Overwatch Beta: Genji Review


As a first Overwatch character review here at Nerd Reactor, let me just say that all of this information and experience is coming from the Closed Beta. The account is provided to me by a different source, and this article shouldn’t be viewed as a “Final” review. The game is subject to frequent change in the next year before release, and the finalized character could be entirely different.

Now with the angry pitchforks safely tucked away, let’s look at the most exciting recent addition to the Overwatch roster, the green ninja seen on the original poster, Genji Shimada (age 35). 



Blizzard has decided to go with a classic. The tale of two brothers pitted against one another due to family values. I’m hoping that Blizzard really goes into detail on the clan and its criminal activities, as not much is known about this mysterious ninja family that plays such a huge role in the plot for Overwatch. Brother to Hanzo, Genji was the slacker who decided to do something more, but won’t be bothered. So far, it sounds like the plot of Rush Hour 3.

I’m not kidding here, even the names are close. Compare the similarities between Genji and Kenji. Still, a better story than Twilight.


Ganji 2

Here’s the thing about Genji that may surprise many players looking forward to mastering the ways of his Dragonblade.  What I’ve realized with most Overwatch characters that translate into my interpretation of Genji’s optimal playstyle is the following.

  • Shuriken – At first, you’ll be instantly discouraged after seeing the low damage caused by his Shuriken. You’ll have problems winning just about any firefight against superior midrange characters such as Soldier 76. At close range, Rhinehart, Mcree and Reaper may leave you with a sour taste after most 1v1 situations. Genji is meant to be played quickly, and I mean very quickly. Two modes are tied into this ability that allow your Left Click to release a straight stream of 3 blades, or a W spread of one each.

You’re also going to be using his quick attack melee quite often as this is a key to his damage element. Swift strike will put you within Melee range, so why not take advantage. Genji has one of the quickest reset timers on his melee attack, and using it does give you another chance to “sword a foo.” I will highly recommend to any new player that the melee button be remapped onto some form of gaming mouse. It’s absolutely critical and will provide you with the extra kill damage consistently.

  • Swift Strike – Fitting of a Ninja, using tactics such as the Swift Strike to maneuver around your enemies backs, then running up a wall can leave most quite disoriented, leading to an easy Shuriken follow up. Remember that it’s on an 8-second cooldown similar to your Deflect; use with care. Also a wonderful escape or mobility tool to be taken advantage of at all times.
  • Deflect – A little difficult to master at first, but remember that it can deflect a Black Widow’s sniper bullet for a self-autokill. For that reason alone, it’s amazing. Deflect relies on an 8-second cooldown but should be used quite often for those corners you know a widow is sniping down. Most will shoot without hesitation. Combined with your Swift strike, deflect can allow a genji to safely bypass enemy blockades if only for a few meters. Just remember using Swift Strike WILL REMOVE DEFLECT and should always be used after your engage or before going around dangerous corners.
  • Dragonblade – This is what you’ve been waiting for. It’s time to unleash my melee weapon within a game of opponents who use pathetic ranged weapons. Here’s the thing, DON’T activate this before a fight. You’ll get shot, fast. Activate this after your initial engage. That way you’ll receive maximum time with your blade while not falling to random traps, mines, snipes, grenades, or CC of any kind. This is a hard one to use and is only extremely effective in select situations. 


I’ve had some time to practice Genji and must say that he’s an amazingly fun character to play, just as any other in the game. For quick players who love cyber-ninjas, Genji is absolutely ideal. He’ll let you unleash the dragon on a bunch of scrub bastions that fail to watch rooftops. Weak health and low Shuriken damage put him a bit below the pay grade for infiltrator assassins such as Reaper or Widowmaker, but still holds a solid position as the game’s only swordsman. I love Genji’s design, movement, animations, emotes, and everything in between when it comes to gameplay. It would be nice to see more about his lore, which I’m sure will open up with time.

Rating: 4/5 Atoms

NR 4 Atoms - B(1)

Facebook Comments