Overwatch is a game about interplay between many different heroes, some of whom represent entirely different subgenres of FPS. Despite the potential for unbalanced chaos, it all clicks. The reason? Details like this one.
I’ve logged quite a few hours in Overwatch’s closed beta at this point, and until today, even I didn’t know about this. OK so, it concerns super fly samurai guy Hanzo. Even if you haven’t gotten a chance to play Overwatch, you’ve probably seen his ultimate. It’s a massive, serpentine dragon that does huge damage to any members of the rival team it passes through. Good for breaking up concerted offenses and giving your team a few seconds to pick everyone off one-by-one. Or, you know, just 18-wheeler trucking any deer who don’t dive away from the rather obvious headlights.
Here’s the thing, though: it can be stopped before it gets going, or even turned against Hanzo and his team. You’ve just gotta time it right. Case in point: this video by SnaixOnAPlane.
Genji, cyborg ninja extraordinaire (or maybe ordinaire, given that cyborg ninjas are generally extraordinary at, you know, everything), reflected Hanzo’s ultimate back at him. But how? Genji can reflect projectiles like bullets and arrows, but ethereal dragons are simply not in his wheelhouse.
Turns out, the key is to counter before Hanzo’s ultimate takes shape, some especially experienced players explained on Reddit. He fires it as a charged up arrow (like many of his other attacks), which means there’s a split second in which it’s vulnerable to Genji’s deflection or, say, D.Va’s defense matrix. It’s a detail so small and skill-based that you could play tens of matches and never notice it, but it’s got huge strategic ramifications. With Genji, especially, you’ve got to time it just right, ignoring your impulse to Run The Fuck Away and instead dash toward Hanzo. If you mess up, you’re ghost dragon chow.
Overwatch’s closed beta ends next week, after which there’ll be a brief open beta in early May. The game launches on May 24.