The developers at Blizzard have always had a knack with connecting with their player base, so when Jeff Kaplan, lead director of Overwatch, makes an announcement on his channel about a new addition to the game, people listen. Most of the time, it’s an announcement we’ve been waiting for.
Below are the 4 new character releases that the Overwatch team has posted over the lifespan of the game.
Doomfist is love. This character has long been hyped and anticipated by the Overwatch community, with no conclusive leaks confirming the character’s existence until his official release. This led to the community constantly second-guessing themselves until yesterday, saying to themselves ‘we know Doomfist is coming up next, right?! RIGHT?! Just make an announcement already!’
Now that Doomfist is a playable character, the Overwatch community is going bananas. His origin story on YouTube reached #1 on the Trending page and earned over 4 million views in the first day and gaming YouTubers across the ecosystem are taking advantage of the hype by pumping thousands of Doomfist gameplay videos out.
Doomfist is currently only available on the Overwatch PTR, but my god is he not the most fun character I’ve ever played.
Orisa came in the midst of several leaks about Doomfist surfacing, which took many fans by surprise. Her release deflated the hopes of many players about Doomfist becoming a playable character, but she was a legend in her own right.
Blizzard describes her as “the central anchor of her team” who can protect her teammates with a barrier, launch graviton charges to throw enemies off and supercharge her allies to bolster their damage using her Ultimate ability.
Unfortunately, upon her release, she wasn’t completely balanced, and you can argue that she still isn’t completely ready to be in the meta just yet. With the meta being so geared towards attack-heavy builds, and with a common character stack having three offensive characters, she hasn’t yet made a prominent presence. Maybe someday, though!
Sombra didn’t make a splash the fans expected her to have when she was released. Her complex and unique playstyle threw people off completely, and even to this day she’s still considered an underwhelming character to play.
This character took an especially long time to finally release since she needed a lot of changes before she was moved onto the live version out of the PTR. Blizzard’s Geoff Goodman said “I want to make it clear that the sky wasn’t falling and we’re just going to try some things to see what works. That said, to my surprise, basically everything worked out even better than I had hoped.”
The Mexican spy has a skillset devised for infiltrating and shutting down enemy abilities to open up opportunities for her team to exploit their enemy’s weaknesses.
Finally, we have Ana. She was the first new character added to the Overwatch lineup. A support sniper, her arsenal brought even more tactical strategies to the support class.
Blizzard describes Ana as a “battle-scarred veteran who supports her teammates from a distance using a unique and highly specialized collection of weapons.”
Her release set the stage for how subsequent characters would be released, giving us some interesting insight on how to anticipate a hero’s release. She was teased a week beforehand, given a small background, and finally announced and released on the PTR in the same day.
For some speculations about who the next hero is, click here.