After all the teases from this past week, Echo, the 32nd playable hero in Overwatch, is officially live to play on the Public Test Region for PC players.
This comes after Blizzard gave a rundown of her abilities in a developer update. Despite rumors that the next hero coming to Overwatch would be a support character, Echo is part of the damage role, but given her ability set, she has opportunities to fill multiple roles.
Here’s the breakdown of Echo’s powers:
- Tri-shot: This is Echo’s primary fire, which she shoots three projectiles at once. The shot is in a triangular pattern, meaning you can make three direct hits or an opponent can dodge and maybe only get hit by one depending on positioning.
- Sticky Bombs: Think something along the lines of a plasma grenade from Halo, where Echo throws down a handful of explosives that stick to an enemy. Echo used this ability in the Overwatch 2 reveal trailer that premiered at last year’s Blizzcon.
- Focusing Beam: Echo also has a beam projectile akin to something like Symmetra’s primary fire, and it actually does more damage to targets, whether they’re other heroes or barriers, if they’re already below 50% health.
- Flight: Like Pharah and Mercy before her, Echo is bringing another player to airborne fights in Overwatch. While she’s not able to stay in the air as long as Pharah due to lack of hovering mechanics, she is able to move more freely when in the air than her contemporaries. She’s also able to glide a bit as she descends for more horizontal movement. Director Jeff Kaplan compares her to a hang glider, in this regard.
- Duplicate: And lastly is Echo’s ultimate ability. This is where her name comes from, as she literally creates an “echo” of other characters by transforming into any hero being used on the enemy team. While she’s in another form, she’ll also have accelerated ultimate charge, allowing her to use their ultimate abilities more quickly. In the developer update, Kaplan used examples of like Tracer, who already has a fairly quick ultimate ability charge time in general, as someone who Echo could possibly transform to and use multiple ultimate attacks in one use of Duplicate. This basically makes her the Overwatch equivalent of the Pokemon Ditto, who is able to transform into their opponents and use their abilities.
Check out Blizzard’s full developer update below:
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Beyond her abilities, Blizzard also explained a bit more about Echo’s backstory, which was teased in her reveal trailer yesterday, but now we know a little bit more about how she came to be.
As the original video revealed, Echo was created by Dr. Mina Liao, a founder of Overwatch and also one of the creators of the omnics, the synthetic race in the game’s lore. After Liao was killed in an attack on an Overwatch base, Echo was quarantined, and eventually was meant to be transferred to a government facility. If you’ve seen the “Reunion” animated short, you know how that went.