With games like No Man’s Sky, Doom, and Final Fantasy XV on the way, 2016 is shaping up to be a great year for gamers. However, the game for which I am most excited is a plucky little first-person shooter called Overwatch. Actually, “little” is about the exact opposite of what this expansive, multiplayer team-based shooter is. Overwatch lets you select one of 21 different heroes with incredible abilities—e.g. robotic ninja Genji, pistol-packing adventurer Tracer, cloaked mystical mercenary Reaper, to name a few—and compete with teammates against another squad of heroes to complete various objectives. The game, which is Blizzard’s first original IP in 17 years, joins the ranks of fan-favorites like Diablo, Starcraft, and Warcraft, all of which have incredibly deep lore surrounding them. And in classic Blizzard fashion, Overwatch has done a bang-up job of making its colorful characters feel three-dimensional (and not just graphically) through fleshing out their backstories.
Case in point: Blizzard’s brand new Overwatch digital comics. Written by Robert Brooks, a senior writer on Blizzard’s Creative Development team, and illustrated by Bengal (Spider-Gwen, All-New Wolverine, Batgirl), Overwatch: McCree: Train Hopper is part of a series of six digital comic shorts centering around the cavalcade of kooky combatants from the game. As the title would suggest, this first one focuses on Jesse McCree, a vigilante gunslinger trying to keep his nose clean on a train ride to Houston, Texas. Unfortunately, wherever McCree goes, trouble seems to follow, and not even Denzel Washington can stop the locomotive mayhem that’s about to go down.
The comic drops on the official Overwatch site on Thursday, April 21, but we have an exclusive sneak preview for you of the McCree madness.
Here’s the official solicit text and description:
Overwatch: McCree: Train Hopper
Written by: Robert Brooks
Art by: Bengal
Synopsis: Infamous outlaw Jesse McCree needed to get out of town and lay low for a while. That’s a shame. His train ride to Houston is going to be anything but “low-profile.”
In addition to the digital comics, Overwatch is creating a series of animated shorts that give insight into the various characters’ backstories. To be perfectly honest, I almost wish Overwatch was an animated series rather than a video game; that’s how good these are.
The game is a lot of fun, but I could honestly spend hours watching the adventures of these characters. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Warcraft does well enough to merit more Blizzard franchises making the leap to screens large and small. In the meantime, I’m grateful that they’re expanding the lore through comic books and animated shorts.
Overwatch: McCree: Trainhopper is available on April 21, 2016.
Overwatch comes to PC, PS4, and Xbox One on May 24, 2016.
Will you be reading the Overwatch comics? What character is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.
Images: Blizzard Entertainment