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Overwatch’s Reaper’s Code of Violence Challenge is live, and includes a novella

Learn more about Overwatch’s saddest goth

Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

A new Overwatch event, Reaper’s Code of Violence Challenge, is now live — running from Feb. 22 through March 8. The Challenge rewards fans with a handful of cosmetics, including a new skin, for winning games and watching certain streams. The Challenge offers the Dusk Reaper skin, which is a much more practical take on his usual assassin’s trench coat, as well as a player icon and a bunch of sprays.

But the real meat on the bone is the new novella released alongside the Challenge, which is called Code of Violence. The novella stars Reaper, a character who has long been shrouded in mystery, only hinted at through in-game voice lines.

Code of Violence immediately starts lining up those mysteries to rapid fire answer them. What is the nature of Gabriel Reyes’ shadow powers? What happened during his fateful showdown at Overwatch HQ with Soldier 76? Who is the family he was watching jealously from afar during the Christmas comic? What is Reaper’s relationship like with the other members of Talon?

All of these are answered through a short story from Reyes’ point of view, where he and Sombra are sent on a mission to acquire Sigma. Reaper is distracted from the mission by all of his self-reflection. After all, it’s hard going from being a loving husband and dad who lives in a bungalow in Epic Park, to being a guy who is literally named Reaper and only gets satisfaction out of murder.

Fans are still waiting for news on Overwatch 2, which is delayed until 2023. Publisher Activision Blizzard was sued in July by the state of California over allegations of a “pervasive ‘frat boy’ workplace culture” with “constant sexual harassment” of female employees. Activision Blizzard is currently being accused of union-busting as Raven Software QA workers form their own union group.