'Overwatch' Retribution Event Helps Explain the Game's Greatest Mystery

This is probably what changed everything for Overwatch.

One of Overwatch’s greatest mysteries is about what exactly led to the titular organization’s downfall, and we might get a possible explanation in the upcoming “Overwatch Retribution” event.

Late Wednesday night, Blizzard released a dramatic story-focused trailer for Retribution after weeks of teasers. Comparable to last year’s Overwatch Uprising event, Retribution pits four heroes from the cast against waves of A.I.-controlled enemies. But this new crucial mission could fill in a huge gap in the game’s mostly-obscured storyline.

Uprising focused on Overwatch proper, specifically Reinhardt, Mercy, Torbjorn, and Tracer on her very first mission to save King’s Row in London from a robot invasion. That was 7 years ago, when Overwatch was already under intense scrutiny by the world and on the verge of getting disbanded. Retribution instead focuses on the organization’s mysterious black ops team, Blackwatch. Led by Reaper (before he turned evil), this mission includes Genji, McCree, and Moira. They’re tasked with covertly capturing the Talon leader and renowned terrorist Antonio Bartalotti. Things go horribly wrong, and they have to fight all sorts of Talon soldiers.

This very mission, and its disastrous failure, is probably what led to Overwatch’s downfall.

Here's the default squad for Overwatch Retribution.

Blizzard Entertainment

The trailer is framed as a debriefing after the mission between Overwatch leader Jack Morrison and Gabriel Reyes (the real names for Soldier: 76 and Reaper). “Tell me what actually happened,” Morrison demands. “Relive the mission that changed everything,” the trailer promises. From the looks of it, the mission was a trap all along. In the middle of all the fighting, someone shouts, “Feels like Talon is mobilizing an entire army to stop us!”

What was supposed to be a low-profile mission Overwatch could plausibly deny instead became a high-profile disaster.

Previously, we didn’t know many specifics about why Overwatch was eventually disbanded. Public and political opinions about the organization eroded over time a number of “incidents.” Under accusations of corruption and a United Nations investigation, infighting between Morrison and Reyes ended in an explosive confrontation that destroyed the Overwatch facility. They were both presumed dead, causing the entire group to disband. Overwatch the game picks up years later when Winston calls the former heroes to action.

The team gears up for the Retribution mission.

Blizzard Entertainment

A new comic also released Wednesday builds upon all this, explaining why this mission happened to begin with and also retroactively making the relatively new hero Moira a member of Blackwatch. The Overwatch facility in Oslo, Norway endured a massive and deadly assault from Talon. Reyes wants revenge, and he’s willing to break the rules to get it, which is why he launches the Retribution mission to Venice, to find justice.

Instead, he found only disaster.

To read Overwatch #16 Retribution, click here.

The in-game Overwatch Retribution event runs from April 10 - 30, and will bring a new map called Rialto with it along with new and older exclusive character skins.

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