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Q&A: Learn about Uprising, the lore based Overwatch event

Our lore expert teaches us about Overwatch’s weirdest event

Blizzard Entertainment

Sometimes on Heroes Never Die, we come together to speculate on Overwatch’s story, characters and direction. Other times, one of us gets very confused about a particular event. This piece is one of the later. It’s almost that time of year again, the time when everyone was like “what spring holiday will we celebrate Blizzard” and they were like “It’s Robot Apocalypse day!” So let’s get into it as we prepare for next month.

Cass, what is Uprising?

Cass: Uprising was Overwatch’s first non-holiday event. Players got treated to a story mission where you play as an Overwatch strike squad heading into London to stop the Null Sector terrorist omnic group from causing another war between humans and omnics.

Uprising played out like a Left 4 Dead or Vermintide map, with players taking the role of Mercy, Reinhardt, Torbjorn, and Tracer to stop the anti-aircraft and eliminate the omnic threat. (There was also a game mode where you could play the entire roster, which was fun.)

Ryan: The thing that confuses me most about Uprising is the timeline? When did this happen? We have baby Tracer, young Torb and ... same age Mercy? I think I’ve asked this before but these timelines really don’t seem to add up?

Cass: Uprising took place seven years ago, and the accompanying comic shows us an older Ana and a graying Jack. This is when cracks really start to show between Overwatch and the United Nations, and fractures are forming that will become far worse when Ana is removed from play by Widowmaker.

There are hints Mercy is doing some... trickery with her age, but seven years isn’t that long, so I think she’s just washing her face at night and drinking lots of water.

Ryan: What makes the King’s Row location so significant?

Cass: Mondatta, Zenyatta’s omnic monk predecessor, had just finished working with humans to build some homes for omnics in King’s Row, which was highly publicized. Null Sector, who were omnic supremacists, stormed King’s Row and planned to throw all of that into chaos. Pretty rude! Anyways, we can tell that Overwatch saving the day didn’t actually repair relationships too much, judging by the fact that London is a hotbed of anti-omnic sentiment in game. (The ‘only built to serve!’ graffiti sends a pretty strong message.)

Ryan: What made the machines rebel or grow a consciousness or whatever? What happened? Explain it to me like I’m ... say ... a 24-year-old man who writes about video games for a living.

Cass: So, all of the omnics in Uprising aren’t new to the whole “consciousness” game. That seems to have come about as a result of the omnic war, where the unused mass production robot centers went rogue and pumped out an endless sea of angry robots. Since then, omnics have formed their own religion, settled into Oasis and Numbani, and tried to go about their lives as best as possible.

Moira, for instance, is one of the universe’s most capable scientists, and she kind of wants to be able to take Zenyatta apart and just... look at his guts and try to figure your question out.

Ryan: How was Talon involved? It seems like Widowmaker has a Talon skin for that event!?

Cass: Talon wasn’t involved in Uprising at all, actually (on the surface, at least). Talon Widowmaker just seems to be her skin from that point in the timeline, seven years ago, and it seemed appropriate to release it because of all the other lore skins coming out at the time.

Ryan: Were McCree and Genji actually in Blackwatch? Or is this one of those weird, non-canonical skins things? How did those two avoid going bad like Reyes, aka Reaper?

Cass: McCree and Genji were both in Blackwatch. Genji joined after Mercy brought him back, and was used as a trump card against the Shimada clan and their global empire. McCree joined Blackwatch after Reyes found him as a teenager in the Deadlock Gang. Reyes saw the potential in him, and brought him on board.

The reason that they haven’t gone full Reaper is simple: Moira.

We don’t know exactly what Moira did to Reyes there at the 0:58 mark, but that’s definitely Reaper smoke, and Reyes looks terrified. McCree never trusted Moira (he has a line where he tells Moira he always knew hiring her was a mistake), and Genji seemed like he was a paranoid wreck back in the day, so I can see why they might have avoided her.

Ryan: I got one last, really important question for you Cass: what could Uprising look like this year and what do you personally want to see out of it?

Cass: I want to see a similar mission style, but with Blackwatch. We have a full four hero squad for Blackwatch: Reyes, Moira, Genji, and McCree. It doesn’t have to be on King’s Row or against Null Sector. There’s a lot of room to play. Also, I desperately need a Blackwatch Moira skin. I need it like I need air to breathe.

There’s another intriguing possibility. Remember Operation: White Dome?

There are four characters, a contained mission, and this Twitter post implies that this particular mission may be important or worth returning to. Can you imagine if we got Uprising 2, a new hero in Esme, and an Istanbul map? That would be beyond wild. I don’t expect it from Blizzard, who have been very conservative in their releases, but if they did do it, it’d be like Mega-Christmas.

As usual Cass, I learned so much, just as I’m sure our audience did. We’ll have to wait and see about Uprising this year, but at least now I’ll be a well informed citizen instead of just a lumpy boy who loves skins.