Ending a relatively short viral publicity campaign, filled with slight red herrings while also teasing the upcoming arrival of Doomfist, Blizzard has announced and released a new Overwatch hero, Orisa.
The new Tank hero is an omnic designed by pre-teen genius Efi Oladele. Efi, who we at PDQ suspected to be the new hero, designed Orisa following an attack by Doomfist (a long suspected potential new hero, and big bad guy within the Overwatch universe); Efi used the wreckage of a number of OR15 defense robots to create Orisa.
Blizzard released a Developer Update along with Orisa’s backstory video. In the video, Jeff Kaplan explained how novel Orisa is as a hero, particularly because she did not have the same large backstory as many of the other Overwatch heroes. In the video, Kaplan argued to defend the addition of another tank unit, that the Tank class had a hole within the ranks, as the game only had one unit that the developers defined as an “Anchor Tank” Reinhardt; “What we mean by that, is that Reinhardt almost anchors the entire team. . . . With a properly positioned Reinhardt, a team builds and positions around Reinhardt. . . . You sort of know where to position yourself and when the team is going to engage or disengage based upon what the Reinhardt was doing.” Orisa’s release is meant as a second “Anchor Tank” in the same style of Reinhardt, giving compositions new possibilities to team compositions. Kaplan expressed the potential issues about barriers in terms of competitive balance, but also explained that the Overwatch team is looking at the complaints from the community moving forward.
Breaking down Orisa’s abilities, her main attack, Fusion Driver, is a relatively long range, fast projectile, and high ammo capacity attack that Orisa can use while moving. Kaplan said, “it has a good range to it; probably, more range than any of our tanks have on their weapons.” The Fusion Driver’s alternate fire, Halt! sends out a pulse that when you click alternate fire again to pull nearby units to the specific point.
Orisa has another ability called Fortify which reduces damage and stops Orisa from being affected by action-impairing effects. She also has a shield ability, which is similar to Winston’s Barrier Projector, but with a smaller radius. This ability, Protective Barrier, can be targeted on the ground, making it have much more flexibility than other tank shield options.
Finally, Orisa’s ultimate ability is Supercharger, which increases damage allies within her line of sight deals, working similarly to Lucio’s aura effect. The big difference is that this aura is a targetable unit by your opponents.
You can check out Orisa’s hero page, and play her on the Player Test Region now.