Blizzard Entertainment released another animated short for one of the characters from their popular first-person, team-based shooter, Overwatch. The short stars the character Bastion, the proverbial robot with a heart of gold.
The seven minute short is beautifully animated, continuing to highlight Blizzard’s impeccable storytelling skills even when there is no dialogue shared between characters. The Pixar-quality visuals are on full display as Bastion is seen in a field, deactivated and covered in moss out in the middle of nowhere. Things pick up when a bird wakes the robot up and they go on a short walk until something unexpected happens.
The short film juxtaposes Bastion’s seemingly docile and peaceful personality with his unfortunate penchant for violence. The short film reveals that Bastion and his fellow robots were actually evil and waged a war against the humans and Overwatch.
There’s a really cool flashback scene showing Bastion and his fellow compatriots engaged in a dark, violent war against the humans. Bastion has the choice of moving forward toward the city to complete his mission of destruction or returning to the forest with the bird who accompanied him while he was in the forest. The short ends with Bastion choosing to head back into the forest. Although, it doesn’t really explain how he ended up there or how he ended up getting back into battle.
As far as character progression goes, we don’t get to learn much more about Bastion other than his pre-programmed violent tendencies. As far as visuals and animations are concerned, this is easily one of Blizzard’s best. There are a lot of small visual nuances in the short that help bring the atmosphere to life, from the waving blades of grass covering up the destroyed robot war units, to the droplets of water on the feathers of the bird… there’s a lot going on that helps make the short pop.
It’s sad that the most exciting thing about Overwatch, for me, is seeing these short films because the game itself is so boring. But so long as people are talking about Overwatch I’m guessing Blizzard probably doesn’t care.