It was just over a week ago that Blizzard seemed to be teasing something in the Overwatch universe. Their interview with Efi Oladele hinted at what many assumed would have something to do with the next Overwatch hero. Today, the team at Blizzard have taken the wraps off of the 24th playable hero to join the Overwatch ranks: the tank hero Orisa.
As we speculated here after the Efi interview, it was highly unlikely that Efi herself would be the next hero. It was a pretty safe bet, however, based on the AI and robotics expertise of Ms. Oladele that she may have some hand in the creation of an upcoming hero. Orisa is that hero. Based roughly on the OR-15 defensive robots that protected the city of Numbani, Orisa was designed as an improvement over the bots that put up very little resistance against a Doomfist attack. Efi improved her programming, and “gave her a heart.” You can see the brief character introduction in the video above.
Orisa is a tank in nearly every sense of the word. She is far more of a defensive specialist than many of the other tank heroes in the game, though she’s not without some offensive abilities. In a developer update, Jeff Kaplan goes through some of the inspiration for Orisa, which you can watch in the video below, but I’ll go over a few of the main points if you don’t have time to watch the nearly thirteen-minute video.
Orisa is what Kaplan refers to as an “Anchor Tank,” meaning teams are generally built around the defensive abilities that she has to offer. He compared her in some ways to Reinhardt, where teams will really form around what the burly German has to offer, and those abilities can really turn the tide of a match. They want Orisa to have that same feeling where more mobile tanks like Winston or D.Va, or more offensive tanks like Roadhog or Zarya just play differently.
Kaplan also spoke about how all of the current characters have played a part in the larger history of the game. Each of them had some part to play in the Omnic crisis, or have had a past with Overwatch, Talon, or any of the other organizations in the game’s lore. Orisa is something new. Something created well after the Omnic crisis, and a hero without a huge backstory. Orisa is really learning as she goes, but that will provide an interesting outlet for the team to fill in the lore with this new addition.
Unlike with the Sombra announcement where we were left to kind of guess about her abilities after watching the animated short, today we’re given the full compliment of Orisa’s kit right away. Her main attack is a Fusion Driver, which has decent range and accuracy. Her alternate fire is basically a mini version of Zarya’s Graviton Surge. Her abilities include Fortify, which allows her to take reduced damage as well as be immune to attacks like Pharah’s Concussive Blast or Reinhardt’s Earthshatter. She’ll also be able to toss out her own barrier, which is kind of a mix between Reinhardt’s shield and Winston’s barrier. It’s slightly larger than Rein’s shield and slightly stronger than Winston’s barrier.
Orisa should be live on the PTR right now, so players wanting to check out the new hero can sign on to the test region and have at it. Blizzard will of course monitor and tweak Orisa before her public release, but players should be able to get a peek now if they’d like.
What do you think about Orisa and her place in the Overwatch lore? Would you have rather seen Doomfist up next? Tell us what you think in the comment section below, or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.[button link=”https://playoverwatch.com/en-us/blog/20594520″ icon=”fa-external-link” side=”left” target=”blank” color=”285b5e” textcolor=”ffffff”]Source: Overwatch Blog[/button]
Last Updated on March 2, 2017.