In order to help introduce gamers to their upcoming shooter, Overwatch, Blizzard Entertainment is creating a series of episodic animated shorts to familiarize potential fans to the characters and lore of the new franchise. After this week’s launch of the first short in the series, it is clear that the team intends to give players a well-crafted cinematic experience with many comparing the quality of the animation on equal ground as what can be found in Disney Pixar films.
This likely doesn’t come as a surprise to existing fans of Blizzard games since the developer has a long history of making top-notch cinematic trailers for past titles. The different animated shorts that Blizzard has planned for Overwatch will serve a greater purpose than simply building hype for the shooter.
Considering the fact that the game revolves exclusively around team-based matches, the cartoon series will be players’ primary source of lore since Overwatch won’t feature a story campaign mode. However, as explained on the Xbox Wire blog, Blizzard Entertainment takes pride in their storytelling. Keeping with that tradition, the team has many plans to flesh out the world of Overwatch outside of the game like with the newly launched animated shorts.
“If you’re familiar with Blizzard, you know that we’re pretty passionate about world-building and storytelling, both in and out of our games. We love the universe of Overwatch, which is why we’re excited to bring it to life not just in the game, but in other ways – like comics, graphic novels, and animated shorts.”
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) March 16, 2016
While teasing this week’s launch of the first animated short for Overwatch, Blizzard also recently detailed many of their other plans for expanding on the game’s universe. Beyond the new animated series, gamers will also be able to find out more about the title’s backstory through several downloadable official comic books. Blizzard already has a plans for an introductory six-part comic series that will be digitally available for free.
“In addition to the animated shorts, we’ll be releasing a series of free digital comics leading up to the launch of the game. Created in collaboration with a variety of writers and artists, our first six-issue series of “comic shorts” will focus on different heroes, such as the deranged criminal duo of Roadhog and Junkrat, as well as Overwatch’s knight from a bygone era, Reinhardt.”
In addition to offering a high quality look at Overwatch, the first episode of the video series will likely appeal to animation lovers even if they aren’t interested in the game. Those with knowledge of other Blizzard titles will also catch a few Easter egg references throughout the short such as the developer’s extremely popular trading card game, Hearthstone, being played on Winston’s computer.
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) March 8, 2016
Overwatch will allow users to take control of over 20 individual characters as they compete in the team-based shooter. However, as the Inquisitr reported earlier this month, Blizzard’s next game isn’t the only character-oriented competitive shooter that will be launching in the coming weeks. Overwatch will have to compete with Gearbox Software’s similar Battleborn, which happens to release on the same day that Blizzard begins the open beta test for Overwatch. Epic Games will also soon launch their own team-based shooter with Paragon.
Players can choose to try out Overwatch for themselves when it launches on May 24. Xbox Live Gold subscribers will also be able to jump into the game’s open beta early next month. All of the title’s accompanying animated shorts and digital comics will be available to all regardless of whether they own the game or not.
Do you think that Blizzard’s animated shorts for Overwatch make you more likely to buy the game?
[Image via Battle.net]