Re:Load and Loverwatch: A New Generation of Fan-made Overwatch Dating Games
Mei is bae, D.Va is forever, and the world is one step closer to having that as a reality. I'm not even talking about the SFM wizards behind your favorite porn clips.
As much as Overwatch is all about the combat, a series of story shorts and a number of sources of background story are out there if you're really down to know more. Have your characters' pre-game voice line interactions piqued your interest? Why is Tracer so used to the sight of another copy of herself? Why are Winston and Reaper so feisty with one another? Just how hard can D.Va fangirl if she really puts her mind to it?
If you're the kind of person who's into ferreting out the answers to these kinds of questions, a little more story and little less Competitive may be just the ticket... and playing a part of it just the icing on the cake.
(Or you could just be in it to romance Daddy 76. No judgment.)
Don't worry. You are not alone.
In fact, the enthusiasm with which the Internet community has embraced this entertaining mix of "for the lulz" sentiment and genuine interest has been nothing short of astonishing. This isn't just one project; there are two fully-fleshed out Overwatch dating sims that have already been launched or are close to launching, and a handful more still in their concept stages.
This isn't just a case of the trope-y basement-dwelling mouth breather giving the D.Va gremlin a run for her money, drooling over the chance to sex up bikini-clad Widowmakers. As inevitable as the unavoidable shipping wars (are you more a Soldier/Mercy or a Widow/Tracer kinda person?), fans are just drawn to the idea of a more interactive way of getting to know their favorite Overwatch characters.
And it doesn't get more interactive than deviating storylines.
Take Re:Load: An Overwatch Dating Game.
It's one of the more talked-about fan-made games that you can currently play through for free. A labor of love and the pet project of a single college student (don't sue them), Re:Load uses official Blizzard assets for its visuals but has concocted a long (and yeah, kinda cheesy) story with a myriad of different ways it can end.
While many of them lead to a rather cheeky kind of romance or sweet, sweet friendship, none of the endings (over 40 different ones in total!) include anything NSFW. Good if you're streaming your adventures on Twitch, maybe not so great if you were looking for something to stick in the spank bank.
If you ever found yourself randomly teleported into the middle of the original Overwatch base with no explanation, finding a surly Soldier 76 who can fly a very fast jet to the middle of Japan just to have you hang out with his ol' buddy Hanzo may not necessarily be the most logical start of your grand adventure... but it'd be damned entertaining if it were true.
And that's just what Re:Load is out to give you.
Meanwhile the (multiple) devs behind the extremely polished-looking Loverwatch are taking their time and also taking the job a lot more seriously. They've got the hefty job of making the story work, and work right.
Set in the golden years of Overwatch, where everything is happy and fluffy bunnies, they also want to be able to keep all the cast together... and canonically, poor D.Va would just be left out of the action stuck in time as a five-year-old. You don't want five-year-old D.Va, do you?
Moreover, where Re:Load runs in a more straight-forward visual novel style, relying solely on click-through text options, Loverwatch tosses in a little more "game" into the mix. As they say:
The line between visual novel and dating sim can sometimes be a little blurry, but dating sims usually include stats or stat management. If you have an attraction meter or some sort of visible relationship variable which increases or decreases based on player decisions (which Loverwatch does) it can be considered a dating sim. :)
Which is excellent. There's no talk about who copied who or which did what better and who thought of this-that first. The collective internet has come up with the idea that this could be a hell of a lot of fun, and have the potential to be hilariously funny, and a bunch of people have actually gone and done something about it just for the benefit of everyone else and so far, both projects have managed to rock it.
Here's hoping Blizzard doesn't try to spoil the party any time soon!