I’ve been a big fan of Blizzard Entertainment since I first saw a beautiful blood elf walking across my computer screen.
I played World of Warcraft for a few years, followed by Hearthstone and, of course, the bane of my current existence, Overwatch. I started playing Overwatch after the game had only been out a few months and I’ve played hundreds of hours since. I’m endlessly in love with the Overwatch world that Blizzard has created including its gorgeous characters.
Each time something new is announced for the game, I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for its arrival. Each new hero added is like a free DLC for players to enjoy — but lately, some players are concerned that Blizzard may be running out of new ideas for heroes and are simply recycling previous heroes’ abilities.
Let’s start with the latest addition to the line-up, Brigitte. The first ability is her Whip Shot. Whip Shot throws Brigitte’s flail melee weapon in front of her dealing damage and knocking enemies away. This is very much like Roadhog’s hook ability, only rather than hooking enemies towards herself she pushes them away. Brigitte’s Barrier Shield is almost identical to Reinhardt’s shield, with the exception that her shield only covers herself. Brigitte’s ultimate ability Rally is extremely similar to Lucio’s ultimate ability Sound Barrier, too. Rally moves Brigitte faster and provides nearby team members with armour where Lucio’s ultimate provides team members with shields — i.e. the exact same thing.
Now, if this was the first time that a new hero had abilities similar to that of their predecessors, that would be one thing, but this isn’t the first time it has happened.
Let’s take Orisa for example. Orisa was given Protective Barrier and Halt as two of her abilities. Protective Barrier, again, is a less effective copycat of Reinhardt’s shield. Less effective, in my opinion, because it is stationary. Halt is a smaller version of Zarya’s ultimate Graviton Surge where Orisa can pull people towards the graviton briefly.
The second to most recent hero, Moira, got perhaps the worst copycat treatment as almost all of her abilities are like other heroes. Her Biotic Grasp is not dissimilar to Symmetra’s Photon Projector which seemingly sucks the life out of enemy teammates. Moira’s Biotic Orb is almost identical to Symmetra’s charged energy ball; the only difference being that Moira’s Orbs bounce against walls. Finally, Moira’s fade is a shorter version of Reaper’s Wraith Form.
All of this begs the question, is Blizzard running out of original ideas? From what we’ve seen in the comics and animated shorts, Overwatch isn’t without hundreds of possibilities for future playable characters. From the Junkertown Queen to Athena herself, many players wonder if Blizzard is feeling pressured to release heroes consistently rather than taking their time on what players will really love. Even Doomfist wasn’t what many players were expecting, and many players still think he was released too early.
There’s no doubt that Blizzard has an eye for fantastic character design. Its two most recent heroes Moira and Brigitte look fantastic, but what players really want is some innovative ideas rather than heroes that just feel like reworks of old heroes. What players — including myself — hope is that these underwhelming heroes are just a lead-up to a bigger announcement to come later this year. (*cough* #bringbackjetpackcat)
Brigitte has yet to be added to the game, but you can test her out yourself on the PTR on PC and see what you think. All of her skins have just been announced as well so take a gander at those and look for her addition to the game in the coming weeks.