It’s unfortunate when a game recycles seasonal content without adding much from the previous year, and Overwatch’s Halloween Terror this year was no exception.
Before I get into the details of how it failed, let me begin by saying that Junkenstein’s Revenge is fun and still worth playing even after its third year. This is partly because you have the chance to utilize new characters in the game mode such as Wrecking Ball and Brigitte. And trying to capture villain photobombs will never get old thanks to the combined creativity of the internet.
But as for me, that’s where the benefits end. As I said, it’s still worth it to play but nevertheless disappointing that there is nothing wholistically new with the event besides the new skins, sprays, emotes, etc. So let’s start to break down the issues in detail.
Junkenstein’s Revenge again
Overwatch can be pretty secretive on what is getting rolled out before they officially announce it or launch it. So there is always a bit of excitement and curiosity surrounding the thought of “What’s it gonna be this year??”, hoping it’s fresh and new. But now after 3 years of the same thing, that suspense just isn’t gonna be there next year and Overwatch will come under the diatribes of spent fans. I will gladly play again next year, but only casually, and Overwatch will be lucky if their growing number of dissenters treat it the same way. So I’ll say this now, next year’s event better be fresh and original or else their image will continue to fade.
New Skins; short-term gain, long-term loss
Okay, the seasonal skins are awesome. And yes I want them. But in no way do I need them nor will I spend a copious amount of time or money to get them. Overwatch is one of the most creative game franchises out there when it comes to their skins, but unfortunately for them the skins are really only for your teammates and opponents to enjoy because YOU CAN’T SEE THEM when you’re playing. Sure they look good in emotes and victory poses, but that’s not the point of the game and if Overwatch thinks they simply only need to create new skins to hold up a seasonal event they are mistaken, especially if the skins are only available during the event itself. So yes, Overwatch might gain some extra cash from people cashing in on the limited-time skins, but they lose out on the long-term because it doesn’t fully incentivize people to continue to play after the fact. And this goes for all the sprays, emotes, poses, etc.
Villains and Objectives
Even if they didn’t change up of the initial premise of Junkenstein’s Revenge, what would have been great is some added objectives, goals, and (most importantly) villains. The usual Reaper, Summoner, Witch, Dr. Junkenstein, and Junkenstein’s Monster are a bit played out. Now absolutely wouldn’t suggest getting rid of Dr. Junkenstein and Junkenstein’s Monster, but the other three are replaceable and having a Halloween themed Doomfist, Wrecking Ball, Pharah, or Winston to fight just seems way too fun to pass up.
And the same goes for the objectives. Protecting the door is, again, great. But a little more creativity for the players to focus on would go a long way in engaging the Overwatch base that has played through the same exact objective for three years now.
What this says about Overwatch as a whole
It is my opinion that Overwatch started incredibly strong when it first launched in 2016 and has had a somewhat difficult time maintaining that momentum. It’s understandable. It’s very difficult for any game to consistently top itself when it started so strong. But in its third year I expected something different, not necessarily better, just different and fresh. My worry is that Overwatch is now focusing too much on the add-ons portion of the game/seasonal events instead of the gameplay itself. And hey, maybe that’s what will make them the most money. But if this trend continues, I weep for what the future of Overwatch might be in the next few years.