I am not the first to suggest that the competitive first-person shooter, Overwatch, would be greatly improved with a little lore as this Overwatch forum post proves. Since Blizzard seems to show some insane talent for writing these characters in the cinematic shorts on Youtube, it has me and plenty of other players asking “why is this not in the game!?”
I know that if I really wanted to find out more about these characters and the world they live in I could always consult the Overwatch Wiki or read one of the official comics, but why would I do that when I have a perfectly good game right in front of me, primed for some story-packed content? (Actually, I will be doing that for the purpose of this article, but my point remains!) Now, I’m not a game designer so of course, I won’t know the logistics of any of this but I’d like to talk a bit about what I’d want out of an Overwatch campaign mode. And if you’d like to post some of your ideas I’d love to read them! Since this is bound to get a little confusing, I’m going to sort these ideas into categories, okay? Let’s get started!
Blizzard has spent a lot of time developing the backstory of Overwatch. Not just the characters themselves, but the reason they fight and the world they’re protecting. This world was thrown into chaos by infected robots, or “omnics.” According to the trivia section of the Omnic Crisis Wiki article, the events of Overwatch take place about 60 years in our future with the initial conflict arising about 30 years in the future. If a campaign mode were to be implemented, it only makes sense to start somewhere in the massive backlog of events. They could even use pre-existing maps, as each one is the focus of an important moment in the story of the game.
Who, where, and what
A campaign mode for me, ideally, would be a single-player jumping around from hero to hero as a way to teach us each character’s backstory. For example, why couldn’t we play as Reinhardt at Eichenwalde, defending the castle from omnic forces as seen in the Bastion cinematic short? Or, perhaps, as a young and less ghost-like Reaper taking out the Deadlock gang on Route 66 and recruiting McCree for the covert ops division of Overwatch, Blackwatch? And of course, there would have to be some cinematic short-quality cutscenes. It could all be tied together through a series of narrated illustrations, much like the ones found at the beginning of the current PvE event in-game titled “Uprising,” all leading up to the moment before Winston hits that Recall button in the appropriately titled short, “Recall.”
Perhaps less important but still necessary to talk about is why I believe an Overwatch campaign should be put in the game in the first place. As a self-proclaimed lore buff, I derive a very large portion of my enjoyment of a game from the story and I am certainly not the only one. It helps players attach themselves to the characters and the world, and can certainly improve the longevity and relevance of any given title. Overwatch has little to no story in the actual game but with all the exterior sources of lore, it’s clear that they have put a lot of thought into it.
A full-fledged campaign mode would obviously take a lot of time, money, and resources, so in the meantime, on a smaller scale, I’d love to see more team-based PvE events. And although I’m loving the content, it just makes me want a single-player campaign even more! Just do more Uprising, but single-player and with more animated cutscenes such as the ones in the shorts on YouTube!
Do you agree with my opinions or do you think I’m totally wrong? Do you even want more story to be implemented into the game? If you do, what does your ideal story mode look like? Tell me everything in the comments!