After Yesterday's Overwatch Video, People Hate Bastion A Little Less

Illustration for article titled After Yesterday's Overwatch Video, People Hate Bastion A Little Less

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.

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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 Laffy Taffy.

The new cinematic, however, imbues Bastion with qualities that make him—dare I say it—almost likable. Our own Cecilia wasn’t sold, but many other people got broadsided by feelings while watching Blizzard’s abridged take on The Iron Giant.

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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.

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Illustration for article titled After Yesterday's Overwatch Video, People Hate Bastion A Little Less

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.

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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.

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Overwatch bird truthers are now A Thing:

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But for a few, the video simply wasn’t enough. They still hate Bastion’s mechanized guts.

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Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.

DISCUSSION

thewiredknight

The Bastion short was good, the first one that isn’t full of very cliched writing and is overall VERY well executed. That said I am still bothered by the noticable disconnect between the world of Overwatch and the actual game.

What is the gap in the story that leads Bastion from going back into the woods to going on the battlefield and slaughtering people by the dozens? This has bugged me since the beginning, don’t get me wrong, I like Overwatch, I think it’s a fun game that has some problems but overall it’s solid. That said the actual gameplay has ZERO to do with the story and world they’ve set up because you have context for nothing and generally characters acting way out of character for the sake of gameplay.

TF2 worked because it had no story originally and as it went they basically just wen twith a batshit crazy story that acknowledged that the world didn’t make any sense and the story was built around the mechanics.

To me it’s simliar to Borderlands that people always joked how does death ever matter when you have these auto revive machines strewn about the landscape?

Overwatch is the same, all these characters and nothing they ever do in the game makes any sense - the dialogue in game is just a series of one liners and quips with no expelnation for motivation (let alone why there are four reapers on the battlefield).

If it were a side mode to a campaign I wouldn’t care because then the PVP wouldn’t be the core mode but for Blizzard, who normally is so strong with narratives in its games - Overwatch feels like two completely different things - a PVP FPS shooter and a narrative world that are on completely different racks and missing each other completley despite the fact that the FPS game is the main headliner for the franchise.