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Our experts rank the Overwatch Archives: Retribution skins

There are too many good ones this year tbh

Blizzard Entertainment

Look, we here at Heroes Never Die pride ourselves on our very good skin opinions, and there’s no better time to flex those muscles then when a new event comes out. Overwatch Archives: Retribution has finally arrived and has brought with it some delightful new Overwatch skins.

As usual, our Overwatch skin appraisers have arrived on the scene to drop some criticism on the latest batch.

Pajamei ... Mei

Ryan - B tier

This is fine? It’s fine. I don’t know, none of these skins are really bad but this is one of the least good good ones? I like the attention to detail with the Summer Games shirt and her hair and all that but ... Mei has so many good skins. Why would I ever use this one? To each their own, Rise & Shine isn’t my favorite cinematic as it is.

Cass - C tier

This is super cute, but Mei’s spine is super blown out in this skin and it’s mega distracting. I think she has some rigging issues that are hidden because of her giant coat? If you spin her to the side, she looks like a centaur with the horse body cut off. It’s super weird! That being said, the theme is cute and I’m down for more casual champs. I just wish the execution was cleaner!

Talon Doomfist

Ryan - A tier

Finally, Doomfist gets a sick event skin. The color in this skin is so good. I love the dark leg armor and chest plates contrasting with the orange and white of the Doomfist itself. I’ve been waiting almost a dang year for Doomfist to get a skin worthy of how badass he is. It’s not flashy enough to really make me lose my mind, but it’s cooler than any of his base skins for sure!

Cass - S+ tier

This skin is amazing. Canonically, this is Doomfist from eight years ago, as he rose up to take the golden Doomfist from its previous holder. He probably should have kept this look because he looks amazing. This is one of the skins that trumps not just every other skin in a hero’s arsenal, but their base look as well. I love it.

Sex God Scion Hanzo

Ryan - S tier

I was lucky enough to be in the press theatre when Jeff Kaplan revealed all of these skins to us. He gave a detailed history and description of each skin presented. When he got to this one, he paused and simply said ... “in this one, Hanzo just looks dope.” That was a defining moment for me as a person and I’ll never forget it. You know what Jeff? He does look dope. Hanzo has so many skins and he seems to get a new one every event. But finally, FINALLY, I don’t have to be mad about it. Because Hanzo looks HOT here.

This is a big step up from the “I def didn’t poop my pants” Hanzo from the winter even (thanks for coming to HeroesNeverDie.com for all of our very adult takes).

Cass - S tier

I love seeing heroes in different casual outfits—or at least ‘civilian’ attire. I’ve also been rooting for every member of the Overwatch cast to get a fancy outfit ever since the Masquerade comic. So I love this skin on two fronts already, but to make it even better, Hanzo’s badly needed a big boy outfit he can wear out and look nice.

The only downside is it makes Hanzo hot. Like, a little too hot? Uncomfortably hot. Hanzo is a giant man baby who gets prickly, but here I actually kind of find myself forgiving all of those flaws. Alarming.

Soldier: 24

Ryan - B tier

Similar to Mei, this isn’t a bad skin, it’s a fine skin. Does Reyes hair look hot? Obviously. Are those tubes unnecessarily tube-y? Of course they are. But it’s kinda just a variant on the Reyes skin we got years and years and years ago. That doesn’t make it bad, it just makes it good and not great. The only other problem I have with this skin is how much his camo pants look like Jorts. I realize that’s a “me” problem, but it’s still very upsetting.

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John Cena Doomfist pls.

Cass - S tier

I find the community fascination with Gabriel Reyes to be fascinating. On one hand, Gabriel Reyes is one of the most sympathetic, nuanced, and layered characters in the game. And then he turns into Reaper, a dude in a skull mask with such amazing lines as “Die! Die! Die!” and “I’m not a psychopath... I’m a high functioning psychopath.” So clearly there’s some confusion over characterization. Or perhaps whatever Mercy did to Reyes made him incredibly goth? I mean, Blackwatch Genji is also extremely goth. Maybe Mercy just cranks out loyal Hot Topic gothic customers 24/7. I don’t know.

Anyways, my point is, I’m fascinated to see more skins that show Gabriel Reyes, and this one is a look at his time with the government super soldier program. What’s super interesting is that his arms look reinforced by some exoskeleton stuff, suggesting that when he was younger and the program wasn’t so advanced, his double shotgun recoil affected him more. That’s some interesting world building snuck onto there!

I don’t really get whats up with the camo pants, though. Otherwise, this skin is so good I am kissing my fingers like an Italian chef and gesturing widely at it.

Specimen 28

Ryan - C tier

I said that all of these skins are good ... but I disagree with myself when I get to this skin. Winston is always a little crusty looking, and I love that about him, but something about this one just feels weird? It looks like very high fidelity concept art come to life. That isn’t bad on it’s own, it’s just kinda boring to me.

Cass - D tier

This skin is super depressing to be honest. Like I know Winston was largely cool with being part of the science experimental program, but man, do we need to see wires coming out of his head? Also, aren’t those glasses canonically worn by Dr. Harold Winston, and Winston just picked ‘em up after his death? How is he a Lunar Colony subject AND wearing those glasses? Boy, I really hope someone got fired for that blunder.

Also this skin really emphasizes his weird monkey ass.

Talon Sombra

Ryan - S tier

YES. Yes. Hell yes, this skin is dope. I have been waiting for a cool Sombra skin for way longer than a cool Doomfist skin and this is works for me. First, I love her hair. That’s all that needs to be said. Her hair is dope. Second, her armor’s colors are great and the design itself is also so, so good. I just really love everything about the way this looks. It isn’t too fancy, it isn’t too much, it still looks like Sombra, but it’s very obviously a skin. It really manages to hit that perfect measure for me between overdoing it and under-doing it.

Cass - A tier

I really like this skin! That being said, her hair is kind of... aunt-y? Like, it’s “I want to talk to the manager” hair. Also, she’s got purple makeup still. I’d like to see that tweaked to fit with the red and black a little more. I’m also not 100% sure on Sombra’s timeline with Talon. She’s pretty young. Was she really in Talon eight years ago? Is this a canonical skin or just something to bring her in line with Doomfist? It’s not a perfect skin, but it does look very slick and it’s a convincing visual theme.

Equalizer Lucio

Ryan - A tier

This is probably an unpopular opinion, but this skin is a little too busy for me. Look, if I was at a concert for Lucio and he walked out shirtless, dressed like this, I would pass out. But as a skin in Overwatch, it’s really just fine. The weird lights on his pants kind freak me out and his sleeves are a little too green for my liking. The color combination is also just ... he looks like a mascot for Sprite and now I can’t un-see that.

Cass - B tier

This skin is fine. It was one of the unused concepts for Lucio, and I agree that it’s a little too busy—I think the design that made it into the game just works better. But we get this as a skin, so it’s the best of both worlds!

There’s a fan theory going around, a fanon, if you will, that standard Lucio is a good and honest boy and Equalizer Lucio is a braggart speed demon who loves to take risks and start shit. I love this theory more than I like the actual skin itself.

Blackwatch Moira

Ryan - S tier

I’ve never before in my life but this is as good a time as any

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSS QUEEN

Yes. Moira is life in Overwatch and I love her with every part of my dark soul. Her armor is sleek and her Beret is wonderful and all of you who don’t like it are EVIL and should be expelled. The only bad thing about this skin, the ONLY bad thing, is that it forces me to choose between this and Ziggy Stardust Moira.

Cass - S+ tier

This skin has been controversial, largely because of her beret. Here’s what the problem was: People wanted her skin from her Origins short, where she’s wearing Mercy’s Valkyrie suit but with devil horns. We’re never going to get that. We were never going to get a skin that is essentially one hero cosplaying as another. It’s a gameplay nightmare!

Instead, we get Mercy’s Valkyrie suit layered UP with heavy padding. This means that everyone who gets their hands on Mercy’s tech in this setting immediately modifies it to make it more dangerous, which is hilarious. Mercy’s probably really mad about this. The beret is adorable. Moira owns. Mercy’s mad. This is as close as we may get to a perfect skin, folks.