Nothing about Overwatch tickles me like Roadhog’s hook. It is the most satisfying power move of the game. This is why I am loathe to report that Roadhog’s hook, the most lovely and triumphant Overwatch feature, is definitely, 100% broken.
Yes, it’s true. Consider this a call-out: Roadhog’s hook has no business going through walls. Since May, Overwatch players have complained that Roadhog’s hook defies known laws of physics, giving the porcine hero an advantage over more squishy enemies.
Lirk, a Twitch streamer, experienced an egregious wall clip earlier this month:
Caitlin, another streamer, was hooked through a wall and the corner of the payload:
Chaos0414 was hooked through several walls:
And, here—what even is this?
Fans debate whether Roadhog’s hook is hitscan or projectile in an effort to explain why Roadhog can, sometimes, hook enemies through walls. A popular theory is that the hook can make immediate contact with an enemy upon sight, but that the chain’s animation lags to give a sense of travel time. So, if an enemy is visible for a second through a door, Roadhog can drag that enemy toward him, even if the enemy moves behind a wall.
Seems possible, but not authoritative. Theories have been flying since beta. Most have exceptions. Like this abomination caught by Nt_Chris:
Blizzard has not responded to our requests for clarification.
Update-2:30 PM: Blizzard explained how Roadhog’s hook works in an e-mail to Kotaku:
“Under the hood of the Overwatch engine, Roadhog’s hook is basically a sphere that he throws out and searches for targets as it moves. If the hook finds a target, it will pull them back to you. We’re talking about various improvements to the hook to help solve odd edge cases, especially where the target is out of line of sight or unable to reasonable be moved back to Roadhog. It is not a hitscan attack.”
There’s a lot to unpack here. If Roadhog’s hook isn’t hitscan, but a projectile, then it’s still hard to say how it pulls enemies through walls. Projectile weapons account for travel time, so an enemy’s split-second appearance through a door still wouldn’t really clarify why Roadhog can sometimes pull them through a wall. The idea that it’s a “sphere” that “searches for targets” explains its large hit box.
It looks like the debate won’t be alive for too much longer—Blizzard says that they’re looking for ways to fix the hook-through-wall issue, which, to me, sounds like a nerf.