Overwatch is officially out this week, but between all the open and private betas you’ve probably played or seen someone play it by now. The team-based shooter is wildly popular, and a lot of that has to do with its accessibility as a game, but its characters act as the tip of the spear in Blizzard’s assault on your free time. Their eyes dart around when you highlight them on the character select screen, their looks are distinct and diverse, and they hint at a world you can uncover in marketing videos. They’re what bring people in.
Overwatch’s characters are wonderful, but they’re also a bunch of bullshit. Almost all of these characters have made me furious at them at one point during my time in the betas, whether they dealt too much damage, recovered too much health, or had some other crazy gimmick I didn’t want to play around. Rather than ranking these characters by how much we like them, we’ve decided to rank them here according how much bullshit they are, using the scientifically quantifiable method of how many times they made me say or think curse words.
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21. Zarya: I have never thrown my hands up in despair at the end of the match and said, "Well, fuck Zarya then I guess." She's a beefy, defensive hero with some strong supporting potential, but she doesn't have the damage output she needs to really get people mad at her (the hallmark of good character design). She's useful with the right lineup, but I've never been actively furious at one. People might consider that a good thing, but if you're not pissing someone off, you're not doing something right.
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20. Soldier: 76: I've seen my fair share of good 76s, but he's always stood out to me as the most "fair" hero in Overwatch. His ultimate ability allows you to shoot without aiming and lets you get sure kills against some of the more nimble heroes, but that actually works against him when it comes to making people red in the face; if a 76 killed you and you're like "how did he even do that shit" you can always go back and blame the stupid lock-on visor and not feel so down about yourself.
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19. Winston: Winston would be at the bottom of this list if I hadn't run into a really good Winston one time. He was jumping everywhere with abandon, catching our Tracer and Widowmaker off guard with his electric gun, and making it impossible for us to capture an objective with the shield he kept dropping. He's capable of all this, and yet that's really been the only time I've ever been mad at one, and a lot of that was from thinking "I lost to myself for not playing around him." You can say that about any character in Overwatch, but Winston doesn't make me mad enough to forget that.
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18. Mercy: Mercy has one of the simplest toolkits in the game, and yet everyone seems to forget how useful she is. Teammates have pursued Roadhogs that she was healing to their dooms, failed to retreat after getting kills without realizing she can bring allies back from the dead, and not known she can fly to her nearest ally in case she's in danger. None of this is really that bad, but I get more angry at my teammates for being idiots than I do Mercy players. But since she instigates that anger, I still vent that anger towards her.
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17. Roadhog: A lot of the frustration Roadhog players cause is because of how instant his combo is. Against most heroes, he really only has to land his hook then shoot you once with this shotgun to score a kill. So when he reels you in then obliterates you in a couple of seconds, the initial bewilderment might cause you to start cursing. But remember: the hook's range isn't great and it takes some leading to land. So he at least earned that kill. But it doesn't make it any less stupid that he got you with it.
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16. Symmetra: Symmetra's the kind of heroine who makes you think you live a world created to piss you off. Enemy Symmetras always have the perfect turret death pits, which fry you as soon as you step in the door. When you play with or as Symmetra, her turrets are too weak, get found and destroyed way too easily, and she never gets any kills. So when I say "Fuck Symmetra," it isn't so much because they killed me, but because my team failed to kill anyone with her.
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15. McCree: McCree's kind of a simple character, so there isn't too much about him that pisses me off. He needs to land more than one headshot to kill, and his rapid-fire bursts are easy to dodge. But then you'll hear "It's high noon..." duck for cover, peek out to see if it's over, then die to his ultimate. And it's bullshit. But you kind of did that to yourself.
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14. Mei: Most of the times Mei aggravated me were because I didn't account for her freezing effect. Her gun might not do enough damage by itself, but if she hits you with it long enough, she gets a few free shots, which is usually enough to finish you off if you're not playing a hero with lots of health. And since her ultimate does this over a wide area, it's easy for her to force the defending team out of the capture zone. Or it could just freeze and make them all easy targets, which tends to happen in my games more than it should.
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13. Zenyatta: Zenyatta is technically classified as a "support" character (those that help their team more than harm the enemy's) but that's a lie. With his damage-amplifying orbs and surprisingly high damage output, Zenyatta can be an ice-cold killer just like any offensive hero can be. Still, it's frustrating to lose in a one-on-one fight with the character who's supposed to be the healer.
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12. Reaper: For most players, Reaper will start off pretty high on this list then slowly work his way down as they realize that he's easily dealt with by staying the hell away from him. Still, he's strong enough up close (and prevalent enough in most matches) that you'll frequently stand face-to-face with one of these jerks, and if you don't have a high-mobility character like Tracer, you're pretty much done when he gets in close. Add to that his ability to turn into a cloud and it can be really frustrating to deal with a good Reaper player.