When it was revealed that details of Overwatch 2 will soon be announced at BlizzCon, art for the game’s 32nd hero was leaked along with it. And if the artwork proves to be accurate, that means Echo is finally coming to Overwatch.
Echo was officially introduced at BlizzCon last year in the Overwatch short “Reunion.”
Starring gunslinger Jesse McCree, the short takes place on Route 66. The BAMF runs into the Deadlock Gang, who have bombed a train that ultimately crashed on the map, interrupting McCree’s lunch. They’re led by a woman named Ashe, who is accompanied by her robot companion B.O.B.
It soon becomes clear that McCree has run into Ashe in the past, and that it hasn’t been pretty.
“Been a while,” she says to McCree. “You promised you’d write.”
“Well Ashe,” McCree answered, followed by a dramatic pause. “I’ve been busy.”
The Deadlock Gang had caused the crash in order to take some valuable loot that was aboard. But it’s not any ordinary loot. McCree says he will leave them be if they return one specific crate to him, the contents of which he says are none of Ashe’s business.
B.O.B. opens the crate and a stand-off ensues, complete with a tumbleweed.
The clock strikes high noon and McCree easily takes the gang out, despite some upgrades to the robot butler that are quite impressive. He sends Ashe and B.O.B. away on a payload before unveiling what was in the much-desired crate.
“Hey there, cowboy,” Echo says.
“Welcome back, partner,” McCree replies.
As McCree helps the omnic out of the capsule, Echo notices that the cowboy’s arm has been enhanced with a cybernetic graft. She asked him what happened, which McCree says is a story for another time.
McCree then explains to her that Overwatch is forming again, and that they’ve asked for his assistance.
“They want me,” he said. “But really, they need you. Say hi to the monkey for me.”
As McCree rides his motorcycle into the sunset, fans immediately speculated that Echo would be the next hero. Instead, Overwatch saw the addition of Ashe and her robot butler. While she received a warm reception from the Overwatch community, many players still felt frustrated that Echo was teased, yet wasn’t an available hero after “Reuinion.”
Overwatch’s lead game designer, Jeff Kaplan, discussed Echo further on a live stream from BlizzCon. He explained that “Reunion” was meant to be more about McCree’s response to the recall, although the hero does mention that Echo can do more for Overwatch than even he can.
“Echo is a character we’ve been developing for other reasons,” Kaplan said. “We’re building her up to be more. We want her to be a hero. Echo we have big plans for.”
Those plans might be finally coming true one year later at BlizzCon.
It wasn’t only “Reunion” that had fans rooting for Echo to finally become a playable hero in Overwatch. In fact, many felt as though this was the game developers’ attempt at finally introducing her officially after teasing her throughout the game’s existence.
Echo was first conceived as a hero in the pitch meeting for Prometheus, a Blizzard game that soon became what people know now as Overwatch. She was featured prominently on the game’s hero lineup artwork.
She was first known as Iris, and her design was inspired from unused Project Titan concept art. Her abilities were first discussed as being Particle Beam, Speed Bost, and Shield.
Despite being on the original hero lineup, Echo wasn’t ever seen again until “Reunion.” After the short, fans were once again left in the dark as to just who Echo was, what her lore was, and when she’d ever be implemented in the game.
BlizzCon is getting underway on Friday, November 1. A lot of information about Overwtach 2 will allegedly be announced. This includes a new PvE campaign, a new game mode, a new map, and the much-awaited 32nd hero.