LEGO Overwatch welcomes its first release in the form of Blizzcon exclusive 75987 Omnic Bastion – is it enough to build anticipation for what’s to come in 2019?
Price: £22.50 / $25.00 / €N/A Pieces: 182 Available: Now (Blizzard exclusive)
Overwatch’s mixture of co-operative gameplay, exotic locales and colourful, Pixar-esque heroes has proven to be a refreshing contrast to the relentless grind, foggy crater-filled battlefields and dour, interchangeable soldiers and space marines normally found in most video game shooters and RPGs. With this in mind, Overwatch developer Blizzard’s collaboration with the LEGO Group seems like a natural partnership, sharing as they do an ethos of inclusivity, family-friendliness and forward thinking.
Before the main glut of sets, we have a chance to get our hands on a limited edition release of mindless killing machine-turned-sentient bird-fancier, Bastion. Exclusive to Blizzard’s online store and its Blizzcon event, Omnic Bastion arrives nattily dressed in a unique orange skin, depicting his appearance during the conflict known as the Omnic Crisis. In the rich lore of the Overwatch universe, a worldwide uprising of robots, known as ‘Omnics’, led to countless identical Bastion units being deployed on the battlefield to face their erstwhile human masters.
During the post-war period when the game takes place, the Omnics and humans live alongside each other in a peaceful but tense co-existence. The last remaining Bastion unit – the ‘classic’ version seen in the game – awakens into this world and wanders it in search of peace while battling human suspicion and PTSD. Seriously. It’s actually really sad. The skin is a nice bit of fan-service from Blizzard that has the bonus of being an aesthetically pleasing colour scheme.
A short, snappy build consists mainly of placing layers of rivets and gubbins which effectively create the suggestion of intricate mechanical parts without getting too fiddly. This works especially well against the bright orange of the large, smooth sections of armour plating on the chest and thighs, which really pop in contrast to the greys and blacks of the skeleton underneath.
Bastion’s distinctive, squat silhouette translates well into brick form, with the finished piece – and the chunky legs in particular – having a pleasing sense of weight to it. Bastion clearly doesn’t skip leg day. Unfortunately, there is something slightly off with the head, which fails to capture Bastion’s sleek, cyclopean visage with its basic construction. It’s not a deal-breaker necessarily, but for Overwatch fans looking for an exacting likeness to the character model, this may be off-putting.
Far larger than minifigure scale, Bastion is clearly meant as a display piece and it remains to be seen where it fits in with future releases. The packaged plinth reinforces this notion that he is not to be played with. Further accessories include a stud-launching right arm and Bastion’s avian companion, Ganymede.
Articulation comes in the form of ball-jointed hips, shoulders and neck; hinged elbows and wrist; and a waist swivel. Although something resembling knees would have been handy, there is enough to achieve an adequate amount of poses to please most.
The LEGO Group’s aversion to weapons presents a possible dilemma with triple-changer Bastion, whose trademark ability is to transform mid-game into a sentry gun or a tank and indiscriminately spray bullets or lob shells into onrushing enemies. Whilst a majority of the cast of Overwatch characters generally bypass the brick-based company’s policy thanks to the fact they cannot seriously be considered as representations of realistic conflict, a slight question mark still hangs over Bastion. How would and should LEGO designers address the fact that Bastion doesn’t simply carry a gun – Bastion is a gun? The answer is: they don’t. There are no instructions included for a secondary or tertiary mode. One has to imagine that there are plenty of fan-built solutions in development already, but it’s interesting to see how the LEGO Group are sticking to their, err…guns on this issue.
Omnic Bastion bodes well for the upcoming Overwatch theme. A satisfying build and a fun model that would look great sat on a desk or shelf add up to a great overall package, whether you’re a fan of the game or simply a fan of the brick.
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