With the release of Echo, the Overwatch community is finally enjoying some fresh content after the longest layover between new heroes in the game’s history.
Across a number of social media posts and streams, Blizzard has given fans a look into the 32nd Overwatch hero. They confirmed Echo will be a DPS character, and also delved into her background and place within the game’s lore.
Echo was a product of Singaporean scientist Dr. Mina Liao, who started her career working for Omnica, the company that created the Omnics that would wage war against humanity. Liao, faced with a moral dilemma after witnessing the Omnic Crisis, was asked to join Overwatch to help them fight back.
It was with Overwatch that she started developing Echo. Due to Overwatch’s restrictions on intelligence research after the Omnic Crisis, she installed limits to Echo’s capabilities, which created failsafes to keep her under control.
However, Echo was programmed by Liao to learn through observation. After spending so much time with her creator, Echo started to learn many of Liao’s behaviors. Unfortunately, Dr. Liao was killed in an attack on an Overwatch facility, which caused Echo to be placed into containment.
On the Overwatch website, under the “Overwatch 2” section, readers are told Echo has joined up with the new Overwatch team to defend Paris against the Null Sector incursion. This leads fans to surmise that Overwatch 2, which has no release date yet, will reveal more of Echo’s story.
While many fans speculated Echo might be a support character, she was confirmed as a damage hero. Echo’s kit is quite different from any DPS hero fans have seen so far.
Tri-shot is her primary fire, which shoots three bullets in a triangle pattern. Her secondary fire is sticky bombs, which detonate after a delay. Jay “Sinatraa” Won confirmed during a stream that these sticky bombs can hurt enemies as well as Echo herself.
As shown in some trailers and cinematics, Echo is capable of flying with her Flight ability. This allows Echo to surge forward quickly and then fly, similar to Mercy’s Angelic Descent, which allows her to slow the speed of descent. Kaplan has differentiated the skills by describing Echo’s ability as more of a “hang gliding” effect as opposed to Mercy’s slow vertical drop.
Focusing Beam deals high damage to targets with less than half health. Kaplan also said this ability can be used to take down shields faster.
Her ultimate ability is one of the most unique in the game. Duplicate allows her to take on the visuals, sounds, and abilities of an enemy hero for a short time. While being a copycat, Echo gains ultimate charge at an accelerated rate. Kaplan says players can build ultimate charge so quickly, that multiple copied ultimates may come out of one use of Duplicate.
Blizzard has not yet confirmed the release date for Echo on live servers, but the publisher gave a strong hint on the matter on Twitter. As part of a series of posts hinting at Echo, a file with a photo of her pod is dated as 3/23. This likely means that Echo will hit Overwatch servers on Monday, March 23.
Regardless, fans that can’t wait that long can find her ready for play on Overwatch’s PTR.