Looking for that mysterious hissing noise
Overwatch 2’s Battle For Olympus event is live, and a pantheon of Greek god skins have stormed the store. One skin in particular has caused a stir over the last few days though, causing players to question whether they’re paying for a disadvantage.
The Medusa skin for Widowmaker is what you’d expect: Overwatch‘s spider-themed sniper Widowmaker in Medusa garb. She takes on a serpentine appearance and, crucially, the locks of her hair become snakes.
These snake hairs aren’t just for show; they actually hiss and make noise in-match. Which is a cool feature, that also lacks some subtlety when you might want it. Brian St. Pierre, also known as competitive gamer under the handle “Kephrii”, posted about this skin last week.
“The new Medusa skin is so loud it actively punishes you for using it,” Kephrii wrote. “Not only can you not hear enemy footsteps you also can’t hide either. The enemy team can hear the snakes/hair on the Medusa skin & pinpoint your location from them.”
The new Medusa skin is so loud it actively punishes you for using it. Not only can you not hear enemy footsteps you also can't hide either. The enemy team can hear the snakes/hair on the Medusa skin & pinpoint your location from them. pic.twitter.com/S1P6CxO7Qp
— Brian St. Pierre (@Kephrii) January 4, 2023
For a sniper who might like to sneak around in the backlines, this obviously isn’t ideal. If you were tracked via these sounds and taken out, it’d feel like you paid for a disadvantage, often short-handed to “pay-to-lose”. But the discussion hasn’t been fully against the skin, either.
How not to be heard
As replies to Kephrii point out, Overwatch 2 is a very loud game at its default settings. If you’re a Reinhardt player, the cacophony of hammer swings, missile blasts, and voice line quips might drown out a fairly quiet hissing sound.
While you can boost your own sound settings to highlight certain factors, as one of my fellow writers pointed out, there’s also the matter of how often this comes up. Audio is a key source of information in any game, but it’s a fair argument to ask whether hearing some footsteps is as critical as it might be in other shooters.
Add into the mix that this is an optional skin, one you can pay for but also choose not to use, and it’s a bit more complicated. For the high-level players, this might be a dealbreaker for a skin. But for the average Overwatch 2 player? Maybe hearing the snakes hiss is worth a little less subtlety.