Disclaimer: I have never played any of the Call of Duty games. So really, if I do Soldier: 76, it’s not because I’m too used to play COD, but because he’s good for starting FPS players and remain effective at even higher stages, where he’s more than an aimbot. Not to mention a very fascinating character.
So to start with? From the outer design, maybe there’s not much to expect on Soldier: 76. He’s a guy with normal assault rifle, maybe a bit aged. But I can definitely say that his visor is at least looking really cool. I think he just prefers the aesthetics of ‘as long as it gets the job done’.
And it really shows in his gameplay as your ‘Call of Duty’ guy (or so it’s called…). Soldier: 76 is the very definition of an all rounder. This guy can take on offensive, since he’s got his trusty assault rifle, and an alternate fire that sends out a smaller rocket that explodes on impact for a small area damage and he can keep the DPS real nice if you got a good aim. It’s practically a necessity if you’re new in FPS genre, and yet, if you’re already good at FPS genre, he’s even more effective. Those things you got from playing Counter Strike or Call of Duty will not go to waste. (Just get rid of the toxicity) And by using Sprint, either he can get back to position quicker or run off from unfavorable position quicker.
And not to mention, he’s also a pseudo-healer. He can plant a Biotic Field that heals everyone in a small area. Not only this makes you less dependent on health packs, this can also be used to heal if your healer is for some reason not enough to do the job. Yeah, there’s the joke that he’s the team dad (Dad: 76) and he actually kind of going along with it. If someone says “I need healing”, give’em one even if he’s an Offense character, they’ll appreciate it.
And in regards of his ultimate Tactical Visor… well at the first glance, it’s what people call ‘aimbot’, because for a small moment, Soldier: 76 will activate his visor so he aims automatically and reloads quicker, though just for 2 full rounds. But in that time, if you’re in his sights, you’re as good as dead. Now people can call this cheap ult, but I think it’s NOT. Yeah, it aims automatically, but Soldier: 76 can only lock down one character at a time, so in the middle of a big crowd, it gets trickier to lock down one character you want to shoot down. Like for instance, a tank can still get in the way. And since his ultimate is announced, if people sees you, they’ll have plenty of time to hide, making you waste the ult. Thank goodness Soldier 76 at least has a Sprint, so even if he can’t fly around or teleport for better positioning, he can still at least get to a better position quicker. Wiping out the majority of a team with your ult is not as easy as you think, but it’s still very satisfying thing to pull off. Hey, if it gets the job done…
Okay, maybe that one is still a little too simplistic, but like Symmetra, the biggest draw of Soldier: 76 lies in his story. To me at least.
So yeah, remember that time I mentioned about Reaper’s backstory about his ex-best bud Jack Morrison? Yeah, that’s Soldier: 76.
Born as an American farm boy, he enlisted to the super soldier program in order to save his country from the Omnic Crisis. Jack was rather the opposite of Gabriel, while he’s not the ultimate best soldier on the field, he’s also charismatic, able to draw the best of his friends with his leadership. But even then, they were best friends. So he got promoted and rained with awards… something that didn’t endear Gabriel without his knowledge. But even then, Jack kept his ‘babyface’ to the public, serving for their best interests and protecting people, becoming a symbol of heroism.
The Overwatch’s reputation fell apart when Gabriel leaked the secrets of the Blackwatch, and Jack still tried to convince the people that they’re still interested in protecting the people. And then it culminated into the fatal battle at Swiss HQ, a battle between best friends Jack and Gabriel, resulting both of them considered dead together. Jack Morrison was buried as a hero, and the Overwatch was disbanded even if they fondly remembered Jack.
Except Jack lived. Seeing all his hard work and idealism completely wasted with naivete and the world was still a dark place with the rise of terrorists like Talon and that there may be another group that orchestrated the downfall… Jack became disillusioned. He threw away all his ‘all-American-face’ persona and resigns that in the end, he’s just another soldier with a mission: To uncover the mystery behind Overwatch’s downfall, no matter what it takes, even if he has to use dirty tricks. After stealing an assault rifle that can fire small rockets from an Overwatch HQ, he became a vigilante, just using the callsign “Soldier: 76″… because that’s who he is… a soldier, at the year 2076. Not one for justice like he used to be before… but just someone who has a mission and will fulfill it.
While I’m okay with squeaky clean heroes at times, I am very much fascinated with those who has underwent trauma but still resolved to do what they think is right, even if they change their persona. Soldier: 76 is pragmatic and grumpy, but deep down, some of his old persona still shines on, acting out of concern of his team in his own grumpy way (as someone who’s seen the horrors of war and how idealism alone gets people nowhere, it still makes sense) and sometimes if an innocent’s life is on the line, he could still forego his mission for them. You know, Blizzard LIKES getting their heroes to be Fallen Heroes, but I’m impressed that they didn’t make Soldier: 76 fall THAT hard unlike Arthas or Kerrigan or the playable cast of the first Diablo. He’s one of those anti-heroes that I can say done quite right and a decent portrayal of how a charismatic ideal hero can fall.
So yeah, a fascinating backstory and development (and still has rooms for development), still a very decent antihero personality coupled with potent fighting force that is covered with the mask of “Newbie character right here!”, I really really like Soldier: 76 rather than just dismissing him as a scrub character. Everyone has their tastes after all, mine just happens to put Soldier: 76 REALLY high. The hero that Overwatch deserved but not the one that they needed at the moment.
Bear this in mind. I have been with her all along since those days when this character was unambiguously amongst shit tier. And even storywise she might not even get the respects she deserved. ‘Justice’ might not be on her side, but it doesn’t take away that Symmetra is hands down one of my favorite woman character in this game.
Honestly, if you ask me, India is a rather underrepresented country in Asia. I mean, when was the last time you got an influental Indian character? This guy? (for the record I have respects on him). But my God did Blizzard hit gold with Symmetra when it comes to Indian things. From her design, even with futuristic motifs, she has a lot of Indian motifs and poses, and it’s even in-story as well, she’s an architect using hard light and used a lot of traditional Indian motifs in things like her poses. In addition of this, she’s a very elegant and classy woman. Not exactly the nicest on the outside, but someone worthy of being called a hero, a good person. We’ll talk more about this later.
Her weapon is a laser that attaches to whoever is in front of her, but just one. Some can say it’s a mini aimbot, but really, Symmetra has to stay close and follow her target, if they could either stay away or interrupt her with good aim, they could eliminate her before she fries her target for long exposure. Yeah, the laser gets more powerful the more longer it is active. But there’s your frickin’ counter tips, if you think she’s OP.
Her secondary fire is a charge-able light orb that travels slowly but indefinitely, passing through shields like Reinhardt’s. And if anything, if there’s a Bastion or Torbjorn turret, a fully charged orb can really disrupt or destroy it. So in a way, still very useful.
And yes, like I said, I was there when Symmetra was crap tier. This is because her other ability is to give a character weak shields that has to be set up again if they die. Thankfully Blizzard caught on to this and gave her a new ability, the Photon Barrier, which launches a Reinhardt-sized shield that moves forward until the center hits something. Sure, nothing of that says healing, but hell, Supports are about helping your friends, not just about healing.
And her other most known feature? Sentry Turrets. I swear, these babies have more than one use. Mostly used to be put on choke points, Symmetra plants up to six small turrets on a wall or floor. They get destroyed in one hit, but they sure are harder to see than Torbjorn, and they do damage over time and slow. The best thing about this? Symmetra can cover a lot of areas. Even if the turrets die in one hit, that can already be your cue that someone just snuck at the backline, preparing you for upcoming ambushes. Like, you wanna know someone who can utilize map awareness in this game easier? Look no further than Symmetra.
She also had the honor to have two ultimates, the first is the Teleporter. Yes, Team Fortress 2 veterans will be familiar with this, it just teleports you from base to a place you like (just hide it well) up to 6 times. It will definitely enable your team to get back to the fight quicker, or even pull a surprise if someone found and attempts to destroy it. Or… put it on a cliff, watch as your friends fall off and die (Don’t do this. Seriously, don’t.). But better yet, thanks to her update, she also has the Shield Generator, which lasts until destroyed but gives a big regenerating shields for everyone in the vicinity. Aaah, sure beats those crappy single shields! And that’s how Symmetra escapes the shit tier and becomes at least more respectable gameplay-wise.
But all these PALES from how much I respect her in the story so far.
Remember that time I mentioned about the struggles between Lucio and Vishkar Corporation? As it happens, Symmetra (real name: Satya Vaswani) works for that corporation. Vishkar picked her up since childhood since she showed potential in light bending and separated her from her parents like forever, but also saves her from a life of poverty that made her suffer and then somehow indoctrinated her to believe that what they did was for the greater good. And for the most part… they are pretty smart to show Symmetra their good side, where they had her build good housing system and made people have good life overall. Vishkar also used her to do corporate espionages, where she digs into the dirt of rival companies, allowing Vishkar to expose them and rile the community to know that they’re the better ones. Of course, she’s not exactly the biggest fan of such dirty methods, but due to being actually autistic, having the Asperger’s Syndrome, and the people in the end felt like happy and having a good life, she considered such dirty methods a fair price…
Until she got asked to spy on the company at Rio, where she found no dirts, then she witnessed just far Vishkar would go to assure dominion, by blowing the building without care of the suffering of the people. She still at least managed to save one soul, that may or may not hate her, but her pleas to prioritize the welfare of the people fell into deaf ears and her indoctrination and life experience caused her to try to convince herself that it’s just for the greater good, but she’s clearly doubting that if what Vishkar is really the greater good.
Then the Lucio thing happened, but she wasn’t assigned to develop Rio so she didn’t know what he’s like. Vishkar probably just told her that he’s a rogue thief causing anarchy… and from a certain point of view, yeah, he got his people’s freedom by stealing and this was just the first time Vishkar’s immorality was shown, that doesn’t mean that their past jobs were shams…
And yet, people still considers her the villain, the monster, all because she works with Vishkar, which in the eyes of fans, seems to be nothing more than a devil’s company that should be taken down for great justice, and anyone supporting them has to be idiots or oppressive monsters. Including Symmetra. And it doesn’t help that Blizzard hasn’t given her any interactions outside harassing Lucio.
Sure, she might not be the nicest person in the world, but it doesn’t take away that Symmetra is deep down a good person. Her old life in poverty was one that made her suffer, she didn’t want other people to suffer through that. In my life, I have also learned that just because you support a group that is bad, it doesn’t mean you’re instantly a bad person, and that’s also the same for Symmetra. She wants to do good, indeed, but her circumstances, upbringing and environment was unfortunate, what with indoctrination and all, and her opposition was someone who’s hailed as a hero by everyone, which made her look really bad.
Can we say ‘underdog’ here? Yeah, even if she’s in a multinational powerful corporate, Symmetra IS the underdog in the struggle against Lucio.
Not only I seriously had the best fun in playing Symmetra, she’s also hands down as one of the most fascinating characters in Overwatch with noble goals and her heart being put in the right place. I’ve seen many characters that are at heart good, but being stuck in a bad company (maybe I should make a list about it), and then gets insulted like they’re really bad. I’m not one of those people, and even today, I am still proud that I really really adore Symmetra and she is without a doubt, my most favorite woman character in Overwatch… and my favorite Support character (hey, Support isn’t all about healing!)
Oh and if you ask me my opinion on Vishkar? Symmetra better find a way and reason to ditch that company, so the world can truly see her as a heroic, good person and not mistaking her as a villain. (But maybe without submitting to Lucio ‘saving’ her)
(Also I have to say this. Her VA, in personality and how she did Symmetra, is just plain AWESOME)
‘Justice’. These days, the term seems heavily misused to force one’s mindset onto others. So it is to my utmost joy to get a character who actually does ‘justice’ right. And the guy who exemplify that? This German knight who reigned as my top hammer expert, Reinhardt.
If you ask me, there’s a lot of potential within D.Va. Not yet realized by Blizzard, of course, but I definitely see her more than the kind of… Doritos-munching, Mountain Dew-chugging gremlin that the fandom portray her as.
You’ve seen her as one of my favorite Ice Masters in video games, and now I’ll get even more into details on what Mei really stood for me amongst the Overwatch cast. Behold, the… Chinese… Eskimo… person.
What I expected was a cookie cutter edgelord petty bland villain in the same vein of a certain green haired imp. What I got… was an actually pretty fun with some good depth in character and decent reasons in what he did in villainy. Reaper in a nutshell, folks.
Probably because I rarely go for Wild West stuffs, but it’s usually rare for me to see a well-done cowboy character. But McCree? He’s got a lot of good stuffs that kind of makes me feel like a cowboy. Except the Horse.