Yesterday, Blizzard released a cinematic video about Overwatch's Bastion, a killer robot built for the specific purpose of annoying everyone to death. It told the heartfelt story of a budding bird/bot relationship. And also PTSD. Bastion isn't exactly Overwatch's most popular character. In the game's early days especially, he was the bane of everyone's existence, a low-skill bullet tube with the power to drop anybody he pointed his dumb face at in a heartbeat. These days, most people understand how to counter him, but it's still fundamentally irritating to be chewed to pieces like so much helpless chewy lollies.
The new cinematic, however, imbues Bastion with qualities that make him — dare I say it — almost likeable. Our own Cecilia wasn't sold, but many other people got broadsided by feelings while watching Blizzard's abridged take on The Iron Giant.
NO ONE WILL TOUCH MY CHILD
BASTION IS TOO GOOD FOR THIS WORLD pic.twitter.com/xPhaTLzAOn
— ♻Enby Witch♻ (@ConnieGSims) August 18, 2016
After watching the recent Bastion short... pic.twitter.com/ZG83OEclrJ
— Loot Gaming (@LootGamingHQ) August 19, 2016
this bastion short is stupid yo robots don't have feelings and I'm not crying
— Mike Rougeau (@RogueCheddar) August 19, 2016
Just saw bastion short, it's so sweet. Now I have no reason to hate him. Although considering I don't play Overwatch it doesn't matter.
— Jaxus Bowden (@Jaxus_Bowden) August 19, 2016
Some fans even ended up having serious discussions about PTSD, something strongly alluded to in Bastion's wartime past and panicked reaction upon hearing a woodpecker in a forest, something that, to him, sounded like gunfire. He was transported back to a traumatic time in a way that, for many, felt painfully accurate.
PTSD runs deep. Triggers can be unexpected, can make you behave in ways you’re ashamed of. Love is the anchor back to reality. #LastBastion
— calamityjamie (@calamityjamie) August 18, 2016
The PTSD angle is definitely worth ruminating on. Easy as it is for people to make fun of others for being "triggered", this kind of thing really does happen to some people — albeit perhaps with fewer rampaging war robots. It's not something you simply escape or ignore. Sometimes, as in Bastion's case, even the littlest things can set people off. It's good that Blizzard broached the topic.
However, if you treat the game as a continuation of the story canon, Bastion apparently returns to a life of combat not long after his resolution to live among the trees and marry an eligible bird bachelor. Despite Bastion's tragic backstory, some couldn't help but see the disconnect between the movie and the game.
Overwatch bird truthers are now A Thing:
TWIST: Bird is the devil incarnate and convinces Bastion to murder people in Overwatch. pic.twitter.com/ejHKiFVRBy
— Mary Kish (@MerryKish) August 18, 2016
YOU: (crying) waaaah bastion and his bird friend wahhh
ME: (serenely, logically) the bird feels no emotion, it is simply following instinct
— Chris Person (@Papapishu) August 18, 2016
the TRUE bastion origin story https://t.co/sTTzatnM7T
— Nathan Grayson (@Vahn16) August 18, 2016
But for a few, the video simply wasn't enough. They still hate Bastion's mechanised guts.
i wish the Bastion short had ended with
“And Bastion returned to the forest to live in peace. We’re removing them from the game."
— Griffin McElroy (@griffinmcelroy) August 19, 2016
Before you go feeling sorry for Bastion just remember that time he sat behind rein's shield in the corner of the point for a whole round
— Lance E. McDonald (@manfightdragon) August 19, 2016
love bastion's touching origin story about how it made friend with a bird and turned into a gun that everyone hates
— merritt k (@merrittk) August 19, 2016
Rate my Bastion cosplay pic.twitter.com/HEWMWoSnJ8
— Overwatch.TXT (@OverwatchTXT) August 17, 2016