Warning!! Parts of this editorial can/may be a little graphic for certain readers. Depression and suicide are serious matters and if you or someone you know are dealing with it please seek help. The author of this deals with severe depression himself and is in no way making light of the issue. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide please call 1-800-273-8255. Please seek help if you need it.

On its’ surface, Overwatch is an almost obscenely happy game. From the art style and emotes to the voice lines and many of the characters themselves the game seems very cheerful. As far as the characters themselves, that happiness is only skin deep. Before Moira, it was under speculation that Mercy had directly caused Reaper to become the shell of the man he is today. That was conveyed through interactions in the pregame safe room, (please note that since Moira has been added the same dialogue has been altered and appears both Moira and Mercy appear to have played a hand). Little blemishes of darkness in an otherwise bright and vivid world are what help make Overwatch so unique with the lack of available direct story mode. The question that comes from there is: How dark is too dark for Overwatch?

Since the game launched, almost two years ago, fans of the game have gone crazy coming up with  concept art for both characters and maps alike. At one point my Instagram was full of new and exciting possible characters. Naturally, the creativity bug got around to bite me and I came up with one of my own. Lacking the artistic skill to make my own drawn-out version of the character I just kind of sat trapped in my own head creating the character I eventually dubbed Malice. While I will go in depth with the character in a bit, I knew this character would never see the light of day in Overwatch. He felt dark, too dark for the Overwatch universe. Most of the concepts I had seen had these elaborate and creative characters that all felt like they could show up at some point in the game. Malice just felt, different.

Who is Malice? 

Malice is a character who isn’t necessarily the embodiment of depression. He was meant to feel more like a general darkness that could affect all the other characters in the Overwatch universe equally. He works similarly to the Grim Reaper, in the sense that The Grim Reaper is the leader and overseer of all the other Reapers that help keep the world’s deaths in order. Malice in that sense is this sort of higher up in this shadow world that acts and senses the depression in the characters of the Overwatch universe. Unlike The Grim Reaper, he and his agenda aren’t acting for the good of the universe to keep things going as intended. Malice is looking to take down as many individuals as he can. He isn’t here to take a side in the resurgence of Overwatch and Talon. Malice is just wanting to bring suffering and pain to that world. He is sort of like the Joker of the Overwatch universe, he has no real goal but chaos. Whether that opens the door for more entities to get involved from Malice’s world is yet to be seen.

His Abilities

Malice uses a pretty basic primary weapon, a standard silver pistol. His secondary attack is called Devil’s Trap. If triggered successfully a circle will appear around an enemy player effectively trapping them for a few seconds behind a force field allowing Malice and his team to eliminate them. His last weapon is called Hell Hound. Once the ability is triggered Malice launched forward (similar to a dog leaping at prey) and hopefully slams into enemies knocking them back and dealing a sizable amount of damage. The more distance he has to gather some speed the more damage he does to the opposing player. All of those are pretty standard attacks that would work in the Overwatch universe. Malice’s ultimate ability, however, is where he gets darker.

It was mentioned earlier that the characters of Overwatch all interact with each other through voice lines and those voice lines kind of hint at the past events and history to the world. This is where the basis for Malice’s ability came from. Since his whole thing is he kind of personifies the embodiment of depression and how it can warp your view on yourself it made sense for him to take the character who have trouble in their lives and spin it on them.

Take for instance Mercy, at one point it was alluded to that she was the cause for Reaper to be the shell of a man he was. So when Malice hits his ult and says “Release your life!” if Mercy is in front of him ghostlike arms grab on to her and pull her in. The whole time it goes on Malice spouts lines that are meant to torment Mercy or any other character he holds. Phrases like ” You knew what you were doing to Reyes” and “You monster, look at Reaper, you hurt an innocent man” are meant to make Mercy feel horrible. It all would build when Malice is finally holding Mercy in front of him. Malice points his gun at his head and says ” You’re suffering is over “ and pulls the trigger exploding Mercy’s head. There are a number of other characters this could get very interesting with, imagine how it would affect Tracer with not saving Mundatta.

Unfortunately, there may need some tweaking here, the thought of a character’s head exploding isn’t quite the fashion of the Overwatch Elimination. Also, many Ultimates are meant to cause Area Damage or Area Healing. Manic’s does neither. Obviously, there is room for improvement here. Even another great idea is him opening a portal to the underworld in a specific area, almost as a trap, and shadow monsters explode out of it either dragging players down for an instakill or flying up with them and releasing them someplace way off the objective. Having the embodiment of darkness gives him room for improvement.

Looks That Kill

Malice’s first costume was based on Crowley and a few of the other demon’s from Supernatural. He wears a simple black tailored suit and shiny black shoes. Malice’s hair is jet black and his face has a gruff looking beard. His hair is a little on the clean-cut side either rocking a part with hair pulled back at an angle or no part and tussled into a mess all depending on the costume selected. I wanted the character to have an accent just to sort of make him stand out as a unique character, an Irish accent would definitely do that as no other character has that. From there, his costume variants could be pretty fun, not necessarily whimsical. He could wear a long grey trench coat over a simple vest and slacks and a hat similar to the protagonist of The Saboteur. There are plenty of fun ways to dress up Malice if you take in the demon aspect, or even just paying homage to someone like Jason or Michael Meyers, obviously, you can totally rip off that costume, but something close wouldn’t be terrible.

Highlight Intros

There were a few highlight intros I had thought up for Manic. One of them was to have the camera spin around from his back and show a few hellhounds in various positions behind Malice as he points off-screen. Another has the camera start above Malice and he looks up at it. The ground illuminates around him to show a pentagram or some kind of portal to hell as Malice laughs and levitates. The last one I thought has Malice raise his mighty throne from the shadow world and he lazily sits on it and a cat runs up and jumps into his lap.

I sincerely hope no one takes this as me making light of a serious issue. Depression is something I have dealt with for a long time and Malice was sort of a way for me to give an outlet for my depression. I wrote the design specs for him when I was pretty down and it kind of helped me feel better about it. Malice is a character that could add a ton of new playability to the Overwatch universe, but I think for the sake of the game it’s best that he only see the cutting room floor.

Bonus character: The Executioner

Talon has the potential to have a healthy amount of sinister characters in its’ arsenal. One of which could be the behemoth known as The Executioner. He came to mind as a tangent to a story I was working on. The story was about tattoo artist went serial killer, handing in his ink for a simple and cruel wood burning kit. Burning symbols into his victims before leaving the bodies in symbolic locations. Where The Executioner came from was a local artist I know that wears a butcher’s apron while he gives people tattoos. The night like, empty feeling the black apron gave me when looking at it sent my mind into overdrive.

The Executioner was used during invasion missions by Talon. Any time they had to take out a base or wanted to just send a message they bring him in. With his mighty executioner’s ax, his swing could easily dismantle multiple enemies at once. His brutality knows no bounds as he can literally pick up smaller heroes like Lucio and hurl them at others. The mere sight of him is daunting, a mountain of a man wearing a mask that covers his face revealing nothing but piercing black eyes. His ultimate would have to be something awe-inspiring. Imagine a man this size smirking while saying ” See you on the other side”  then suddenly guillotines spring up all around you grabbing all your companions than a sickening sound as all the blades drop and your friend’s bodies crash to the floor around you.

Warning!! Parts of this editorial can/may be a little graphic for certain readers. Depression and suicide are serious matters and if you or someone you know are dealing with it please seek help. The author of this deals with severe depression himself and is in no way making light of the issue. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide please call 1-800-273-8255. Please seek help if you need it.

About The Author

Allen S
Editorial/Reviews Team, Manager

I started gaming when I was seven years old. I started my own game studio when I was twelve, went to school for game design. Now I work here and also on my own YouTube channel