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Overwatch cinematic short, ‘Reunion,’ introduces new heroes

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Overwatch is back in animated form, just for BlizzCon

Blizzard Entertainment debuted the latest cinematic short in the Overwatch universe during its BlizzCon keynote this afternoon, continuing the trend of premiering a new one at the annual event. Called “Reunion,” it stars everyone’s favorite gunslinger, Jesse McCree — as well as a pair of new heroes.

The short is set on Route 66, a Western-set map in the game. (It served as a recent potential tease for a new hero as well.) The map includes a bombed train, the backstory of which is shown in the animated short. Also seen: some nice-looking apple pie.

McCree runs into the group that bombed out the train, a gang called Deadlock. The leader is a woman named Ashe, who’s a feisty match for the breezy McCree. The pair clearly also has a history. As you can imagine, things quickly turn into a shoot-out.

If you think the BAMF Elizabeth Caledonia Ashe is the new hero we all anticipated, wait until the end of the short before you make your final judgement. McCree pulls an omnic out of her shell, and she’s a robot named Echo. McCree calls her his partner. Fans have seen her before, however. She was first shown in early concept art for the game.

The good news is that both Ashe and Echo are the new playable characters. Ashe will soon be available as the 29th hero. Echo is set to be hero number 30, but is still in development. Ashe has her own cinematic to celebrate her upcoming entrance, which we’ve embedded above.

We last saw our favorite heroes in narrative cartoon form in August, when Blizzard unveiled a short film starring D.Va during Gamescom in Germany. The film’s release delighted fans, with some saying it was a relief. Blizzard had seemingly halted production of the beloved cinematic Overwatch videos for months.

Director Jeff Kaplan responded to those concerns, saying that in 2017 the team was taking a break after releasing multiple shorts throughout 2016. Instead, the series would return with a “second season” later on. August’s D.Va short was the first to premiere in 2018. The one before that arrived in November 2017.

Overwatch’s presence at BlizzCon extends beyond the video’s debut. Expect even more from the game throughout the weekend. BlizzCon 2018 begins today, Nov. 2, and runs through tomorrow, Nov. 3.