Overwatch might be one of the most highly-regarded and talked about games of the year, but it’s not perfect. One of the most common complaints I’ve seen lodged at the game is that it simply doesn’t have enough modes. The characters are fun to play and the stages are fun to play in, but how long can the global love affair with Blizzard’s team shooter really last without more kinds of arbitrary objectives to complete?
I’m here to fix that. By combining the dozens of matches I’ve played, all the social media posts I’ve read, and the brainstorming session I had thirty minutes before I sat down to write this article, I’ve devised a perfect list of ten new Weekly Brawl ideas for Blizzard to throw into rotation so avid players don’t even have the time to think they’re getting bored. I’m so confident in my ideas, in fact, that I’ve taken the liberty of writing the one-paragraph press release that will accompany each new Brawl when it’s introduced to the game. Using any of my ideas will cost Blizzard either $100,000 or a months-long legal battle I would probably lose. Either way, we get new ways to play Overwatch!
“In this frantic, Roadhog-only point-capture mode, landing hooks is the only thing that matters! Chain Hooks have a 3-second cooldown and deal 300 damage—perfect for picking off a stray Roadhog then finishing them off with your shotgun. All Roadhogs also move about as fast as if Lúcio were using his amped-up speed boost on them, making this mode all about those twitch reflexes Counter-Strike players said our game doesn’t reward!”
“Have you ever wondered what it would be like if all the Payload maps worked backwards? A few of our engineers have been taking extended Mario Kart breaks recently, and we decided to ‘reward their creativity’ by having them create Reverse Payload! How will the current chokepoints on each map evolve when attackers and defenders are on opposite sides? Who knows! We were too busy playing Mario Kart to playtest this mode!”
“Only Pharahs left alive in this unprecedentedly strange variation of Payload! You can pick anyone who isn’t Pharah, but they’ll only fall to their deaths since gravity (and your character’s perspective) have been flipped! I guess you could throw a Mercy in there and keep flying towards Pharah (who now has unlimited fuel), but that’s not as fun! Remember to hold the hover button down, though, or you’ll fall to your death during a crucial Overtime push!”
“This was a bug how did it get in the game…”
“Have you ever thought to yourself ‘isn’t it a little weird that the Payload cart can heal the team pushing it?’ Well, your critical thinking has made the Payload ANGRY!! In this spite-filled mode, the Payload drains the health of anyone standing near it, making concerted efforts to push it as vital as they are impossible! No longer will the Payload stand by as a Bastion rides it to victory while a Mercy heals it from behind while crouching. When you start thinking about how most of these modes don’t make sense, EVERYONE pay(load)s!”
“Stalemates? What are those? A thing of the past, that’s what! In ‘Capture Point Blitz!!!’ The location of the capture point changes as soon as it’s captured. Where will it end up next? Right beside you? At your base? Virtually outside of the game world? Implanted in the enemy Widowmaker’s eye? Who knows! But if you keep complaining about how some character lineups are too strong to break through, these are the kinds of Brawls we’ll keep releasing!”
“Jump Jet into Chain Hook? Bastion rolling while in Turret Form? Widowmaker building turrets? It’s all possible in this incredible new mode where YOU get to make the balance!
Choose your character to select your gun loadout, then cherry-pick whatever abilities you want to combine! Show everyone how well we balance this game by coming up with the most broken ability combination possible!”
“What if all your favorite Overwatch characters were in our other critically-acclaimed time-sink, Hearthstone? Well, now’s your chance to find out! This Brawl launches a separate executable file (so you’ll have to have Hearthstone installed) and reskins all your favorite decks with pictures from Overwatch so that when the Brawl is done, you’ll probably want to go play some Hearthstone, further deepening your commitment to the Blizzard Entertainment Fun-tastic Ecosystem™!”
*Blizzard if you steal this mode from me and call it “Hearthwatch” I will still sue you
“Isn’t it just a load of crap that Bastion got play of the game again even though you were the only person on the Payload for like four minutes? In ‘Game of the Play of the Game,’ after a match finishes, every player combs through the match they just played using our new replay system, highlighting specific moments our algorithms can’t! After hours of bickering with people you met through the internet, all players agree on a single moment, which becomes the Play of the Game! If anyone leaves during the deliberation process, they’re permanently banned from Battlenet. Now every player gets the glory they deserve!”
Art by D.J. Kirkland
“We at Blizzard Entertainment take our fan communities very seriously, which is why we’re proud to introduce ‘Ship Me Plenty,” the mode where are all your fanart is canon! Gremlin D.Va? Totally real! Soldier 76 is everyone’s dad? 100% true! All your wildest speculations of who’s in a relationship with who come alive in this mode as background knowledge! No other changes to game are made.”
“You incessantly whined, we listened! For one week only, enjoy the complete absence of everyone’s least-favorite turret robot! Chokepoints crumble in seconds, tanks have no real counters, and it’s impossible to hold Hanamura now (probably!). Now if you lose, you have no one to blame but yourself, or whatever other hero killed you last, I guess!”
Suriel Vazquez is a freelance writer who actually wants to play Roadhog’s Road Rage. He’s written for Paste, ZAM, Glixel, and several others. You can follow him on Twitter.