Tons of new skins have been coming to Overwatch lately, and this time players can now get a new one for Soldier: 76. The new skin is called Soldier: 1776, and dresses the gruff veteran up as a freedom fighter from the American Revolution. The skin is complete with a tricorne, blue jacket, and everything else that players would expect to see from this sort of an outfit. The skin is available as part of the Archives event, which runs from April 6th to April 27th.
1776 is the year that the American colonies signed the Declaration of Independence, officially announcing their separation from the British. Blizzard must have seen the opportunity to make a pun on this with Soldier: 76's name and jumped right on it. Soldier: 1776 conjures up images of revolutionary greats like George Washington and is sure to inspire patriotic Overwatch players as they charge into battle with their teammates at their side.
Humorously, Soldier: 76 still has his visor on when wearing this costume, and of course his weapons are all far more advanced than one would see in 1776. The way the skin manages to keep his main color pallet while stylizing it to look like a continental army uniform is rather impressive. The character's integrity is maintained, and the design itself is a lot of fun.
Fan reaction to the new skin is somewhat mixed, but from the comments on the post above they seem to be leaning towards negative. Many players call out asking for new skins for Symmetra and D.Va instead, while others decry the lack of lore involved in the skin. For reference, the Archives event usually adds skins for characters that deepen their history in some way, but this ones seems to be more for fun than anything. The running theory on this is that Blizzard is focused on Overwatch 2 instead, and did not have time to flesh out the story or characters more.
Regardless, the skin is available in game now, so those players that do like it should be sure to play some during the event. Stay tuned to see what other characters might be getting new skins for Overwatch, but be prepared for the possibility that they will also feature less lore and story ties than fans are used to. With rumors about Overwatch 2 abundant, all eyes are on Blizzard to see how it juggles the creation of a brand new game and the upkeep of a beloved but old one.
Overwatch is one of the biggest releases of the past five years, impactful in its creation of the esports Overwatch League, its loot boxes, and the renewed popularity of arena shooters. It's somewhat surprising that Blizzard is moving so quickly toward the release of Overwatch 2, but only because Overwatch is still popular. Yet the quick move toward a sequel makes all the more sense if a new rumor that Overwatch Mobile is also in the works winds up being true.
The rumor comes from Dexerto editor Richard Lewis, who doesn't provide any sources but says they have "good authority" to believe it. Lewis said prior to the pandemic, Blizzard was tentatively planning to launch Overwatch 2 at the same time as Overwatch Mobile. The goal, according to Lewis, was to announce Overwatch Mobile in the lead-up to Overwatch 2's launch, presumably so both games could build off each others' hype.
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