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CrossOver: Overwatch

26 February

In 2014, during Blizzcon, Blizzard was preparing to announce its new title.
After the furore created around Project Titan, which was abruptly canceled after five years of development, expectations for the new title were high.

 

Following the success of World of Warcraft, Blizzard set out to create a new world and a new game. Initially dubbed Project Titan, this enterprise had, at its peak, about 140 people involved in its development. However, the lack of consensus in the creative vision of the game led to the team being redirected to other games in production, and only a small group was tasked to keep developing a coherent vision for the project.

Overwatch took the vast majority of players by surprise. Instead of the expected MMO, Blizzard had chosen to launch a Team Shooter without a campaign mode or an individual story, focusing only on competitive PvP arenas. The game contained scenarios where the players could choose one of more than 20 different characters and join with five other players against another team of six. This structure forced Blizzard to choose other ways to present its new universe, as the pace and gameplay style chosen for Overwatch is not the most suitable for a narrative approach.

As in all of Blizzard’s projects, the history of the Overwatch universe is larger than what is displayed in the game. With an initial group of over 20 characters, each with a past and a different backstory, the Overwatch team chose to create short animations for some characters as well as develop other aspects of the stories in comics.

Blizzard had had several incursions into the field of comics as a way to develop the stories of their games. World of Warcraft had several mini series published by Wildstorm, as well as some comics in the Starcraft universe. With the Overwatch comics however, the preference fell on a digital edition in the game´s website.

 

Launched in 2016, the first story of Overwatch, Train Hopper, is written by Robert Brooks, with dynamic art by Bengal and tells a casual episode of one of the characters in the game, McCree.

The following issues accompany the various characters of the game, some take place in current time, others give glimpses of each character´s past. With a more or less regular publication, the focus on short stories about ten pages each, works well, especially because of the quality of the artwork.

Art by Nesskain.


The stories have scripts by Robert Brooks, Matt Burns and Andrew Robinson, among others, while on the art side, and i must highlight in addition to the exceptional work of Bengal, especially in the two volumes dedicated to the character Ana, the choice of Miki Montllo as an artist for these stories. The quality of Montillo´s narrative, already proven in his albums for the french market, Warship Jolly Roger, stands out in a masterful  way in the short stories of the Overwatch universe.The stories, Reflections featuring Tracer, and Wasted Land featuring Roadhog and Junkrat stand out in great part due to the quality of Montillo´s artwork.

Art by Miki Montillo.

Pedro Potier

Is an artist in video games, with minor digressions into comics, animation, storyboard, schoolbooks illustration, editorial, card and board games and advertising.

Fascinated by the interdisciplinarity of today´s entertainment media and current culture, he will try to showcase in his articles a bit of what is happening in these various areas.

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