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Overwatch players recreate Dragons cinematic in-game

Overwatch’s replay viewer is designed to get into the nitty-gritty of your games and figure out how to improve, or maybe just to show off when you kill a Genji as Mercy. But if you want to momentarily (very momentarily) feel bad about Shimada elimination, the Brothers cinematic is always available to remind you of their tragic brotherly betrayal. Now, a fan has recreated it in-game, with some creative trickery making it surprisingly accurate and sometimes hilarious.

It’s surprising how well everything matches up. The cinematics do make an effort to show off the abilities the characters can use in-game, like Hanzo scaling a wall like an especially grumpy cat, so those are recreated easily enough. And it’s neat to see how some of the other animations are very similar, like Hanzo’s kneeling emote.

Ironically, it’s mostly the fighting that leaves something to be desired. The in-game animations (understandably) aren’t designed to look cinematic and flowing like the choreography of the short. But that’s where the humour of trying to map things as close to the spirit as possible comes through, like a guard fumbling his phone being replaced by Soldier: 76 waving his weapon around jerkily. It more than makes up for it.

In-game Hanzo’s bow arm trembling as he holds the arrow back also lends the final scene some extra gravitas, though the bowstring clipping through his chest is also pretty funny.

Some of the creative weaving required was beyond the game’s capabilities, with one of the creators admitting on Reddit that they had to edit Genji’s dragons in post production to get them the right colour. But even so, there’s an awful lot in-game to draw from, with skin changes, hero abilities, emotes, and even a little Workshop trickery to match up as closely as possible.

The lack of walk animations does lend the whole thing a bit of urgency that the original takes pains to avoid. Overwatch, let me amble instead of running once in a while. It might get my teammates to not immediately dash away from the payload, anyhow.

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Jay Castello

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Jay writes about video games, falls down endless internet rabbit holes, and takes a lot of pictures of flowers.

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