For a brief time, several Overwatch players devised a way to control enemies from the game’s Retribution cooperative mode, not in Retribution, but in the actual competitive multiplayer.
Overwatch‘s new Retribution mode introduced a slew of new enemies for players to take on as a team. These AI-controlled hostiles took influences from heroes on the game’s current roster, such as the Reinhardt-charging Heavy Assault or the Assassin and her Genji-like wall climb, and while the community wondered what it would be like to play these characters, the intention was pretty clearly to keep them secluded within the Retribution mode. Some Overwatch exploiters found a way to defy this, however, and get the characters into the game’s competitive multiplayer.
The characters were surprisingly well-suited for player use, seemingly requiring little to no modding to control. That said, they were far from balanced for competitive play. Their health pools and damage output were on par with their cooperative versions at Expert or Legendary difficulty, making most of them nearly impossible to stand up against. The Heavy Assault enemy in particular was virtually unstoppable if he was getting healed.
The Retribution enemies were not the only AI hostiles players could recently control. Enemies from the game’s Uprising event were also playable, like the big exploding bomb, and even Junkrat’s tire could be taken for a spin. Not as an ultimate ability, but as a full, independent character on the team.
A bug was apparently responsible for this exploit, which Blizzard has already addressed, according to Polygon. Safe to say the players that took part in this exploit will be punished severely, and it shouldn’t be that hard to find them. As YouTuber BlameTheController details, time spent using these glitched characters is catalogued in the players’ career profiles, making it presumably pretty easy for Blizzard to target them. Still, it is curious how seamlessly the characters could be transitioned into competitive play, suggesting there may be something in the game designed to preemptively accommodate characters with these movesets.
While the bug has been squashed, fans can still check out gameplay of the bugged characters in BlameTheController’s video, or in the video below, which has them in a match of the new Competitive 6v6 Elimination. There goes those players’ Elimination rank…
On the Blizzard-sanctioned side of Retribution, the mode was recently updated to allow players to complete the mission, even if teammates die after the dropship has arrived. PC players can also look forward to playing the competitive variant of the mode’s Rialto map, which should be hitting the game’s public test region any time now.