Overwatch 2 may be a sequel, but it seems to love police skins as much as the original game. A brand new bundle recently hit the in-game store called Constable Tracer, which puts Tracer in a goofy British police outfit, complete with absurd hat and spindly moustache. The $10 pack also includes a police badge with a gun and a spray depicting Constable Tracer emerging from a police box.
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Constable Tracer marks the third time Blizzard has released a police-related skin for Overwatch signs. An Officer D.Va skin was introduced in 2017, putting the 17-year-old in a more casual police uniform and transforming her mech into a walking police car complete with sirens. While certainly tone deaf, it pales in comparison to what they came up with next.
In 2019, as part of the annual Overwatch anniversary event, Blizzard introduced the Riot Police Brigitte skin. Yes, in May 2019, as America counted on clear and consistent evidence that police brutality overwhelmingly affects communities of color and witnessed how protests against this brutality were often met with increasingly militarized police forces, Blizzard thought it was a good idea to give a character with a shield a Riot Police skin. Ugh.
Kotaku reached out to Blizzard for comment regarding the ideology behind this latest cop.
The police skins in the game feel like Blizzard is saying the silent part very, very loudly. Overwatch The characters are essentially police officers who were forced to become vigilantes after their organization was disbanded following investigations into some of their ethically questionable and legally shaky tactics. In the game’s story, that organization was created to combat what is known as the Omnic Crisis, which is when the robots that run robot factories went rogue and started producing evil omnics that kept killing.
Tracer’s first mission saw her sent to put down an omnic rebellion led by the Null Sector (an omnic revolutionary group often referred to as terrorists) in King’s Row, London. The rebellion broke out after the omnics were denied basic human rights and forced to live in squalor beneath the ritzy city. Overwatch was banned from intervening in the rebellion, but did so anyway. Interestingly, the Tracer police arrive not long before Overwatch 2 adds its newest character, Rammatra, to the game – who is the leader of the same terrorist organization Tracer was sent to stop. I wonder how he would feel about seeing Tracer in a cop skin?
If you are new Overwatch 2 player, or even an original Overwatch player who skipped the PvE events and the opening cinematic, you probably don’t know that many characters in the game were once members of a global police force with virtually unfettered reign. That’s why this Tracer skin is so incredibly frustrating: Blizzard could choose to keep the “police” a bit quiet, but seems determined to shout it from the rooftops of King’s Row – you know, the place where the police are sent to take down a riot with violence.
And while it’s sweet to see Constable Tracer (canonically lesbian) do some gender bending, Blizzard could achieve the same effect by giving her a Freddie Mercury-inspired skin. It would fit quite nicely Moira’s Bowie look, and it wouldn’t have any of the problematic implications that come with adding yet another police-themed cosmetic into the game. Interestingly enough, Overwatch has yet to drop a cop for the most appropriate character: Roadhog.