We Got Our Mom to Review ‘Overwatch’ Skins

Aimee Hart
Games Blizzard
Games Blizzard PlayStation Xbox PC Gaming

Skins, skins, skins. Depending on where you sit, multiplayer gaming’s recent pivot towards virtual dress up either has you desperately coveting costumes or rolling your eyes worryingly far back into your skull. Yet, while unlocking standard skins for a hero is more than enough to send many players giddy with glee, it’s the juicy limited-run seasonal skins that REALLY get fans going.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (or not obsessively playing Overwatch), you’re probably aware that Blizzard released some tasty new skins for the game in the run-up to Halloween. As with everything new, unsurprisingly, people online have some real opinions and yikes, are they willing to share them with the rest of the world.

To save you some time, most of these opinions boil down to this:

“This skin is ugly!”

“When will ___ get a skin? It’s been 84 years!”

“I would DIE for Sombra!” (not really an opinion, but good to know of your “healthy” devotion nonetheless, 0v3watch3r69)

Whatever your opinion on in-game cosmetics though, these spooky skins are hot currency. So now that Halloween has been and gone — and most of you have probably nabbed these much-coveted creepy costumes — we thought it was time to see which of these bad boys had REAL staying power.

In order to get the definitive verdict on which skins will stand the test of time,  I thought I’d confer with the style icons closest to me — my clueless family. Reaching out to two fashionistas that I connected with during a fruitful trip to my kitchen: it was time for my bemused mother (65) and giggling sister (23), to settle this raging debate once and for all.

Hammond

Newbie Wrecking Ball is first up on our judging panel. But can Halloween Hammond impress these discerning critics?

Hammond, my sweet, sweet spooky boy. Overwatch fans all know that Mr Wrecking Ball is a stroke of genius, an adorable little furry MVP. But despite his obvious prestige, neither of our appointed judges seemed to appreciate that this skin was a work of art.

“This rat is called Pumpkin Chaser,” says my sister. She’s laughing as I type this up and ignoring my attempts at explaining to her that Hammond is, in fact, a hamster, not a rat.

My mother doesn’t have much to add either. “It’s alright. Looks like Cinderella’s pumpkin,” thus proving she has never actually watched Cinderella in her life.

Overall non-gamer verdict: 5.5/10

McCree

Would McCree go down better? It was time to find out.

“He definitely slings bones in his free time,” my sister laughs again and I find myself both amused and feeling pretty sympathetic for Overwatch’s art team. “He’s called the Bone Slinger, and he loves to sling his bones at people,” she concludes.

My sister rates McCree an 8 out 10, to which I ask if it’s because she has a crush on McCree. After all, it seems everyone I ask does want to “bone” this smelly-looking cowboy.

“As opposed to you crushing on a hamster?” She retorts. Touché, sis, touché.

Going to our other judge for a second opinion, it seems like my mum has somehow completely lost interest already. Cheers, mum.

Overall non-gamer verdict:  8/10

Pharah

Could wiser heads prevail here?

“Where’s her head?” My mother asks, her accent suddenly so strong and British that it would give the NPCs of Dragon Quest 11 a run for their money. This is how I know she’s passionate about something and I’m delighted that it’s about the whereabouts of Pharah’s face. “How’s she supposed to see with no head?”

I pause for a moment before realizing that I am not Jeff Kaplan or Michael Chu, so I have no real obligation to answer that.

On the other hand, my sister is having the time of her life.

“I’ve never seen a man with legs as good as that.” She continues, “I’d like to be held in her strong arms as she whispers sweet nothings in my ear. She looks like she’d be called Lady. Lady Mace, maybe?”

Step aside Mercy, there’s a new ship in town.

Overall non-gamer verdict: 9.5/10

Moira

Moira proved just as divisive as we feared.

Moira is a hit-and-miss character for folks who enjoy Overwatch’s rather limited lore. You either love her and Naruto-run everywhere in her honour, or you just…. well, hate her guts.

But even armed with this knowledge, I found myself unprepared for the violent rift that she would cause between my mother and sister.

“She doesn’t wear shoes? That’s disgusting,” my mother says. “She’ll get pneumonia.”

“But she’s got a great outfit,” my sister replies, “… Besides, everyone dies in the end, anyway.”

With their voices becoming louder and the sands of time rapidly slipping through my fingers, I hurriedly get them to scribble down their verdicts before this gets out of hand.

Needless to say, I am already severely regretting asking these two for their opinions.

Overall non-gamer verdict: 8/10

Widowmaker

Turns out that Widowmaker brings out a LOT of strong feelings in our two judges.

If there’s one outfit that I feel thrift shops would love, it’s this one. Ever since release, Widowmaker’s gone hard for spiders, and while I appreciate that level of commitment, this skin is just downright tacky.

As usual, though, my participants completely disagreed with me.

“I love her outfit! It suits her so well!” My sister gushes, “If I had to guess her name, I think it’d be something like Spider-Girl,” she pauses, thoughtfully, “or Tarantula.”

“Ohh, or she’s that girl from X-Men,” my mother agrees. “You know, the one who steals all those roles even though she can’t act?”

“Scarlet Johansson?” My sister has now turned her back on me and Widowmaker as they descend into a merciless session of ripping into ScarJo.

As for me? I’ve never been more offended on a video game character’s behalf before.

Widowmaker deserves better than this. Probably ScarJo too.

Overall non-gamer verdict: 6.5/10

Mei

Mei Overwatch 2018 Halloween Skin

“She looks like she didn’t put much effort into her costume,” my mother immediately says. “It’s like she got ready last minute. No, I don’t like her outfit at all, Aimee. I hope you don’t pick this to wear.”

“But she’s so cute!” Never did I think my sister would be a Mei fan. I’m pleasantly surprised. “I think she’s called Cutie Pie, and I really like her boots too. Even if she didn’t put much effort in, I bet she’s fun at parties.”

This was originally about rating skins but I’m starting to suspect that my sister is falling for all the characters. This would never have happened if that fashion designer had just answered my damn emails.

Overall non-gamer verdict: 6.5/10

Sombra

Sombra Overwatch 2018 Halloween Skin

She’s Frankenstein’s bride, right?” my sister asks.

I politely remind her that Frankenstein’s bride has a name and that she should use it more. No, I also don’t know what Frankenstein’s bride is called. No, I’m not going to tell her I don’t know it either.

“Well, either way, she looks trustworthy,” I hide my laughter behind my hand at that. “I don’t think Frankenstein’s bride was happy, so I hope she finds someone that makes her happy.”

Overall non-gamer verdict: 8/10

Soldier: 76

Soldier 76 Overwatch 2018 Halloween Skins

“Why does nobody put effort into their costumes?” my mother asks. “He just doesn’t seem scary. Why is nobody scary in this game?”

While my mother debates on the dos and don’ts of dressing for Halloween, my sister is in another world completely.

“He looks like that guy from Ninja Turtles! Casey Jones, I think. I hope next year he dresses up as Donatello.” She stops mid-sentence and then points back at Soldier: 76 dramatically. “Wait, no. He seems more of a Raphael type.”

Overall non-gamer verdict: 7/10

Doomfist

Doomfist Overwatch 2018 Halloween Skin

If I’m being honest, this skin was the one that I had been most excited to show off. For one very special reason.

He looks like the guy from The Shape of Water!” they cry in unison.

Whomp, there it was. My sister and mother are, usually, anything but predictable. But this time? Well, we all knew that this was going to be their reaction.

“He reminds me of your dad when he was younger,” my mother adds. I don’t bother to ask her what that’s supposed to mean as I’m pretty sure I was born without gills. “He had a lot of muscles like that too.”

OK…

“I’d save his number under Sexy Fish,” my sister says, creepily ignoring the possible resemblance to her dad. “He looks like he could treat a lady right.”

Overall non-gamer verdict: 10/10

Well, it’s been a journey but there you have it — the definitive Halloween 2018 Overwatch skin ratings. At this point, you can probably see why I’ve decided to abandon my family and live the rest of my life writing articles on the road. I’ve also sent an angrily written letter to most of the fashion industry, because now thanks to their virtual shun, I’m a hermit. On the plus side, we’ve all learnt a lot about one of the game industries most-prized shooters. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and delete all of these skins forever.

Aimee Hart