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Overwatch dev Blizzard settles it: Roadhog's hook attack isn't hitscan

But it is being looked at.

Why can big-bellied Overwatch hero Roadhog hook people who are standing behind walls and pull them towards him? It's one of the most satisfying moves in the game, but because of all the physical variables involved in yanking someone from one place to another, and the lag, it's also one of the most problematic.

Above, Roadhog abuses the large hitbox to hook an enemy out of sight.

The above shows illustrates some general Roadhog hook weirdery.

And that's what it's like on the receiving end - not fun.

For yonks the general assessment, although there's been much debate, is that Roadie's hook uses hitscan programming, which is to say, the moment you use it, the game works out whether you've hit someone or not. Think of McCree's shots, or Widowmaker's - that kind of instant feedback. It's not a projectile moving through the game world, or so people thought.

But now Blizzard has officially waded into the argument and said categorically that no, Roadhog's hook is not hitscan.

Kotaku wrote a story about Roadhog's hook problems and got this response from Blizzard:

"Under the hood of the Overwatch engine, Roadhog's hook is basically a sphere that he throws out and searches for targets as it moves. If the hook finds a target, it will pull them back to you. We're talking about various improvements to the hook to help solve odd edge cases, especially where the target is out of line of sight or unable to reasonably be moved back to Roadhog. It is not a hitscan attack."

I suppose that explains how people can be slightly out of Roadhog's sight but still be grabbed by the marauding, searching, hook. It's hitbox must be large.

Roadhog doesn't always turn up the goods though. In a game I just played there were at least a couple of occasions where I'd hooked someone but because of interfering walls, nothing - or no one - came back. The hook doesn't always work for Roadhog either. There have been many occasions when I've caught an enemy-sized fish only to have them flap all around the place and not actually arrive in front of me where my gun is waiting - and so they scarper off, unscathed.

It'll be interesting to find out what those "various improvements" are that Blizzard mentioned above.

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About the Author

Robert Purchese avatar

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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