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Loverwatch is a cringe Overwatch dating sim, and I want more

Cupid Hanzo guides you through Overwatch's dating spin-off

Overwatch 2’s third season is well underway, adding more of the usual maps, modes, and cosmetics. The big surprise this season is the Valentine’s themed Loverwatch, a non-canon text adventure that allows you to court either Mercy or Genji. Naturally, I chose to date Genji (described as Overwatch’s “bad boy”), and the results were surprising. It’s cringe-y and occasionally grating, but it’s also surprisingly charming and stuffed with referential humour that OW fans will surely love.

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The set-up is that you’re bored and lonely - in the game, of course - so you decide to visit the city’s least funny comedy club to catch people making a fool of themselves. That’s when you meet OW’s Hanzo cosplaying as cupid, who’ll guide you through a series of dates with the German doctor Mercy, or the cyborg ninja Genji. Your choices affect how each hero views you and whether or not they want to keep seeing you.

I expected Loverwatch to have bad product placements, and be a poor attempt to cash in on the, erm, more explicit online fan art. However, Loverwatch is at its best when you’re not taking it seriously as a dating sim. Instead, if you view this as a short comedy, poking fun at the fanbase, the competitive meta, and hot topics online, then Loverwatch is an infinitely better experience.

During a dinner date with Genji, you have the option of ordering different meals. I picked Genji’s favourite ramen, which obviously prompted his curiosity. He asked how I knew that was his favourite - something I had been wandering too. The answer? “Easy - it’s in the Official Overwatch Cookbook.” Loverwatch knows its job is to advertise OW2 and it has fun with those contraints. There are other referential jokes about Zenyatta’s absence from the recent OW story, Genji’s constant need for healing, and Mercy’s movement affecting competitive play. It’s all light and playful and feels like it’s having a good time with a community that’s pretty heavily invested.

There are even some teases here for future expansions, as one of the jokes read, “We’re not saying this is some kind of test version of a potentially more robust adventure.” Honestly, this was probably Overwatch 2’s best seasonal event yet, and I’ll be back if they add more characters like, say, Baptiste, just as a random example. The day they add Widowmaker is the day the internet implodes, though.

Loverwatch is available as a free browser-based game here, and completing different endings can net you with in-game rewards for Overwatch 2.

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