The abrupt announcement that LEGO would be producing a number of sets based upon the popular Overwatch video game divided opinion among LEGO fans. Some expressed excitement at the possibilities of a new theme while others queried the prospective compatibility between Overwatch and LEGO.
However, the eventual unveiling of the product range provoked considerable anticipation! 75970 Tracer vs. Widowmaker contains only 129 pieces but comes with two exceptionally popular characters from Overwatch, both of whom are exclusively available here. Furthermore, the drone is inspired by a payload vehicle in the video game so this should prove to be an excellent introduction to the theme.
Overwatch has been in development since 2013 and Tracer was one of the first three characters to be created for the game, alongside Widowmaker and Reaper. The energetic heroine suffers from chronal disassociation so wears a chronal accelerator on her chest, granting Tracer control over her own time. That device is printed on both sides of the torso and looks wonderful when compared with the source material.
Dual-moulded arms would have been ideal, representing Tracer's white vambraces, but this dark tan jacket looks fantastic too. The new dark brown hair piece features some lovely texture and the head is decorated with two smiling expressions as well as a pair of orange-tinted goggles. Tracer wears orange trousers with a graduated colour scheme in the video game and this shade of flame yellowish orange is not perfect, although I think it looks good.
Tracer wields twin Pulse Pistols which are constructed around a brand new gun component. These are available in white, black and pink across the entire Overwatch range and they offer surprising versatility given the impressive number of different connection points. I like the trans-light blue round tiles fitted on the sides of each pistol and Tracer also features a matching lightning bolt, representing her Blink ability.
Widowmaker appeared alongside Tracer in the first cinematic trailer for Overwatch, fighting for control of Doomfist's mighty gauntlet. The two characters have since developed a rivalry so pairing them up in this set was a fun idea and both minifigures are brilliant. Widowmaker is particularly lethal at long range so sports a metallic recon visor which looks superb and I like her purple hair style, although the ponytail should be slightly longer.
The assassin wears a dark pink and purple jumpsuit, allowing her to move around the battlefield with ease. I like the spider tattoo on Widowmaker's back and the printed design on the front of the torso is accurate to the video game. Unfortunately, this minifigure does not include dual-moulded legs but the printing on the front works nicely and I love the double-sided head, featuring a grimace on one side and a smile, with one eye closed for looking through a scope, on the other.
Almost every Overwatch character wields a unique weapon and Widowmaker's sniper rifle, known as Widow's Kiss, is particularly well known. This brick-built design is not perfect but I think it looks alright when compared with the onscreen weapon, including a scope and a red charge indicator. However, a stock should probably have been included and that is a limitation of the new pistol piece.
Moreover, the forward vertical grip is not present on this sniper rifle in Overwatch, although that is vital when posing the minifigure. You can also switch the rifle into its semi-automatic configuration by removing the scope and Widowmaker comes with a dark bluish grey grappling hook, in reference to her ability in the game.
The Completed Model
Attacking players are required to protect a Satellite Drone XR-9 while it travels across the Watchpoint: Gibraltar map in Escort mode and that payload is included here. Its futuristic shape has been faithfully replicated and I like the colour scheme of black and white with some metallic gold stripes. The model measures 14cm in length so seems to be about the same size as the vehicle from the game which is ideal for play.
Eight separate stickers are used on the Satellite Drone. They are easy to apply and match the source material very closely so their inclusion does not bother me, although smaller sets rarely come with that many stickers. The metallic gold designs on the fuselage look great and I like the pearl silver processor unit which fits into an angled 1x2x3 window frame towards the front of the craft.
Removing a pair of white 2x3 tiles from the fuselage reveals a printed control panel and a seat inside. As its name suggests, the Satellite Drone XR-9 is actually an automated vehicle but I enjoy the option of placing a minifigure at the controls, even though it looks slightly awkward without a windscreen or a canopy to protect them. Nevertheless, this is an inconspicuous feature and you can easily replace the tiles if you would prefer a more authentic design.
Two thrusters power the drone and it features a couple of stabiliser fins which are mounted on hinges at the rear. These are not integrated very tidily with the fuselage, especially when viewed from behind. The dark azure stripes around the engines are faithful to the video game though and I like the storage compartment underneath, containing a printed health pack!
A drone charging station completes the set. This is represented by a flame yellowish orange 8x8 dish and features realistic battle wear along with the letters 'WP-G' which identify its location of Watchpoint: Gibraltar. In addition, this charging station serves as a display stand for the drone and a corresponding printed element appears in 75975 Watchpoint: Gibraltar, forming the craft's eventual destination.
I have been looking forward to the Overwatch theme and am delighted to report that 75970 Tracer vs. Widowmaker certainly matches my expectations! Both characters are exceptionally popular and their minifigure incarnations look fantastic, featuring impressive printed detail as well as some new pieces. The pistol component could prove particularly useful given its plethora of attachment points.
The drone is less exciting but looks marvellous when compared with the video game and it serves an integral role for play. Additionally, the price of £12.99 or $14.99 seems reasonable in my opinion so this set should appeal to both seasoned Overwatch players and those who are seeking a smaller set which gives a taste of the broader Overwatch theme.
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This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review is an expression of my own opinions.