'Overwatch' Latest News & Update: New Short, 'The Last Bastion,' Released At Gamescom; New Map And More Emotes Revealed

By Staff Reporter , Updated Aug 20, 2016 12:34 PM EDT

Last week, after several leaks, Blizzard indicated that the next short film in "Overwatch" would be about the beloved turret-transforming robot Bastion. The short was previewed at Blizzard's Gamescom preview prior to the event. Now, Blizzard has finally released "The Last Bastion," the fifth "Overwatch" animated short.

"The Last Bastion" tells the story of the eponymous robot hero, whose "Overwatch" backstory indicates that he was once part of an army of peacekeeping robots that was turned against their creators when the Omnic Crisis came, pitting robot against human. Virtually all Bastion units were destroyed or dismantled after the war ended. 

"The Last Bastion" picks up over a decade after the war, and is set in a forest near Stuttgart and the village of Eichenwalde. The "Overwatch" short starts with a little bird, Ganymede, pecking at a lone Bastion, rousing it for the first time. Bastion immediately remembers its orders to attack Stuttgart, and makes its way through the forest, along the way admiring the natural beauty of his environments and bonding with Ganymede.

Suddenly, Bastion hears a woodpecker's rattling on a tree, and reverting to its combat programming, transforms into a turret and destroys the forest around it, scaring Ganymede off. When it comes to its senses, it's saddened by its actions and proceeds to the city dejectedly. The forest clears into a meadow and a clear view of Stuttgart, revealing the dead husks of dozens of ruined Bastion units. Analyzing one of them, Bastion suddenly remembers a horrific battle scene, with fellow Bastion units fighting German soldiers and Crusaders, the member of the order to which another "Overwatch" hero, Reinhardt, belongs. "The Last Bastion" ends with Bastion being made to choose between his newfound peaceful life in the forest with Ganymede, and attacking Stuttgart to return to its original purpose of combat. The short ends with the former choice made.

"The Last Bastion" is a wonderfully moving "Overwatch" short, having absolutely no dialogue and drawing more than a few comparisons to robot story classics like "The Iron Giant" and "WALL-E." Blizzard has definitely shown their animation chops over the years, but here they've been given a chance to exercise their writing prowess as well.

Aside from the short, Blizzard also announced a new hybrid payload map, Eichenwalde, set very near the setting of "The Last Bastion." This new map has a greater sense of verticality compared to the other maps in the "Overwatch" roster so far, and is a maze of flanking routes, alternate paths, and vantage points. The map will be coming to the Public Test Region soon, and will be pushed to the full game sometime in September, presumably along with the start of Season 2.

Blizzard also showed new emotes for all "Overwatch" heroes, most of which were sitting or laughing emotes. D.Va got a particularly noteworthy sitting emote, rated Legendary, which shows her sitting down and playing a video game while chugging soda and eating chips. This is a clear embrace of the "Gremlin D.Va" meme circulated around the community. Reinhardt will also be getting two new skins, which are variants of the Balderich von Adler armor that is the centerpiece of the Eichenwalde map.

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