Posted on November 8, 2014, Mitchell Saltzman Blizzcon 2014 – Get To Know the 12 Heroes of Overwatch
Blizzard surprised everyone at Blizzcon 2014 when they revealed Overwatch, their first new IP in 17 years. And even more surprising, it’s a competitive multiplayer first person shooter that mixes the zany cartoony fun of Team Fortress 2, with heroes and abilities similar to what you might find in a MOBA.
There are currently 12 announced heroes and during my hands on time at BlizzCon, I was fortunate to spend some time with them all. Here’s a rundown of each of the 12 heroes along with a little bit of commentary on how they play.
Primary Weapon: Dual Pulse Pistols
Ability 1: Blink
Ability 2: Recall
Ultimate: Pulse Bomb
Tracer is like that annoying fly that won’t stop buzzing around your head, and you just can’t seem to swat it out of the sky. Only this fly is armed with rapid fire dual pistols that will whittle your health down to nothing if you can’t find a suitable flyswatter to take it down. Tracer is the ultimate hit and run character, with low health, but insane movement speed and the ability to utilize three short range teleports in rapid succession. In addition, her recall ability allows her to rewind the last couple of seconds of her movement and teleport back to where she was a few seconds ago.
Her ultimate, Pulse Bomb, throws out a powerful sticky bomb that does massive area of effect damage. By combining her lightning fast blinks, Pulse Bomb ultimate, along with her recall, you can deal a lot of damage and get out of dodge before the enemy even realizes what just happened. Those who loved the style of gameplay offered by the Scout in TF2 will no doubt find Tracer immediately appealing.
Primary Weapon: Dual Hellfire Shotguns
Ability 1: Wraith Form
Ability 2: Shadow Step
Ultimate: Death Blossom
Reaper is all about getting up close and blasting faces with his dual hellfire shotguns. His first ability, Wraith Form, turns him into a spectral ghost that cannot deal any damage, but is invulnerable during the duration. It’s a great move for getting getting in close against characters that have the advantage at long range. His shadow step is a fairly long range blink ability that has a long start up time and also gives an indication of where he’s going to appear. This move is mainly used for traversing the map as it will most likely get you killed if you used it to teleport into a group of enemies.
That is, unless you decide to combo it into his ultimate, Death Blossom, which turns Reaper into a whirlwind of destruction as he spins around shooting his shotguns in all directions and taking out anything that happens to be up close.
Primary Weapon: Storm Bow
Ability 1: Sonic Arrow
Ability 2: Scatter Arrow
Special Movement Trait: Scale Walls
One of the two sniper characters, Hanzo works best at mid range where he can utilize his bow to deal tons of damage with single shots. If an enemy gets in close, his best option is to use his scatter arrow, which will explode upon contact have its shrapnel bounce off the walls, dealing significant damage to whatever it hits. In an enclosed room, this move is absolutely deadly.
Hanzo can also use his Sonic Arrow to mark nearby enemies for both him and his allies, allowing players to see their enemies through walls and better anticipate their movements. This works especially well with Hanzo’s ultimate, Dragonstrike, which summons a giant dragon that flies straight through walls and deals massive damage to whatever it touches. It should also be noted that Hanzo has a special movement trait that allows him to climb up scaleable walls, allowing him to reach areas of the map that few other characters can reach.
Primary Weapon: Rocket Launcher
Ability 1: Jump Jet
Ability 2: Concussive Blast
Pharah plays very similar to the Soldier from Team Fortress 2. She’s got great splash damage with her rocket launcher, a decent amount of health, and fantastic mobility with her jump jet. Unfortunately, the Rocket Launcher’s rate of fire is a bit slow, which means you really have to make every shot count as Pharah. The good news though is that she also has her concussive blast ability, which does great damage itself and has immense knock back, allowing players to give themselves some much needed breathing room or knock a sniper off its perch.
Pharah’s biggest asset to the team though is her ultimate, Barrage, which has her shooting out a large salvo of missiles at a wide spread area in front of her. This move also causes Pharah to float in place, so it can be used in conjunction with Rocket Jump to allow her to get the best possible angle on her foes. This move is essential when your opponents start turtling over capture points
Primary Weapon: Rivet Gun
Secondary Weapon: Forge Hammer
Ability 1: Build Turret
Ability 2: Armor Pack
Ultimate: Molten Core
Torbjorn, as you might gather from his skill set, is the engineer class of Overwatch. His main use is his ability to build, repair and upgrade turrets using scrap that he collects from dead enemies and allies. Upgraded turrets have their firepower increased, and level 3 turrets in particular have a rocket launcher added, making them particularly nasty.
Torbjorn can also drop armor packs for the team, and once he charges his ultimate, he can use Molten Core to gain a huge amount of scrap, armor, and be able to build and repair turrets much faster than before. Smart turret placement and working together with your tank to to utilize their shielding abilities will win games as Torbjorn. Also remember that you can place turrets on top of the Payload to add some added protection to your objective.
Primary Weapon: Widow’s Kiss
Ability 1: Grappling Hook
Ability 2: Venom Mine
Ultimate: Infra Sight
The true sniper class of Overwatch; Widowmaker is actually a very versatile character. Her weapon, the Widow’s Kiss, functions as both an assault rifle and a sniper rifle, giving her options for dealing with enemies at every range. Of course, she is a sniper at heart, and should therefore utilize her grappling hook to get to hard to reach areas of the map where she can get a good vantage point to snipe her enemies. She can also set a venom mine to trap up choke points or cover the stairways leading to her sniper perch.
Utilizing her ult, Infra Sight, will give full vision for the whole team, allowing them to see enemies through walls while the ult is active. Widowmaker works especially well when paired with Tank heroes like Reinhardt and Winston, since she can snipe through friendly shields, while enemies are unable to shoot into them.