Blizzcon is coming up soon and so now is an apropos moment to take a look at this statue of Widowmaker, one of the most prominent faces in Blizzard’s multiplayer first-person shooter Overwatch. I have not yet played Overwatch, being that it’s principally a multiplayer shooting game and the last title in the genre that I enjoyed playing against humans was Goldeneye. I much prefer to play shooters against the AI and my understanding is that Overwatch’s support for this mode of play is abysmal at best. Nonetheless, I’ve spent a large fraction of my life playing Blizzard games, and my re-subscription to World of Warcraft in late 2012 is the most significant factor in the downturn of posting frequency on this site. Therefore, it only seems equitable to take away from my MMO time to review this statue.
The conceit of the game’s story pits the government-sanctioned group Overwatch, a daring, highly-trained special mission force, against Talon, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world. Or somesuch. One of Talon’s finest operatives is the French woman Widowmaker, the nom de guerre of AmÃ©lie Lacroix. Formerly a ballerina and the wife of an Overwatch agent, she was kidnapped, brainwashed, and now serves as a cold-blooded assassin. I will defer to the appropriate wiki page regarding the rest of her background and anyone interested in learning more about her should start there. There is also a very nicely-produced short film which shows her in action. While the storylines of Blizzard’s games are sometimes lacking – I think Warcraft has a loudy storyline that is both incoherent and derivative, which may explain why the movie adaptation failed so badly in English-speaking countries – their storytelling, particularly the production values of their cutscenes, have always been on par with the best in the industry.
Widowmaker is herself highly derivative, and unsurprisingly so as her background is merely a continuation of a pattern set by Starcraft’s Sarah Kerrigan and Warcraft’s Sylvanas Windrunner. Each woman starts as a generally good person but suffers a traumatic loss of memory and personality and is forcibly turned into a killer (Kerrigan might be considered to have been transformed this way at least twice).
This isn’t by any means an uncommon trope; it’s frequently seen in film, with Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita being one of the best-known examples (the movie The Long Kiss Goodnight, which starred Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson, is something of a stylistic reversal, featuring a bad girl-gone-good). The television anime Noir and the internationally-proscribed OVA Kite are two more classic portrayals of this theme, and I don’t doubt that there are numerous examples in Asian cinema, which I admittedly am not at all familiar with.
Blizzard’s interpretation of the theme goes farther than these representative titles in that the character – invariably female – is physically deformed in the process of having their minds wiped. This alteration generally doesn’t detract from their sexiness, assuming one doesn’t mind oddly-colored skin (Widowmaker), numerous spikes and an insect-like carapace (Kerrigan), or that one is a zombie (Sylvanas). Curiously, all three of these Blizzard characters are also stealthy snipers, indicating that they particularly like this kind of girl. Being a fan of sexy female combatants with troubled histories, I wouldn’t argue against their design decisions.
This statue is sculpted in 1/6 scale and stands about 31 centimeters in height. I’m not too sure which company is the official manufacturer of this statue; it appears to have been produced internally by Blizzard, so I suppose I will simply label it as that. Like most Western-produced statues, she’s made out of resin rather than PVC, which makes this figure rather heavy and a bit fragile, though I did not observe any breakage on my copy. However, Widowmaker does have a very pronounced forward lean, and after checking around the web I think that’s a typical issue with this statue rather than a problem unique to my copy. Hopefully this doesn’t worsen into a situation where she’s at risk of face-planting herself on the floor.
At least for me, much of the appeal of Overwatch comes from the character designs, particularly the females. There’s a bit of anime influence there, especially with D.Va, who is getting an statue with a hefty price tag, and Tracer, who has an even more comically priced statue. Notably, Max Factory and Good Smile Company are producing a bundle of Figmas and Nenderoids based off of the game’s characters, testament to its crossover appeal.
Widowmaker’s design is reminiscent of Kerrigan, particularly her human Ghost form, as she’s sheathed in a figure-hugging bodysuit with armored gauntlets and long boots. Her suit features a plunging neckline that reveals a peculiarly modest rack. Another unusual aspect of her design is that her outfit features short sleeves, though they are a sine qua non for showing off the tattoos on her arms. And while her breasts may be lamentably humble, Widowmaker does have a nice ass that her suit shows off very nicely.
And here is the tattoo on her right arm. The wiki page linked above reveals what they say.
Miss Lacroix is wearing this helmet, which looks like a cross between a Half Life headcrab and a sentinel robot from The Matrix. Can you believe that The Matrix was released eighteen years ago? There are people reading this who weren’t even alive when Neo swallowed the red pill.
She’s also got this large and handy pouch strapped to her thigh. Back in the 1990s, comic book heroes and heroines often wore costumes festooned with pouches. We typically never got to see what they kept in those pouches, but they wore them just the same. Widowmaker’s pouch looks sort of like a map case, but what sort of loser uses paper maps these days? Nevertheless, she’s got some storage capacity for carrying gadgets, notebooks, extra clips, tampons – anything a covert field operative might need.
A strange element of her design are her feet, which look sort of robotic, like an android’s. I’m not sure if she just has very thin ankles or if her feet were replaced by mechanical prosthetics. It’s worth noting that while the gaming industry is caught in the grip of a febrile level of political correctness that impugns the worth of sexy female characters, it is a nice touch that Widowmaker wears high heels.
Another interesting feature is that her legs are spectacularly long. That does accentuate the 90s comic book influence of her design, as that sort of thing was a hallmark of artists like Jim Lee, Marc Silvestri, and Andy Kubert (amongst many, many others).
Presumably the production team had access to her 3D model, being that scads of part-time pornographers on Tumblr and Patreon do, and as just about every mass-produced figure is sculpted digitally, it’s no surprise that the likeness is, from what I can tell, rendered quite well. On a technical level, the quality of the statue is pretty good for this sort of statue, though she shows some of the hallmarks of most resin figures, namely a fairly flat skin tone (even accounting for her blue skin), a kind of fruit peel texture to her skin, and a paint job that is obviously hand-applied. The texturing of her skin is not that visible from a normal viewing distance but a close inspection or macro lens makes it obvious. These things don’t really bother me as I have enough resin statues to be used to these quirks, but it might be off-putting to someone who primarily collects PVC figures.
Despite my general unfamiliarity with Overwatch – and my disinclination to every play it, at least until they introduce a fully-realized offline mode with versus play against AI bots – I like this figure quite a bit. Widowmaker has an attractive design and I have to admit that I do like the girls-with-guns and bad girls themes. I might even be inclined to pick up Blizzard’s D.Va statue, despite the hit to my checking account.
And this all reminds me that I still have a 1/6 scale statue of zergified Kerrigan sitting next to me, after virtually two entire years. The review backlog is tremendous.
What is perhaps not so well known is that not only does Talon empower housewives, they also offer a path back to relevancy to term-limited former leaders of the free world.
I had trouble getting her foot peg into the base. I still have her boxed up for that reason. Did you have issues with that?
The peg did go in on my figure but as I recall it did take a little bit of work to get the angle right, particularly since I didn’t expect her to lean like she does. I do notice that the peg doesn’t fit entirely in the base; her left heel isn’t actually resting on the base and her right foot is hovering mostly off of the base.
Pretty good looking figure. I know Widowmaker since I saw her butt all over the place when the game first came out, even in a comedy skit on television. Everyone loves shiny booty.
Overwatch does have some fine looking women, but like you I’m not into online only shooters, especially team based ones.
Indeed they do. I must admit that this thing was the main reason I started watching things like Evangelion, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, and Total Eclipse. I must also admit that my research for this post involved way too much time perusing various SFM-centric Tumblr sites.
Yeah, it was a bummer for me when I found out that it wasn’t a game that I would be too interested in. I sorta find that a lot of games are like that these days. I bought Forza 7 a few weeks back and I haven’t even tried playing it yet since I kept hearing things about loot boxes or something and that just didn’t sound like something I cared for.
Long response incoming, as this is something I have been following and discussing with friends for awhile now.
Yeah, lootboxes are microtransactions, but with the reward randomized, some games let you get them with in game money or real money, some are real money only (some are cosmetic only stuff, some are actual gameplay elements or weapons tied to them). From what I hear in Forza 7 standard features from previous games are now tied to these, like race modifiers.
Microsoft, EA, and Activision Blizzard (which is kind of ironic on Activision, as they made the Crash trilogy remake this year which surpassed sales expectations by millions) in particular are actively trying to destroy single player games because they’re harder for monetisation and scamming people long term with DLC, lootboxes, season passes, and “games as a service.” After all people can’t spend money if they’re not online. They’re trying to make consoles be like PC, since console allows for more control over the player and little piracy concerns. I mean the XBOX 1 reveal was all about the console requiring a daily online check to even work before back peddling.
I mean stuff like Diablo 3 used to not be cool on consoles (just look at how Diablo 3 forced a constant internet connection on PC while console versions can be played offline and even have couch co-op), but these 3 (and slowly Ubisoft and Konami) are trying to make forced internet connections standard on consoles as well. The new Call of Duty even requires a 9GB day 1 patch for the console disk version to even get past the press start screen to play anything, including the offline campaign, since they want to make sure your console has a internet connection as they can’t sell you lootboxes that way. There official excuse is they don’t like people that get leaked copies spoiling the story early on youtube. Yeah right.
Square Enix, while not saying anything about the other stuff yet, have stated they’re all about “games as a service” going forward, which has been shown with FInal Fantasy XV, which has tons of single player DLC and crap despite being single player. Then again there is a multiplayer expansion coming out……
“Games as a service” is also what’s been killing fighting game sales as fighting game developers want people to buy the game with unpopular character included, then buy the actual popular characters as DLC. Guilty Gear Xrd bombed because Dizzy (most popular girl) was saved for DLC in a revision. Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite launched with only 4 females and not a single person of color (Marvel showing how much they truly believe in diversity right there), then had Black Panther and dark skinned female Monster Hunter out shortly after launch with Black Widow (probably Marvel’s biggest female at the moment) being DLC next, and has bombed massively. Looks like the new Dissidia Final Fantasy game is next on the flop list as only 4 females at launch, and looks like Tifa and Yuna are being held back to be DLC since they’re still MIA and DLC character season pass is confirmed.
Then of course there was the infamous Street Fighter V, which launched as literally half a game with story mode and arcade mode (2 years later) added post release in patches, and popular non SFII characters from SFIV and III as first year DLC.
Yet Tekken 7, despite a few shortcomings and DLC pack 1 being withheld content and a withheld game mode, still met sales expectations and is the only multi million selling Japanese fighting game so far this gen because all the most popular characters were there and its roster was a full sized Tekken roster at launch. Yet other Japanese fighting game developers still continue with the bull, and it’s not just limited to fighters but roster based games in general, Fire Emblem Warriors has locked Tharja behind a paywall, and some questionable roster decisions, and looks like it might be the first Nintendo dud for Switch (although it was made by Koei Tecmo and apparently Koei Tecmo choose the roster and DLC characters, not Nintendo themselves).
Microsoft also began the year canceling Platinum/Hideki Kamiya’s Scalebound (this was after the were forcing online co-op on the developers last year when Kamiya wanted it single player only), and EA just canceled there single player only Star Wars game (that was directed by the director of the first 3 Uncharted games) and closed down the studio making it (which were most known for Dead Space, which also is a franchise that got destroyed by EA meddling and microtransactions as they didn’t like the first 2 games being single player), along with the last founder of BioWare quitting in the middle of developing the next Dragon Age a few weeks ago, presumably because EA were forcing multiplayer on lootboxes onto him. Konami also announced that the new Metal Gear requires a constant internet connection even for single player. Metal Gear, one of the innovaters of cinematic games, now requires a constant internet connection.
They’re been trying to convince people single player games are less profitable and harder to make than they really are to trick people into thinking what they’re doing is actually good.
Microsoft just said this about single player.
So glad I bought a playstation 4, MS’ game department aren’t getting any more of my money.
EA have been trying to convince people of single player no longer being relevant for years.
Going back to what I said about last BioWare founder leaving, another ex-BioWare developer that quit or was fired not too long ago had this to say about them and them wanting games online to scam consumers.
Meanwhile Nintendo are having one of the most successful first years for a game console ever with a Switch (it’s looking like its sales will be half of what X1 currently is within just a year, with lifetime sales expected to be over 100 million), where most the big games are single player. Zelda Breath of the Wild is on track to be the best selling Zelda and was the Switch’s big day 1 selling point, and Mario Odyssey just sold 2 million copies in 3 days (and Assassin’s Creed Origins, another single player only game, looks to have still outsold it).
Sony’s (the company whose console sales is over double that of Microsoft’s) most successful game this year was Horizon: Zero Dawn, a single player RPG, and they just had a conference yesterday revealing and showing off what was mostly single player focused games. Not to mention beginning of the year was all about PS4 Japanese games surpassing sales expectations (Persona 4, Nier Automata, Nioh, and so on), which again were all single player and highly profitable for the companies.
Plus lets not forget the breakout hit that was Witcher 3 in 2015, which has presumably surpassed 10 million sales (it was close to 10 million before the complete edition re-release was released).
The developers of Horizon: Zero Dawn have called out MS’ and EA’s statements on single player as total bull.
Dang, I didn’t mean to write that much, sorry about that, but it’s been of much debate since everyone I know is tired of franchises we love being intentionally ruined to try and trick us into paying additional money.
It’s disappointing to see the attitudes taken by those larger game studios but things go in cycles so if the current approach taken doesn’t work, presumably they’ll try something else or exit the game business. I’m not too stressed out about it, I guess, as I have no shortage of games in my backlog, and I have a Playstation 4 (and 3) sitting around here somewhere, so if I ever do want to play console games again, I guess I do have the capability to do so.
Yeah. The big companies love oversaturation/copying what they assume is popular because of just a handful of games. We all remeber the failed MMO’s because of WoW’s success, all the generic flop shooters because of CoD’s success, lots of focus on mobile after Angry Bird’s and a few free to play game successes (Capcom in particular really tried and lost a ton of money because of mobile focus), how many tiems have we heard “PC is dead” or “consoles are dead”, every company had a mascot platformer in the 90’s, and so on. Now it’s Overwatch and Player Unknown’s Battleground, and “single player is dead”.
I’m just getting annoyed with the rushed out “games as a service” crap where you can either get half finished games at launch like Street Fighter V, or stuff that is just really really bad at launch like Final Fantasy V (although I gave up on Final Fantasy long ago), where they want you to update the game, and buy DLC, for years. It works for something like Overwatch and MMO’s, but unfinished single player or actually patching in the story is just absurd. Then of course forced internet connection for single player, although this so far has only effected me on Hitman, and the expeditions mode in Rise of the Tomb Raider (there was also the credits scene in Nier Automata, which comes close to being almost unbeatable unless you log-in).
It was the announcement of Beyond Good and Evil 2 that got my friends talking, and when we started discussing it and looking into it a lot.
But yeah, there is still plenty of good single player stuff on Playstation and Nintendo, and from Japanese developers. So it’s far from “hobbie dropped” bad yet.
Also if you got a PS4, get Gravity Rush! The super cute main heroine from it, Kat, has quite a few figures too. I know of a her with a apple statue, her with ice cream cone statue, and she just got a figma for Gravity Rush 2. I’m hoping for a Raven statue and a Raven game (the free Raven DLC for GR2 was just too short) at some point too.
So, does this mean that we’re getting reviews more frequently, or this was just an special occasion?
Maybe! Or maybe not. I would not hold your breath on that count. Unless for some reason you don’t like living. I do have the next post photographed already, oddly enough, though it’s not a figure review.
Not that such a clue could only mean one thing but I know what I’m crossing my fingers for…
Unfortunately it’s a pillowcase. Heh. I’m not entirely enthusiastic about reviewing a pillowcase so I haven’t even transferred the photos to my computer yet but at least I have an option if I’m really needing to roll out a filler post. The next figures in the review queue were probably either Akane Indo or Sasara Kusugawa, but I’ve got a number of figures in the mail so there are a lot of options. I have a peculiarly large number of figures in bridal-themed underwear and I haven’t yet really thought of a good way to photograph them yet. I might have to just default to the usual dark backgrounds I use and hope that the duality of happy wedding outfit and gloomy backdrop works okay together.
Maybe it’s just how I roll but, to me, it’s hard to go wrong with strong contrasts in light or mood. I’d have to guess the larger part of said backlog is comprised of To Love Ru girls (though I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Muramasa or a Rem or Ram mixed in).
For similarly-themed figures from the same franchise, have you ever considered a group review? I get the idea that you prefer to cover a single figure thoroughly per post (which I also prefer) but such an approach could burn down your backlog a bit faster.
Speaking of Sasara, To Heart has been a dark horse in my llineup for ages. I haven’t partaken in a bit of the media but the character designs are excellent and great figures just keep dribbling out, year after year. There are so many variants of the axe-wielding “bikini” Sasara yet I yearn for each whenever I see them. (I also love the Volks Sasara which I believe you reviewed quite some time ago.) I’m excited to see which one you’ll be reviewing.
Yeah, the state of the game business is disheartening. However, as I said I’m not too stressed about it since I basically just play WoW these days. Though one of my friends recently started playing Persona 5 so I ought to unbox my PS4 and get started on playing that, and I’ve recently been thinking that I ought to install Fallout 3 and actually beat it instead of just running around the world map.
Yeah. Watching the backlash on Star Wars Battlefront II has been hilarious and a fun watch however. EA being a bad company might kill lootboxes pretty quickly thankfully. They even tricked reviewers by altering review copies compared to the actual retail copies, so it’s getting really fun.
When you do, download the Gravity Rush 2 demo to see what you think. It’s definitely a try before you buy series, but it’s very unique and probably the only series that nails being a attractive anime superhero.
Also, good lord at your unreviewed list. I do want to see that Elizabeth Mabley eventually, if it’s the one where she’s sitting with her legs crossed, been wanting to see some good photos of that and the others I’ve seen of her were far from the effort you put into your photos. Love that character, even if she’s far too good for the series she comes from, at least the second season drastically increased her role and reduced the main males screentime significantly to focus more on the girls so you don’t have to break your fastforward button.
Not to get political but things like gay marriage and transgender rights show how quickly even gigantic corporations will fall over themselves to get on board with something that has broad consumer support. It wouldn’t surprise me if EA goes into damage control mode, if they haven’t already done so (having no interest in the game, I haven’t been following the news and did not even know about the Reddit incident until a co-worker in the office told me of it). Hopefully it has a chilling effect on this sort of thing in other games.
I think I watched some videos of the game a while back, mainly because the protagonist is pretty cute. It’s definitely on my list of things to try. I’m not sure what the game is like but one of my favorite games on the Xbox was Jet Set Radio Future so if it’s anything like that, I think I would enjoy it.
Yeah, it is, I have the matching Satellizer figure here but I never reviewed Elizabeth for some reason; that’s kinda odd since I loathe reviewing prone 1/4 scale figures since my review space isn’t really large enough to accommodate them. I enjoyed her scenes in Freezing Vibration, and I guess I’d say I even enjoyed the series until up around the midpoint, when Satellizer went home, and then things went downhill very quickly from there.
I wasn’t either until everyone started talking about it, I try to avoid EA’s games as much as possible. From what I understand they have, and just keep making things worse for themself, since they keep doing the “hey we fixed this because of you fans!” and then stealth nerf/change something else to nullfy the fix so it’s not actually fixed and nothing is actually changed, which just insults everyones intelligence. The games getting mostly poor reviews from critics thankfully, with lootboxes being tied to class progression (aka pay to win) being the main issue in most reviews.
Since you play WoW you might get a kick out of knowing Blizzard used there free to play Starcraft II announcement to mock EA on twitter.
Gravity Rush is basically a open world superhero game where the main characters power is controlling the gravity around her. So she can fly, slide at top speed on the ground or even on walls, turn anything into a projectile, use herself as a projectile, etc.
Yeah, I did skip the going home episodes, and just stayed on the main story and Elizabeth’s recovery, and the 6 mini OVA episodes.
That seems like a reasonable choice. At least the entertainment value is high, as it always is when companies have to abruptly shift into damage control mode. Despite the surplus of beef that I have with Blizzard and the direction that they have been taking their games as of late, I’m glad that they’ve generally been friendly to fans and receptive to criticism. My main hope for the next expansion is that they give some more options for revealing armor for characters, and being that that’s the case I can’t say that the differences of opinion that I have with WoW’s design is that significant.
I agree, I like going for contrasts. Some people were curious as to why I take photos of anime figures in swimsuits against dingy and drab and dark backgrounds; it’s mainly because I think those backgrounds make the figure stand out more, versus going to a beach and plopping the figure in the sand and taking a photo, which I think would be pretty boring to look at.
Nah, I’ve never actually considered reviewing multiple figures in one post, though I may start shooting multiple figures on the same backdrop to cut down on the time it takes to set up flashes and work out the lighting scheme (this usually takes me about half an hour per backdrop). I did have an idea to shoot multiple figures based on a theme, particularly one that would be educational; I never did get around to it but the idea is still kicking around in my head.
Well, Sasara has been photographed and she’ll probably be the next review (the Orca Toys version rather than the Kotobukiya one, which I’ll probably shoot soon since my figures collect dust quickly and I ought to include a comparison shot). As for wedding figures, you are right that a lot of them are To Love-Ru figures, but there’s also a Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls figure and a couple from Nitroplus H-games. And there’s that one SkyTube one of the Tony Taka-designed girl who’s sitting on something; I never did review that one.
Someone recently asked me about the review queue, and your guess made me wonder just how large the backlog is, so I went through my Tsuki-board profile to check which figures I own but have not yet reviewed. This is the list, from approximately most recent to oldest:
Saber (Type-Moon Racing)
Yayoi B. Lutwidge
Ilfriede von Feulner
Sora Kasugano (Bunny)
Dragon Toy tentacle figure
F-ism Bondage Girl
Sasara Kusugawa (Orca Toys)
Sasara Kusugawa (Kotobukiya)
Angela Balzac (FREEing)
Dark Elf (Bikini Warriors)
Saber Bride (Good Smile Company)
Angela Balzac (Phat Company)
Saber Alter (Alter)
Leviathan (Hot Pants)
Asuka Langley Soryuu (Amakuni)
Saber Bride (Alphamax)
Asuka Langley Soryuu (Alter)
Sora Kasugano (China Dress)
Muse of Range Murata
Dark Angel Olivia
Kurise Makise (Good Smile Company)
Asuka Langley Soryuu (Kotobukiya)
Saber (Dress Version)
Saber (Wedding Version)
Lineage II Elf
Lineage II Dark Elf
Alice (Queen’s Blade Grimoire)
Push!! Cover Girl
Inia Sestina (Swimsuit)
Alvis E. Hamilton
Miku Hatsune (Love is War)
Sora Kasugano (Daiki Kougyo)
Fate T. Harlaown (Swimsuit)
Saber (Summer Version)
Saber Lily (Golden Caliburn)
Saber (Gangsta Lean)
Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers)
Fate Testarossa (Cospa)
Jesus Christ, that’s quite the list… Perhaps, if you managed two reviews per week, you could catch up in two or three years 😛
By the way, how did you like Tsuki-Board’s new layout? Personally, I hate it. And I’m not the only one. Although the first revamped pages were introduced as soon as August, there are still bugs everywhere. I have the feeling the site owner has bitten off more than he can chew. Instead of openly discussing matters, he changed his personal status to something that reads “Remember when v.3 was the worst DX ever?” (V.4 being the newly introduced version). This is blasÃ© beyond comprehension. If there were any alternatives, I’d leave there in a heartbeat.
I suppose the good thing is that should I ever have to stop buying figures due to financial reasons or whatever, I’d likely still have enough material left over to keep this site going for half a decade or more.
I really do not like the new layout. I found it very difficult to navigate and the NSFW toggle seems to work only sporadically. I dislike having to click on the numerical values to move through groups within each category. I don’t really want to sound ungrateful to the site admins, since I do find it to be an extremely useful resource, but I’ve found it a little odd when a site’s developers get huffy regarding re-designs. Moreover, a great deal of the value in the site comes not from the layout but from the user submissions to the site.
Her hat reminds me of the squidy sentinels from The Matrix.
It does! Too bad it doesn’t come with the tentacles, too. Though I guess Sarah Kerrigan’s hair is kinda close to that.