Overwatch boasts a colourful collection of characters, from a floating robot monk, to an esport celebrity in a mech, to deadmau5 on rollerblades. All of these characters have distinct, vibrant and relatable personalities, which have spawned a massive fandom and endeared them to players. However, like bad parents, everyone inevitably picks favourites. Here are ours.
Mark Serrels, Managing Editor
Soldier 76, Bastion and Reaper
I joined the game less than a minute before this.
I'm the Overwatch player everyone hates. I literally rotate between the characters that everyone hates because I'm old and I'm literal human trash.
Bastion, Reaper and Soldier 76. Those are the characters I play. I play them because I'm selfish. Because I'm a terrible person and I don't care about team work. Because caring about Kill/Death ratio is hard-wired into my brain and nothing Blizzard does can change that. It's just who I am now. I'm the Overwatch version of a baby boomber. Inflexible, rigid, unyielding. All I care about is my investment property and stopping boats. I sometimes use Bastion. The Carbon Tax was a tremendous failure and Australia needs Tony.
I'm sorry everyone.
Campbell Simpson, Editor of Gizmodo AU
Soldier Dude, Giant Robot Dude and Ghost Dude With Two Guns
I have played precisely 15 minutes of Overwatch. I have played precisely three characters. The soldier dude, the giant robot dude and the ghost dude with the two guns.
Robot dude — I think his name is Bastion? — is my favourite and therefore obviously the best in the game. He walks into a room and stops and then everyone dies. This is how I play video games.
Alex Walker, Editor of Kotaku AU
I played about 50 billion games as Mei, and this is the only Play of the Game I got. I'm putting it in here. I don't care.
The only correct response to this, now and forever, is the adorable arsehole, Mei.
Mei is the kind of character for people who hate people.
Mei is the kind of character for people who don’t like video games.
She’s also the perfect character for people who love competitive video games.
Do you like being disruptive? Do you like having a good time at the expense of everyone else?
Mei. Mei is life. Mei is bae.
Spandas Lui, Lifehacker AU Journalist
It's all about Mei. She's probably the most versatile character in the game.
Mei can play offence and defence. She is a team player yet she is formidable when you face her one-on-one. Mei is a boss at crowd control, is suitable for beginners as well as experienced players and she's inadvertently teaching me Mandarin.
You either love Mei because she's is an invaluable member of your team or hate her because she’s so frustrating to go up against.
It also helps that she’s adorable. Long live Mei.
Amanda Yeo, Night Editor
I didn't die once in this round, which I am immensely proud of and need everyone to know.
When I first heard of Overwatch, it was Mei that caught my attention. Bespectacled Asian girl? Big, warm jackets? Ice powers? She was basically me.
Yet Blizzard looked deep into my soul and saw the true me, apart from this flesh trapping, and from that knowledge they crafted a hero to speak to my heart. An animated tribute to the true essence of what I am.
And what I am, over and above all other things, is annoying.
Tracer is the human equivalent of a wasp, or bee, or other small, zippy insect that hurts a lot and is difficult to swat. Her strength is in zipping around behind the enemy, weakening their lines, picking off lone heroes and laying down distracting fire.
I’m typically a support player, so I didn’t think my favourite character would fall into an offensive role. Yet Tracer is as much of a support as an offence hero can be. Though she darts about by herself, she is in actuality a team player. She softens up the opposition, finding or creating gaps in their defences to enable her allies to cut them down, then zooms after fleeing foes to deal a killing blaster to their face.
I'm the carry now.
I have a tendency to fall in love with characters that I thought I would hate. Symmetra is one of the less popular heroes, and upon initial glance I considered her the most useless character. A support that can’t heal? What is even the point of her?
But if she can get a teleporter up, her lack of medical expertise doesn't matter so much. After a short interlude, teammates pop back up fully reset and ready to rumble, and her shield ability gives them a little extra staying power. In fact, her lack of healing ability can be an advantage, as it discourages teammates from rushing in like a conga line of Leroy Jenkins'.
True, her weapon feels mostly useless at first — and it is at long distance — but it is incredibly lethal up close. I have literally run in circles around D.Vas, sucking the life from them with my light beam of slow death while they spin like ungainly ballerinas, trying to get a bead on me.
And her turrets. Don't get me started on her turrets. Much more elegant than Torbjorn’s TF2 Engineer-style rig, they can stick to just about any surface, such as the rims of doorways, ceilings above health packs or all over the payload itself. (Even when I'm playing Symmetra, I'm still annoying.)
Symmetra is also a great counter to Genji, and I hate Genji. Why do I hate Genji, you ask?
Oh Bastion, my sweet PTSD murderbot child. There was a time in my life where I mained Bastion. People hated me. People still hate me, but not because I main Bastion.
“Bastion!” I hear you say. “That soulless, skill-less, point-and-click Play-of-the-Game-o-matic? Surely not!”
Okay, all you Bastion haters, listen up. I'm tired of hearing you chew out my tin can son and I will hear no more of it. Bastion is a great inclusion in the game, and he actually has some pretty good counters (see: Genji). He got a bad rep because early no one knew how to deal with him, but now that people are more familiar with all the characters and their abilities he's no more overpowered than any other hero.
Often when Bastion gets Play of the Game, there's some bright spark in the chat going 'ugh, Bastion.' 'such skilz.' 'lol Bastion.' Which is sad, because Bastion is an excellent hero for newbies. When you're starting out, it can be all the various skills and roles can be daunting. More exciting than Solider 76, less intimidating than Zenyatta, Bastion is like a robot teddy bear, gently guiding players in the ways of machine-gun slaughter and encouraging them with kill streaks and Plays of the Game until they have the confidence to leave the bullet-casing nest.
Who is your favourite Overwatch character? Let us know in the comments! (Pro tip: It's Tracer.)