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For other pages associated with the word "Retribution", see Retribution.

Overwatch Retribution is the second Overwatch Archives event and gamemode.

The event has players controlling Blackwatch members Gabriel Reyes, Genji Shimada, Moira O'Deorain, and Cole Cassidy in Rialto at night, fighting their way through Talon enemies.[1]

The event ran from April 10 to April 30, 2018.


The beginning cutscene, narrated by Cassidy, describes the events that led to Retribution eight years before the current timeline of the game. Following an attack by Talon on an Overwatch base, Blackwatch was deployed to break into Antonio's mansion at night, as Overwatch's hands were tied. Several scenes of Blackwatch ambushing Talon soldiers are shown, followed by a scene where the agents break into Antonio's office. Antonio mocks the team, smugly declaring that even if they took him, the fact that Overwatch has a team for covert operations would cause an international scandal, and Antonio's associates would "have him out within a week". As Antonio describes the events as "theatrics", and a "waste of everyone's time", Reyes appears to consider this before responding, "You're right." To Cassidy's horror, Reyes kills Antonio with a single shot from his shotgun, sending the corpse flying through the window, catching the attention of the patrolling guards. As Cassidy berates Reyes for deviating from the plan, the team is alerted to the mansion's lockdown activating, which leads into the gameplay.


Retribution takes place on the Rialto map, where the Blackwatch team must move through the Venetian city while surviving waves of Talon units intent on retaliating against them for Antonio's death. The map is divided into several areas with designated enemy waves, which must be cleared before the team is permitted to proceed.

Similar to Uprising, players are given a choice of Retribution and Retribution (All Heroes), the latter mode allowing the player to choose between any heroes in the available roster.


  1. Before they can escape Antonio's mansion, the players must place a breaching device on the door to get through the lockdown. Any player may approach the door and place the device on the door with the 'F' key. Once the device is set, players must fight off waves of Talon Troopers and Enforcers while the device arms. Upon defeating all enemies, the device will activate and blow a hole into the door, allowing the team to escape.
  2. The team must fight through the roads of Rialto in order to reach the pick-up point where their emergency pilot will be. The path takes players through several sub-areas, some of which introduce players to a new variety of special Talon enemy:
    1. The walkway immediately outside Antonio's mansion is guarded by a Talon sniper, which then leads to some docks. Players then proceed into a hall advertising Antonio's masquerade ball, before leading out onto a bridge.
    2. Past the bridge, the next area spawns a Talon Assassin.
    3. On the final passage leading to the gallery, a Talon Heavy Assault unit will appear.
    4. Inside the gallery, players encounter more Talon Troopers and another Assassin.
  3. The team eventually reaches the courtyard and restaurant behind the gallery, and must climb to the rooftop to await their pilot. During this time, more Talon reinforcements will arrive, culminating in a final encounter against another Talon Heavy Assault minion.
  4. Upon defeating the second Heavy Assault, the escape dropship will arrive to pick up the players. Players must all jump into the dropship to complete the mission; if any non-incapacitated players have yet to do so, more Talon forces and special units will continue to spawn.


  • Trooper: The bulk of Talon's forces, Troopers will spawn in groups from elevators, out of buildings and so on. They are armed with rifles similar to those used by Soldier: 76, and attack with bursts of bullet fire. They are able to perform a dodge roll like McCree, but otherwise have average health and offensive capability.
  • Enforcer: An upgraded Trooper, Enforcers have higher health than their weaker counterparts. Instead of a rapid-fire burst, Enforcers are armed with stronger shotguns that require a few seconds to charge before blasting nearby targets.
  • Sniper: The Talon's analog of Widowmaker, albeit without her Venom Mine capability. The Sniper will spawn in open areas such as the docks and the gallery courtyard, using her grappling hook to switch between vantage points so she can attempt to headshot the players. If isolated in close range, she will pull out a low damage sidearm for self defense.
  • Assassin: A special unit similar to the Hunter or Witch from Left 4 Dead, characterized by manic, unhinged laughter, and spawns in similar areas to the Sniper. One will always spawn in the garden leading up to the gallery, and in the gallery itself. She will constantly teleport, similar to Tracer's Blink ability, around the surrounding walls before teleporting onto the floor and charging at one random player. Once she makes contact, she pins her target and uses her arm blades to tear into the victim. This ends when she has either taken sufficient damage, is stunned out of this attack, is hit with a quick melee attack, or incapacitates the target, after which she returns to teleporting between the walls. On higher difficulties, the Assassin's slashing is enough to incapacitate a player at full health after a few seconds.
  • Heavy Assault: The final Talon special unit and built similar to Roadhog. The Heavy Assault's main mode of attack is to use the two miniguns replacing his arms, which he uses to attack players in close range in a hail of bullets. The Heavy Assault can knock back players that are standing too close, and also perform a charge similar to Reinhardt, damaging and pinning any player that gets caught in his path. On higher difficulties, a pinned player will be instantly incapacitated, even at full health. Critical damage can be inflicted to the red tanks on the Heavy Assault's back.



  • It's important for all members of the team to not play recklessly - none of the Blackwatch members has particularly strong defensive capability. Especially on higher difficulties, rushing into a group of enemies or special unit while solo is very likely to get yourself incapacitated. Players will require progressively more time to revive them as their incidence of being incapacitated increases, forcing their teammates to put themselves at higher risk. The mission fails if the death countdown timer runs out for any player.
  • Any area with a body of water - bridges, docks and behind the restaurant - will kill any enemy (or player) that falls in. Note that bridges are often just tall enough to prevent groups of enemies from getting tossed off by knockback effects, however.
  • The damage output of Enforcers makes them deadly in groups, especially on the later stages of the map when special units spawn in quick succession. Engage them from a distance and try to stay on the move to avoid as much of their damage as possible, while staying in a group to take them out faster.
  • As important as it is to stay out of the Sniper's line of sight, she should be dealt with as quickly as possible before the Troopers and Enforcers close in on the players and force them out of position. Genji's Deflect ability and Cassidy's primary fire, and other long-range attacks work best, as she will grapple hook away when players get too close. The grapple hook has a cooldown, allowing players to take advantage and close in immediately after she grapples to a new location.
  • Once the Assassin targets a player, she will ignore all other teammates - even if the player is the furthest away from where she is. Identify the targeted player quickly; if the player is playing a class that can stun or avoid the Assassin's close combat attack (such as McCree's Flashbang or Reaper's Wraith Form), using the relevant ability will cancel the Assassin's attack and force her back on the defensive. Remember that a quick melee attack from any character will immediately force her to disengage from the targeted player.
  • The Heavy Assault is prone to stunning and freezing effects, but immune to knockback from abilities such as Lúcio's Soundwave. His Charge can be blocked by Orisa using Fortify or a Mei wall.
  • Attack the Heavy Assault from a distance - the bulk of his damage output is mostly dangerous at close range. On the road leading to the gallery and the courtyard, make use of corners and pillars to whittle away at his health while hiding behind cover. It is also a good idea for players to spread out and attack from multiple directions, with 1-2 players drawing the Heavy Assault's attention while the other players tear into his large health pool.
  • Drawing the Heavy Assault's attention is also vital if a teammate is incapacitated while he's still on the field. If a teammate has fallen and the Heavy Assault is nearby, attempting to revive them is likely to draw the Heavy Assaults attention and incapacitate another player. Make sure to draw the Heavy Assault away from the fallen teammate before set up barriers and making the attempt.
  • In the gallery courtyard, it's usually best to let the enemies come to you instead and hold your position instead of spreading out. Good places to make a last stand include the walkway opposite the restaurant (above the gallery door), as well as the restaurant roof - they provide you with the advantage of high ground, and you can escape downwards if need be.
  • When the escape dropship arrives at the extraction point, there is no value in staying behind to rack up more kills. As of Patch, any incapacitated players will be left behind after the alive players enter the dropship, resulting in victory. Endless waves of units, including multiple Heavy Assaults, will spawn onto the map and quickly incapacitate players foolish enough to stay behind on solo attempts at glory - along with teammates trying to revive them afterward.


  • Reaper's role is to soften up groups of enemies, allowing his team to finish them off. Due to his innate Reaping ability he can afford to absorb more damage for the team, or use Wraith Form to escape if things get too hairy. Wraith Form also allows Reaper to revive fallen teammates without risking himself, albeit for a brief duration of time. Shadow Step can be used to take out Snipers or force them to grapple hook away to a new location. Using Death Blossom against a group of Enforcers requires timing against their attack, otherwise they'll just blast him down immediately.
  • Cassidy should pick off targets with his revolver from a distance - there's very little in comparison he can do to groups of enemies up close, outside of lobbing a Flashbang. The Flashbang is instrumental in saving your team from an Assassin or Heavy Assault charge. Use your primary attack to pick off Snipers and Assassins moving across the walls. Combat Roll can be used to immediately reload his Peacekeeper, or more importantly as a limited dodge to behind pillars and around corners. Deadeye should be used for when enemies spawn in large groups, as with dropships, boats, and doors.
  • Genji fits a hybrid role between that of Reaper and Cassidy. Deflect gives him some leeway for handling groups of enemies, while Dragonblade and Swift Strike lets him kill multiple weaker foes in quick succession. Deflect is also the team's primary defense against Snipers, but otherwise Genji shouldn't continuously flank enemies on solo like he might on Quick Play. Use Genji's wall-climbing to get to enemies quickly in the mansion and courtyard.
  • Moira is the only source of healing for the entire team and this should be her priority, especially in higher difficulty levels. While Biotic Orb's damaging mode can weaken enemy groups it's more important to save it for healing your team, especially if they're all about to keel over or if you're out of healing resource. This also applies to Coalescence; you're not likely to deal the bulk of damage with your Ultimate, so prioritize healing your team taking on special units. Use Fade to dodge and for mobility, and remember to manage your healing resource by constantly gauging when to use Biotic Grasp for attacking versus healing.

Retribution (All Heroes)[]

  • Unlike Normal Mode, All Heroes Mode features no cutscenes - instead, single special units are programmed to spawn in additional locations (such as a Sniper inside the mansion) or where they wouldn't normally appear (such as a Heavy Assault on the path leading away from the mansion).
  • Similar to Uprising, having a well-balanced team that can stay together as a cohesive unit is critical to success. This discourages classes that function best when going solo or some distance from the team, such as Pharah or Widowmaker. Having a team of at least one shield user, healer and DPS is recommended.
  • Orisa is a highly recommended class for this mode; her Protective Barrier can withstand a lot of damage while allowing her to attack, and Supercharger can contribute to damage output against Heavy Assaults (while also functioning as a lure at times).
  • Mei's freezing abilities can mitigate much of the threat from Trooper/Enforcer groups and even the Heavy Assault. Ice Wall provides additional support for the team and can buy time for reviving teammates, but caution must be used in tight spaces to avoid separating the group.
  • Bastion is a decent pick for damage output - while you will be moving across the map, waves of enemies will keep you occupied at several checkpoints, allowing you to go into Turret mode and mow through hordes of adversaries with ease. Having a Reinhardt or Orisa is highly recommended.
  • Zenyatta can help debuff special units with his Orb of Discord, and is one of the better choices for reviving allies due to Transcendence's immunity phase.
  • Sombra isn't as recommended for this mode unlike Uprising, as only Snipers, Assassins and Heavy Assaults are prone to hacking. It's worth noting that hacking will instantly disrupt movement-related abilities of the special units, namely the Sniper's grappling hook, the Assassin's stalking and teleporting, and the Heavy Assault's charge. An EMP blast will instantly stop the Assassin in its tracks for several seconds but has little utility otherwise.
  • Soldier: 76 isn't a bad choice as he is very well balanced. His Pulse Rifle does decent damage, his Helix Rockets can help dealing with Snipers from a distance and deal huge damage. His Bionic Field can serve as temporary healing if the healer is busy healing others. His ultimate, Tactical Visor, can help mop up groups of enemies.
  • Ana is also a good choice due to her Sleep Dart, that is able to stop a Heavy Assault and an Assassin in their tracks. Bionic Grenade can help heal your team quicker. The Nano Boost can make another player more tanky and extremely effective if they use their ultimates like DragonBlade or Tactical Visor.
  • Roadhog serves very well even on his own, and excels in taking out Heavy Assaults when he is able to bait it into charging into a wall, stunning it and allowing him to use Whole Hog onto the red tanks on its back, melting its health rapidly. To bait a Heavy you can stand still directly in its line of sight and use 'Take a Breather' when your health drops to half, making sure its path is clear and straight, with a solid wall. On Legendary the Heavy will have more health than Roadhog can fully deplete on his own, so any damage boosting abilities will help with depleting its health quicker. Alternatively, he is able to use Chain Hook to pull Snipers into the various bodies of water in Rialto, killing them instantly, and can use Chain Hook to stop Assassins in their tracks.

Retribution (Surgical Strike)[]

  • All Talon enemies will only take damage via headshots (or the red tanks on his back for the Heavy), or other debuffs that would cause them to take increased damage, including the following:
    • Zenyatta's Orb of Discord
    • Baptiste's Amplification Matrix
    • Sombra's hacking or EMP
  • Remember that almost all heroes are capable of headshots even if their class doesn't specialize in them, and it's also not necessary for every player to participate in attacking. Don't think that this mode automatically mandates a team of hitscan heroes like Widowmaker or Hanzo and neglect to bring tank or healing support.
  • Assassins are especially dangerous in this mode as simply hitting them with melee will not cause them to disengage from a targeted player. Consider bringing characters with stun or invulnerability effects such as Cassidy to stop Assassins in their tracks, or expect to be incapacitated often.

Retribution (Close Quarters)[]

  • Contrary to what the challenge name suggests, you can still deal damage from a distance as long as there's a player nearby to deactivate the enemy immunity buff with their mere presence. A Tank hero such as Roadhog or Winston can stand near enemies and let allies take aim from afar.
  • Due to this, it's not necessary to have a team full of close-combat specialists such as Reaper and Doomfist. Enforcer groups will pose the greatest threat in this mode as they can and will shred through players health if the opportunity arises.
  • Snipers will pose a challenge as their positioning often puts them out of range for players to remove their invulnerability. Characters who can close the distance between them such as Winston or Baptiste will help dealing with them before their covering fire can endanger the team. Roadhog is another ideal pick to deal with Snipers by hooking them into the team's range.
  • Unless environmental deaths are possible, knockback effects aren't recommended as it's likelier to put enemies out of range for players and reactivate their invulnerability.

Retribution (Sympathy Gains)[]

  • All enemies will passively recover health as long as another enemy nearby takes damage. Focusing on single enemies and coordinating with your team while advancing slowly is the most reliable way of tackling this challenge.
  • Ana's Biotic Grenade is invaluable as the only effective way of neutering the passive heal effect. Consider bringing another healer such as Zenyatta or Baptiste to ensure your Ana stays alive while she creates openings into enemy hordes.
  • Try to focus on removing Troopers and Enforcers before attempting to damage Special Units - with other units around odds are your attacks will end up healing the enemies more than you can damage Assassins and Snipers.
  • When facing the Heavy Assaults, try to bait their charges so they separate from Trooper and Enforcer groups, denying them the passive heal.


Finishing his narration, Cassidy reveals that the team survived the Retribution incident. While Antonio deserved death for his crimes, Overwatch did not come out of the event unscathed; as Antonio predicted, Overwatch's involvement in his death was publicized in the news, and other individuals such as Maximilien and Akande Ogundimu simply rose to fill the power vacuum in Talon's leadership. Reyes was brought into an inquiry for his actions, led by a furious Jack Morrison, Ana Amari and Gérard Lacroix, while a disturbed Cassidy observed proceedings from outside. Musing darkly, Cassidy wonders if the events of Retribution were the beginning of Overwatch's downfall.


  • According to principal software engineer Adrian Finol, Left 4 Dead was a huge source of inspiration for Retribution's design.
  • Retribution took almost a year to develop.[2]
  • This is the only gamemode where if a player talks in Voice Chat, the artwork of the Hero they're playing's Icons are skin-specific where as compared to regular gamemodes, the icons of the Hero is still the basic skin despite the skin the hero is on. Genji, Moira, Cassidy and Reyes (Reaper) are the only heroes who have these skin-specific icons of their Blackwatch skins. The full concept art of Reyes, McCree and Moira in their Blackwatch skins currently aren't released, but Genji's however is.

Overwatch Interactions[]


  1. 2018-04-04, Jeff Kaplan Introduces Overwatch Retribution Overwatch League. YouTube, accessed on 2018-04-06
  2. 2018-11-03, Fran - Live from Blizzcon, Twitch. Accessed on 2018-11-05.

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