After months of speculating who the 32nd hero in Overwatch would be, we finally have our answer: Echo. The female-inspired AI character has been in Blizzard’s back pocket since before the game’s release, and it’ll soon be available within Overwatch for the very first time.
We first got a glimpse of Echo within the 2018 Overwatch animated short, Reunion, where it was revealed that the character had been locked inside a payload before being rescued by McCree. Key art for the hero was then leaked among a few other unreleased characters back in October of 2019. Then, Echo appeared in the Overwatch 2 trailer when it launched at BlizzCon 2019.
Despite all of these recent hints, plans for Echo began before Overwatch had even launched. The character was originally named Iris, and had appeared in the original pitch deck back when Overwatch was still in its planning stage and had the name, “Prometheus”.
Although it’s uncertain what type of hero Echo will be just yet, in its original form, the character had a particle beam attack complete with a speed boost and a shield. Considering that many of these features have been used on other characters in the game, it’s likely that Echo has experienced a complete redesign once or twice.
We’ve also been given a good deal of new information regarding Echo’s back story, thanks to a new animated origin story. The hero was created by Mina Liao, an original member of Overwatch and former engineer of Omnica Corporation. After realizing the evil she helped to create, Echo was the engineer’s attempt at rectifying things.
Jeff Kaplan has also stated that Echo is going to be an extremely important character to the Overwatch universe, and a large story is apparently planned around the hero. We’re assuming this will tie into Overwatch 2′s launch in some way, which will supposedly bring a larger focus on story content and PvE gameplay.
We’ve still yet to learn what role Echo will play in the game, or even what class the hero will be. Either way, Blizzard’s plans for the character point to a bright future for Overwatch as the game continues to build on the formula that has already brought it so much success.
Source: Dextero, Overwatch Wiki
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