Thursday, September 1, 2016

Overwatch - UPDATE - The Last Bastion

Hello, hello, my friends! I am back again.

As some of you may recall, my last post was...well, last month... and it was all about the animated short films connected to a video game called Overwatch.

Do you remember?

Great. Glad to hear it, but for the benefit of any new readers out there, and the click-lazy, I will sum it up: In a nutshell, I liked them, and why wouldn't I? They're all generally entertaining, high-quality, and pretty well-written, if not a bit fluffy, but whatever... overall, they're pretty fun. However, I did complain about the lack of a cohesive narrative to string all the shorts together. I wondered, why they didn't build a more apparent story line? They almost seem to, and there's a somewhat noticeable connecting theme, but then they just kind of... don't really commit. That being said, this particular complaint wasn't all that disappointing, as much as just the lament of a missed opportunity. In the end, I mostly just wondered if they were ever going to make any more...

And then a few days later... they did.

That's the power of Jon, people.

This short film features the character Bastion. 

Bastion is your basic Warbot type character, big, clanking, and ugly, all as can be expected, right down to his "surprisingly" gentle nature. Not to be too hard on the game, of course, it's not an impressive insight to note that all of the characters are basic archetypes, because that's what these games always do. Anyway, Bastion is the character that, from what I've heard, if given the chance, he will just destroy the other players with his big cannons. Now, due to his being so over-powered, and easy to use to achieve victory, he is not only a favorite of low-skill players, or "Noobs" as the most likely horrible gamer nerds say, but he is also almost universally hated on sight.

Which may be why they made this particular short film...

Here's the summary: "THE LAST BASTION follows the forgotten battle automaton, Bastion, as it unexpectedly reactivates after laying dormant in the wilderness for over a decade. Fascinated by its unfamiliar surroundings, the curious omnic begins to investigate, but quickly discovers its core combat programming may have a different directive..."

Aw... see? He's not so bad after all, you guys. Let's watch...

So, my first thought is that maybe I was wrong (GASP!), maybe they are building a larger story. The theme in this short film is very similar to the others, as the main character deals with a dark past that is not as dead and gone as they would like, the main difference this time being that there is a distinct message of hope at the end, hope for change, for freedom from self, and a new direction. Sure, it's a bit heavy-handed, but it's a 7 minute short film about a robot in the forest, you got to get to the thematic meat quick, if you're going to do it at all.

I liked this.

It's interesting to me to see an animated short film that is all about turning your back on violence and old hatreds, like this one is, and yet, it is tied directly to video game that is 100% straight-up violent combat. Was the left hand not aware of the right hand? Or did anyone really care, expecting the message to be completely missed or ignored by its customer base?

Does it really matter?


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