The best of the animated shorts currently available from out of Blizzard Entertainment’s upcoming Overwatch has got to be “Dragons”. The other two were okay, but there’s some real meat and bones to the tale they tell in the eight minute video that they recently released for Overwatch, featuring the two characters Hanzo and Genji.
I was unaware that there was any story related to the two, but the eight minute short makes Overwatch seem far more interesting than any of the gameplay I’ve played. Blizzard prefaces the trailer with a short synopsis in the YouTube description that reads…
““Dragons” explores the history of conflict between the scions of the Shimada clan: Hanzo and Genji. In this episode, we follow Hanzo as he returns to the siblings’ family home in Hanamura to seek redemption . . . and confront the ghosts of the past.”
You can check out the “Dragons” short film below.
The video juxtaposes a tale of the old dragons and their rivalry with the modern day exploits of Hanzo, as he invades a temple, kills a robot guard and beats the crap out of the rest. The animation and fight choreography is surprisingly solid here, there’s nothing overly fancy or ridiculously stupid on display, just some solid takedowns and some good, practical lock-holds and throws put on display. It certainly makes Hanzo come across as the steely veteran that he is.
He eventually gets in front of an altar to burn incense for the dead brother that he killed, doing so because his brother betrayed the trust of his clan. However, things turn out quite differently once Genji hops into the picture with his cyber ninja abilities.
The fight scene isn’t just a typical, flashy showcase of a bowman versus a swordsman. It’s actually a fairly compelling but simple story about upholding honor, brotherly love and forgiveness.
Hanzo is stubborn but Genji is relentless. It makes for some striking storytelling, especially as they set the rivalry against the backdrop of the two dragons who warred and ravaged but eventually came to terms with one another in human form.
Blizzard was kind of writing above their pay grade with this one.
What makes it so disheartening is the fact that Overwatch has no story mode, but the character backgrounds are so richly detailed with a lot of lore. It’s baffling that they passed up an opportunity to really flesh out the world of Overwatch to cash in on a barely-there MOBA FPS.
Anyway, you can look to jump into the action of Overwatch starting May 24th on the Xbox One, PS4 and PC for $59.99. Unfortunately, in the actual game you won’t be experiencing the rather engaging stories that Blizzard have been telling through their animated shorts.
Feel free to learn more by hitting up the official Overwatch website.