong, it’s a matter of taste and personal opinion. Was simply pointing out why many adults who otherwise like sexy stuff object to the tasteless pandering that is rampant in mainstream games and see it as juvenile. You are free to like it if it appeals to you for sure, just putting forth my opinion.

          • fish99 says:

            king0zymandias, you just called people who don’t share your personal taste “tasteless, juvenile and idiotic”.

          • fish99 says:

            More or less anyway.

          • king0zymandias says:

            Look I’m not judging you for liking what I dislike. I could care less about what you do all day and what you derive enjoyment from. I’m just saying that to me personally, all of this appears very tasteless, which is why I am predisposed to not liking them and also criticizing them. Just because someone else likes something doesn’t mean others who don’t like it aren’t allowed to criticize it. Otherwise no one would ever be able to say anything bad about Micheal Bay films in fear of offending the feelings of apparently millions upon millions of people who enjoy them.

    • anHorse says:

      It’s hilarious how Blizzard manufactured the most ridiculous controversy possible over that pose to explicitly pander the game to the likes of you and you’re still whining that it’s oversexualised

      Talk about wasted effort, they’ve upset the whiny horny people and the whiny puritans

    • fish99 says:

      You’re naive if you think this type of marketing doesn’t work on adults.

  4. It's not me it's you says:

    How do scripts this awful make it all the way to production? The animation is amazing, the texture work and lighting top notch and yet the characters are forced to exchange banalities that’d cause a fail on a high school creative writing assignment!

    The ideas, structure and pacing and stuff all seem fine, it’s just the dialogue that is completely irredeemable. Does this shit get pushed down from on high? Does Metzen himself write this and cause a Lucas style void of push back? I just can’t imagine so many clearly talented people not gritting their teeth as they are forced to let this go out. :/

    • Tony M says:

      All Blizzard stuff is like this. I can only think of three possible explanations:
      1) The people in charge just have really terrible taste, and think this style of writing is actually good.
      2) The people in charge are super-clever, and know that this style of writing sells more mass market copies than good writing.
      3) All they know is that Blizzard has made billions selling this style of hokey crap (combined with polished gameplay). They’re not sure if its important to the formula, but they know the formula works so they are sticking to it.

      • Mutak says:

        Blizzard is full of metal-heads who think things like “Master of puppets I’m pulling your strings Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams Blinded by me, you can’t see a thing Just call my name, ‘cause I’ll hear you scream” is deep and poetic.

        • Chaoslord AJ says:

          No but it’s pretty good metal lyrics and a damn fine song though I moved on to more obscure shores since then.

          Blizzard’s stories are pretty BS: Arthas makes Episode 3 Vader look like a plausible character or Diablo 3: bunch of week tropes but fanboys on the D3 site call it fine storytelling. Even Diablo as a character was a joke because of the stupid lines they wrote.

        • Josh W says:

          I think you mean “MasterofpuppetsI’mpullingyour stringggs, Twisting your mind and smashing your dremmms something something something something MASTER MASTER”

          Those are surely the actual lyrics.

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        I suspect a combination ofcombination of 1 and 3. They recently released two videos (on Traveler and Chronicle) in which they state that they are so devoted to storytelling and worldbuilding.

        So either they are trying their best to act like they think so or they (at least the story leads, who may have considerable sway within Blizzard considering their seniority within the company, but that’s just conjecture) really feel that way. I think it’s the second, considering the whole Garrosh and Varian thing.

        • Mokinokaro says:

          Chris Metzen writes a majority of the dialogue and stories, when he was originally hired to be an artist.

          And the guy never really matured past a teen when it comes to his creativity.

    • king0zymandias says:

      It’s because people who make games play too many games. It’s about time someone forces these people to pick up a book once in a while. And I don’t mean superhero comics or fantasy books, maybe make them go through the curriculum of a undergraduate introduction to literature course or something.

  5. Eight Rooks says:

    You thought the Winston one was better? Jesus, why?

    I think the main thing for me is that the dialogue is pretty hokey

    Well, yes, but did you actually watch the Winston one? Because all I saw was empty, sugary platitudes about YOU CAN BE WHATEVER YOU WANT TO BE, LI’L GORILLA, some half-hearted world-building and a silly fight scene like a second-rate Big Hero 6. I agree Widowmaker’s speeches are desperately silly (and Tracer’s VA is terrible), but come on. The direction, the mood, the choreography, the sense of forward motion, everything here wildly outclassed the first one for my money.

    But neither one is very good, overall. I was vaguely, vaguely tempted by the idea of a MOBA with actual decent writing/world-building, but so far this is anything but. Kotaku referred to them both as “Pixar-quality”, which, I, what? No. Just no. Mediocre Saturday-morning cartoon storytelling with a half-decent sheen on top. For wit and humor and cleverness Valve’s Meet The… series is simply in a different class altogether.

    • Zelos says:

      Overwatch isn’t a MOBA. It’s a pure FPS.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        Sorry, my bad. I just meant “A purely multiplayer game with a distinct cast of characters with widely varying individual abilities”, not so much “an isometric action game played like a team sport with wizards”.

  6. Metalfish says:

    Blizzard confirming they have some of the best CG and worst writers in the business.

  7. vlonk says:

    I believe this trailer would be more appealing if I would not have understood a single word of the dialogue. Diablo3 level of uninspired.

    Some beautiful ideas and CGI though.

  8. AngoraFish says:

    So, Widowmaker only kills married dudes then?

    • BooleanBob says:

      Some widowmakings are pre-emptive.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I dunno, it sounds like the best defence is to marry a guy. Your own gender doesn’t come into it.

      Honestly, that name. Just that name. It already speaks of the complete creative bankrupcy of the character before you’ve even got to the visual styling, or a single word out of her mouth.

  9. Don Reba says:

    I, for one, found this trailer quite cheeky.

  10. Assirra says:

    I am really confused why people are so harping about the writing in this one. There is maybe 10% of it talking while the rest is pure action and what there is is cheesy nonsense, exactly like the game is portrayed since its inception at Blizzcon.

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      FhnuZoag says:

      I think the question is how you perceive Blizzard’s intent here. Is it just cheesy nonsense, or do you think they want you to REALLY FEEL for the plight of the poor oppressed robot-harmony movement, and also how deep and cool that the blue spider-lady kills to be alive?

      • Eight Rooks says:

        Yeah, this. It’s either a very bad parody – inasmuch as there’s absolutely nothing in there to suggest Blizzard are taking it anything less than very seriously (at least as seriously as OTT sci-fi action gets). Or it really does think it’s all SERIOUS BUSINESS, in which case the actual writing is mediocre at best.

        But it does achieve more genuine emotion than the Winston one did, IMO. The action was bloodless, but still more physical and meaningful, and I was mildly surprised they let it end the way it did (even if Tracer’s reaction was unintentionally Dick Van Dyke hilarious).

    • unraveler says:

      Maybe they are still angry at getting Diablo 3’s story feel like any cliche kid’s anime, or for Kerrigan going super sayan in order to get attention from senpai Rynor?

    • Horg says:

      It wouldn’t be made worse by hiring some writers who can produce content above fan fiction level.

  11. unraveler says:

    Tracer’s butt.
    Now, move on pls.

  12. Jerkzilla says:

    “Now listen very caerfully, I shall say this only ouance.”

  13. Wormerine says:

    Really? I thought the Winston one was pretty horrible. Little action, bad writing. This one was really cheesy, but at least the action was solid. Nothing nearly as good as Valve’s shorts for TF2 though.

    After playing Legacy of the Void I am quite happy that Overwatch won’t have ingame story. Blizzard’s writing is quite weak even for gaming standards.

  14. Dudeness says:

    Maybe you find Widowmaker speech more exotic in french, but it’s still as “hokey” and cliché as the english version. Nevertheless, Blizzard still got it to make eye-pleasing cinematic cutscenes and short films

  15. Dudeness says:

    Feel ya ;)
    And since the character is french, it feels right.

  16. Chillz says:

    Lovely to watch. The French version made me want to learn the language :)