The Overwatch series has fumbled the bag a few times since its 2016 debut, but one of the most confounding things developer Blizzard has done is not lean into its storytelling prowess. Overwatch’s animated shorts have consistently provided heartwarming, often poignant stories that weave together its massive cast of heroes, but we’ve never gotten a full-blown show out of it. Sure, we got the animated mini-series Overwatch: Genesis earlier this year, but what these characters deserve is a full series that tells a lengthy story in this world. Blizzard released a new animated short to commemorate new tank hero Mauga’s launch at the beginning of season 8, and all I could think about was how Blizzard and Netflix should have been cooking something up like this years ago.
The short is called A Good Day and stars villains Reaper, Doomfist, Sombra, and Mauga as they infiltrate an enemy ship in what was supposed to be a quiet heist. Sombra and Reaper operate in stealth and shadow, so they were certainly the right people for this job, but Mauga is a giant, often bombastic tank. So when he starts going loud, the entire mission is put in jeopardy. Despite the trouble he causes for the group, he manages to come through for them in the end. I guess that’s why Doomfist keeps him around.
I really enjoyed seeing this side of not only Mauga, but Sombra and Reaper, as well. We don’t get a ton of lore following Talon, the antagonistic group in the Overwatch universe, so we rarely see their team dynamics—something that we get a ton of when it comes to the titular crew. Mauga has been an especially enigmatic part of Talon, as his boisterous nature is so different from the broodier members of the organization. After watching A Good Day, it seems he’s not a personality fit for everyone, but now we know he’s capable, despite appearing like a bit of an oddball.
Check out the full short below:
Unlike other animated shorts, A Good Day uses a 2D art style evocative of a more modern version of G.I. Joe instead of the Pixar-style 3D animation seen in Sojourn’s Calling short. If you’d asked me a few years ago, I would’ve said I wanted a full-blown series that’s animated like Blizzard’s 3D cinematics, but A Good Day and Genesis have more than convinced me an Overwatch series could thrive in 2D animation. It’s clear the material and talent are there, so I wonder what has kept Blizzard from capitalizing on it.
Overwatch leans on its animated shorts to tell incredible stories that simply can’t be told throughout the course of its PvP gameplay. They’ve become a crucial part of the franchise, so much so that their reveals are often hyped-up and debuted at big events like BlizzCon. . Overwatch may not be the cultural juggernaut it once was, but the League of Legends series Arcane is proof that a great animated series can bring new fans into the fold. A TV show can inspire fervor with a much shorter barrier to entry than the novels, comics, and short stories Overwatch has used as its primary vehicle for storytelling. There have been rumors circulating about an Overwatch animated series in development for years, but it’s unclear if this is still happening, has been scrapped, or was referring to Overwatch: Genesis.
Maybe I’m just still bummed about the state of Overwatch 2’s story missions so I’m looking for another vehicle to watch this story unfold. Blizzard has gutted its originally promised PvE mode, and while the first set of story missions have their moments, the studio hasn’t said a word about when (or if) the next set of missions will come. From the sound of it, Blizzard is going to roll out story missions at a glacial pace, so as an Overwatch lore sicko, I’m grasping at any straws I see for proof that the narrative still matters to the team behind the game..
I don’t want to be too dismissive, as shorts like A Good Day and the comics, novels, etc. are all high-quality, and have given me a lot of backstory to chew on. But Overwatch 2’s story missions have clearly taken a backseat (despite being a selling point of the sequel when it was first revealed in 2019) so it’d be great to get more content that moves Overwatch’s story forward, rather than it existing in perpetual limbo as it has for seven years.
Anyway, I’m gonna go rewatch A Good Day and shout at my computer screen about how Sombra’s original plan to escape the ship after the mission goes bad no longer makes sense after her rework.
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