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Soldier 76 chose war over a boyfriend in Overwatch short story

In Bastet (an official Overwatch short story released today) Blizzard have confirmed that one more member of the game’s ever-expanding cast fits under that cozy LGBTQ+ umbrella. Eternal squad dad Jack “Soldier 76” Morrison once had a lad back home named Vincent, but the mission was tragically more important than love. It’s a minor revelation, but in keeping with Blizzard’s odd divide between Overwatch’s characters in the fast arena shooter, and as they appear in its extended fiction – fleshed out, with motivations and histories. You can read Bastet for yourself in PDF format here.

While social media is all a’Twitter about the revelation that Trooper McShootman prefers the company of other squad dads, the focus of the story is on squad grandma Ana and her relationship with Soldier 76 and Reaper. It’s a beautifully presented little piece, with chunky pull quotes, background art and a few high resolution illustrations. The content of the writing isn’t quite so impressive. I can’t help but raise an eyebrow at the people of Neo Future Egypt riding robot camels. Perhaps in keeping with Overwatch’s world of larger-than-life international stereotypes, but perhaps a little too Mega Man X for me.

The main thrust of the story does highlight the widening gap between Overwatch’s larger lore and the game itself. Lines like “Gabriel is out there. Talon is getting more powerful. They
need to be stopped” sound dramatic, but in the game Soldier 76 and Reaper are buddies half the time. With them occasionally sassing each other in the heat of battle, but otherwise fighting low-stakes matches against another mismatched crew of heroes and villains. It almost feels like there’s two separate Overwatch universes at this point, and the one we’re not playing has a story.

Unsurprisingly, the Overwatch fan-fiction contingent are buzzing with activity over this reveal and are adjusting their shipping charts as we speak. I jest – everyone was already smooching on everyone 24/7 anyway. Yes, even the robots.

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Dominic Tarason

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