Overwatch, a team-based online FPS game which comes out May 24, is host to a colorful collection of different heroes, villains, robots, bounty hunters, and even a gorilla. Blizzard Entertainment, the company releasing the hugely anticipated game, experienced some turbulence in developing an earlier game, called Titan, and Overwatch essentially emerged from Titan’s ashes.
While we wait for the game to drop, we’ve put together a list of the 21 different characters and our ranking of them below.
He’s an outlaw, thief, pyromaniac, and arsonist. Really, he’s just an all-around nasty dude, and even more so now that the radiation affecting the landscape of the Australian Outback is tainting his brain. He’s unstable, unpredictable, and a spastic obsessive that hoards explosives as if they were water in Mad Max.
Paranoid about robots rebelling against humans, he’s a man that can say “I told you so” after the Omnic Crisis. But the brief victory of knowing that he was right pales in comparison to the good he’s done by developing weapons to combat the robots, as well as providing the arsenal for most of Overwatch’s agents. He can disassemble, reassemble, and create any number of weapons that help in the fight against the unjust.
A fighter for societal change, he’s now a superstar musician after stealing a corrupt company’s tech and rebelling against the oppressive force to reclaim his neighborhood. He believe that music is the best way to bring people together, so he uses his sonic waves to not only fight the bad guys, but pump up his teammates by healing them and boosting their energy. He also has some killer skates that he can use to ride across the sides of buildings.
Originally a hard-working individual of the Australian Outback, he joined forces with the other distraught citizens of the region when the government decided to give the omnic robots the land after the Omnic Crisis and unintentionally caused the disaster that laid waste to the Outbacks and turned it into an irradiated hell. After witnessing the chaos, and adjusting to the cutthroat society, Mako the worker turned into Roadhog the killer and he was never the same again.
17. Soldier: 76
A vigilante with no name, some believe him to be a byproduct of a super-soldier initiative in America. He has heightened abilities and stellar instincts. While no one has seen his face or knows who is behind the title, what most are sure about is that he’s tracking down who caused Overwatch to disband and is trying to clear their names.
Born into a line of soliders, Fareeha “Pharah” Amari was trained for the life of a protector and she wanted nothing more than to join the ranks of Overwatch, but by the time she was able, Overwatch was gone. Still hoping for the chance to do good and to carry on the legacy of the organization, she uses her bird-like suit to fly over enemies and unleash a barrage of missiles on her foes.
15. D. Va
This gamer pilots a mechanized mobile unit called a MEKA. Chosen due to enhanced reflexes for a South Korean project to combat against an omnic beast in the sea, this character can be played either within her unit or outside. Considering all of her fights like a game, her only goal is to win and she will do anything to do that.
Now a soldier for the Siberian military, she was once a bodybuilder that strived to be strong enough to protect the ones she cared about after seeing what the Omnic Crisis did to her home as a child. When she was on the verge of becoming an internationally success as an athlete, another attack surfaced in Siberia and she rushed home to join in the fight. With her hulking strength and huge particle cannon, she’s definitely not to be taken lightly.
A curious and gentle robot, this omnic unit is curious about the natural world and wants to learn as much about the Earth as possible, but when his systems sense danger he switches into an efficient and deadly fighter. He is the Transformers of Overwatch and can fight like a human, turn himself into a small tank, or assemble into a turret with an energy barrier.
Everyone likes a good redemption story, and McCree is one that follows through. Part of some shady business during his past, he stumbles into the option of joining Blackwatch, a division of Overwatch that specialized in covert ops. Feeling like he was making up for his mistakes in the past, he loved his job at Blackwatch, but when Overwatch was no more, he became a bounty hunter, but only taking on the jobs that were just causes and would take him one step further to his redemption.
She was one of many previous Overwatch members in charge of stabilizing the environment, but tragedy struck, and after being cryogenically frozen, she is the only survivor of her Watchpoint in Antarctica. Now that she’s awake and all initiatives that Overwatch took to preserve the planet are gone with their dissolution, she’s more determined than ever to fix that with her nifty Mr. Freeze ray.
While not having much of a backstory, this mysterious assassin cloaked in black cotton and dark shadows reaps the battlefield with his two twin shotguns and is an awesome character to play as. Not only is he able to propel his bullets with the power of darkness, he can transport himself, turning his body into a misty figure that is immune to the enemy’s attacks. Not much is known about Reaper, but his victims show signs of rapid degradation of their cells so some believe him to be an experiment gone wrong. And with both the appearance of his kills and his own when fighting, it wouldn’t be too far off-base. Hopefully we’ll learn more as the game’s release progresses.
A monk robot that doesn’t bother with walking, this spiritual omnic wants nothing more than to find spiritual enlightenment in himself, as well as in others. He wanders the world helping others, both human and omnic, and uses the powerful orbs around his neck to bring both destruction and health in order to do so.
The oldest heir of the crime-syndicated Shimada clan, he was expected to take over in his father’s place in running the family affairs, but when he finally got to that position and he was forced to kill his unruly brother, he abandoned his position and wanders the world in search of redemption. With his assumed-dead brother Genji, another playable character, also traveling after recovering from the battle with his brother, maybe he’ll actually find it.
Not so dissimilar to Metal Gear Solid’s Raiden, which makes him an awesome character to play as, he’s a cyborg ninja that is brother to Hanzo. He was almost killed, but Overwatch brought him back as a half-machine, half-man hybrid that was responsible for taking out his family’s illegal empire. Finally just now coming to terms with his state of being, he’s not bogged down by his troubled thoughts and is now able to fully use his abilities to help out in any way he can. He has enhanced strength, agility, and stamina – and he’s not too shabby with his sword or shuriken, either.
She doesn’t have any outrageously advantageous powers, but her backstory is one of the most tragic of the villains. She was originally the dotting wife of an Overwatch agent that was going after the terrorist organization named Talon. They ended up kidnapping her and turning her into a ruthless, emotionless killer, the perfect assassin to murder her husband, which she completed after being rescued months later. Her skin blue due to her transformation, this sniper is nothing of her former self, but she is now an efficient weapon that patiently waits for the kill with her infrared vision and poisonous bombs.
A noble knight in his prime during the creation of Overwatch and after his retirement when he donned the large suit of armor again once Overwatch disbanded, he’s a respectable German solider that holds the knightly standards of honor and justice high – so much so that he made sure the world was not abandoned when the global crime-fighting force was gone and picked up his mighty hammer again to protect the innocent of the world and take down the foul.
Even though she is most recently known for the controversy over her victory pose, don’t let that distract you from what made her victorious in the first place. Tracer is a spunky adventurer that has control over time. Not only can be zoom forward in battle, propelling herself in milliseconds to areas meters away, she can also turn back the clock to reset her ammo, position, and health to moments earlier in a fight. beams. She also has a compelling friendship with our resident intelligent gorilla Winston who fitted her with a device that stabilized her after an experiment gone wrong and that now allows her control time instead of being victim to it.
She bends reality with the aid of Vishkar Corporation’s hard-light technology and constructs cities for them around the world. While she believes that she is changing the world for the good with her intuitive use of the powers, stemming from traditional dances of her culture, she sometimes doubts her decisions and wonders how much power is too much.
Guardian angel and awesome ally to have, this character trails behind her peers with a healing stream of energy that either replenishes HP or increases damage for those under the beams targeting. And if she can’t make it in time to heal a teammate, she can resurrect them as her special ability. So she’s pretty awesome to have around
Not too much of a surprise to see the leader of Overwatch and the first of the characters to get their own CG short on the top of this list. He’s a genetically-engineered gorilla that is as intelligent as he is powerful, and he’s an endearing addition to the cast of characters that uses a Tesla Cannon to take down enemies when he’s not just pounding them into the ground with his fists Donkey Kong style.
Hopefully as the game is released, we’ll get to see more of what these characters are like characteristically, but also gameplay-wise. If you do pre-order, though, there is an open beta from May 6 to May 9.