On March 31st, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan announced on the Blizzard Battle.net forums, that the company doesn’t “have plans for an Easter event this year”. However…rather than some bunny, egg, and pastel themed event, Blizzard released “Uprising”; a special event based off the recently released digital comic of the same name. The event includes an AI brawl – similar to the Halloween Junkenstein event – and limited time loot box collectibles. Blizzard added an interesting twist this time, using an event not just as a nifty theme, but to expand Overwatch’s lore in-game.
Overwatch’s previous events have been tied to real life occurrences: the Summer Olympics, Halloween, Christmas and Chinese New Year. This time around, the event’s brawl is story based, taking place 20 years after the Omnic Uprising. A group of Omnic extremists known as Null Sector have launched an attack upon the recently built King’s Row, a budding community fostering human/Omnic relations. This is also the home of Overwatch’s newest member, Lena Oxton (aka Tracer), and her first mission is to save it. No pressure.
The main brawl lets four players choose between Reinhardt, Tracer, Mercy and Torbjorn to fight through waves of enemies and secure objectives in order to advance. For the first portion of this, the players must hack three terminals to shut down anti-aircraft gun emplacements so Torbjorn’s bomb can be safely air-dropped into the area. The bomb (apparently built from spare parts lying around IKEA’s stock room) must be defended while it works out some kinks and other “little snags”. Then, it can finally be escorted to a hot date with the doors of the Kings Row power plant. Once the bomb convinces the doors to settle down and retire from their life long career as doors, the final leg of the mission requires the team to take out Null Sector’s commanders, four OR14 units. The players also need to accomplish this all while being constantly harrowed by wave after wave of enemies.
It might sound easy, but much as the memes suggest, getting an Overwatch player to actually stand on the point is a feat. This game mode requires them to do so three times and escort a payload. However, if you can successfully manage to herd cats, you’ll be treated to some wonderful snippets of dialog along the way, and a decent amount of exp for your efforts. You’ll even get to hear a bit of dialog from Reyes, before he becomes a gravely-voiced edgelord (fans of Edgy Grandpa may want to bring a change of underwear).
The skins for the event are themed for the time, allowing the other senior members of Overwatch to match Commander Morris, Captain Amari and Blackwatch Reyes. You’ll also notice that some of the skins offer a bit of flavor text for the characters. This is something Blizzard wanted to introduce to Overwatch with character bios. Players can also unlock additional voice lines, highlight intros, victory poses and sprays, which are also themed for what was happening around this time in Overwatch history (Widowmaker’s hits you right in the feels).
Though it’s not an Easter event, I couldn’t help but notice that Uprising is about something people thought was dead suddenly coming back, as if it was resurrected. Plus part of the mission requires players to go to a church so they can shut down the final gun emplacement. Though it’s probably –definitely- completely coincidental I had to English Major this by adding themes and symbolism that weren’t there. Also, it was generous of Blizzard to release an event when a decent portion of its player base will have more free time over Spring break.
As another added treat, there is also an alternate version of the event, where players can choose to run through the scenario using any of the Overwatch characters. It’s fun and ironic to play as Bastion wearing the Omnic Crisis skin. If you haven’t yet had a chance, I highly suggest you hop on and give it a shot. Make that several shots, and don’t stop because the robots just keep coming.