Blizzard unveiled the first new character for Overwatch today, and she is further proof that the company stands by its mission to bring a little character diversity to its hit game. Players will get a chance to play as the new support character Ana, an aged soldier who heals her teammates and murders her enemies with the same sniper rifle.
Two trailers were released today, one that shows off Ana’s various abilities, and a cinematic origins trailer t fleshes out her backstory. As predicted by some fans of the game, Ana is the mother of another Overwatch hero, Pharah. As an original member of Overwatch, Ana used to be a deadly sniper who fought along other heroes like Reinhardt, Mercy, and McCree, as well as Soldier 76 and Reaper back before they traded in their names to be called something like “Reaper”.
Unfortunately a sniper duel with Overwatch’s other resident sharpshooter, Widowmaker, left her one-eyed and left for dead. She apparently decided to stay that way until now, where years later she’s back in the fight. Only now she’s using her sniper powers for mostly good, using the weapon to heal other players from afar. It’s unclear if her daughter, Pharah, knew whether or not her mother was alive all this time.
As an older woman, Ana breaks a lot of molds for what kind of characters are typically playable in combat games like Overwatch. Blizzard’s game has been praised for its character diversity, and Ana is another new frontier for the company who has been very keen about listening to what the broader gaming community wants to see in their game.
Ana’s biotic rifle allows her to shoot healing shots at her allies, while doubling as a regular sniper rifle when she shoots at enemies. She’s also equipped with a biotic grenade which similarly heals allies while damaging enemies. The grenade also prevents enemy players from healing for a brief moment. Ana is also equipped with a sleep dart that will knock out characters for a few seconds. Lastly, her ultimate is apparently titled Nano Booster which will buff the speed and defense of allied heroes.
Ana will be released for free along with any other future Overwatch heroes.