‘Overwatch’s New Halloween Skins Are The Best Ever, But The Game Mode Is Boring AF

Halloween is still a couple weeks away, but as per usual, the festivities started a few weeks early. For video game fans, that means the various video game Halloween events throughout the month. Most online games like World of Warcraft, Fortnite and Destiny 2 have seasonal events that take place throughout the month of October. The games usually present new activities and cosmetics that can only be collected during these few events, so it can be a really exciting time.

Overwatch, as the gayest shooter game in existence, is no exception to bringing in seasonal excitement. Every Halloween so far, Overwatch has put together a collection of new skins for some of their heroes for their players to earn through playing the game. In addition to the skins, the seasonal events for Overwatch also come with a new game mode to play. Unfortunately though, unlike the skins, the new game mode is exactly the same every year — and it’s gotten pretty stale.

This discrepancy wouldn’t be such a big deal if the new skins weren’t so great, but they are. This year’s Halloween skins are probably the best we’ve seen from any of the three years they’ve had the event.

We have Swamp Monster Doomfist who everyone thinks looks like the fish husband from The Shape of Water. Doomfist skins up until this point have all been pretty directly tied to his character and personality: West African, crime boss, etc. This one is the first that feels totally out of left field and original.

Sombra’s Bride skin, inspired by the bride of Frankenstein’s monster, is also pretty unique for her and is a huge hit among the gays. It has a classic element to it and fulfills everyone’s fantasy of being a zombie bride with a submachine gun.

Pharah’s Enchanted Armor skin is really cool and is not only unique to Pharah, but has unique characteristics from any skin in the game. First off, she has no head when she takes off her helmet. It’s literally just an empty space where her head should be. Also, her body falls apart into different segments whenever she dies.

All of the skins are really well designed and don’t feel repetitive, which is difficult to accomplish after three years of events. Which is why it’s so troubling that the game mode doesn’t seem to match. Every year, we’re given Junkenstein’s Revenge, a game that pins the players against AI enemies while they try to defend a castle. Every game lasts about ten minutes and involves a repetitive onslaught of mindless Zomnics every round.

There’s almost no incentive to revisit the mode except to attain certain achievements. Players can unlock specific cosmetics if the castle they’re defending takes no damage. However, beyond that, the game has little replay value.

In a developer update video the game director of Overwatch, Jeff Kaplan, talked about this complaint that the player base was having. The developer team is reportedly aware of players’ issues with the event. But then he goes on to say that nothing’s going to change. Kaplan explained that with their development resources they have to choose to either create temporary game modes for the seasonal events or put time towards creating new heroes and maps and other permanent additions to the game.

If it was between the two, players will of course choose the permanent additions to the game — who doesn’t want new heroes and maps every few months? Some in the player base are frustrated because in their view, Blizzard is a big company that should be able to build a team with resources for both long term projects and seasonal content.

With that aside, though, there also seemed to be some missed opportunities even working with what the game already has. The big one is the lack of diverse enemies in the game. With Sombra now having a Bride skin, why doesn’t she show up during the Junkenstein’s Revenge? In fact, none of the characters that have been spookified for this event show up during the game — it’s the exact same.

It’s little stuff like this that makes the player base feel as if the developers don’t care that much about the event. In general, the requests of the players around the event aren’t too unreasonable, so hopefully Blizzard will find the time next year to give us something new.

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