The existence of Ashe is not shocking. Considering how unique the latest Overwatch heroes have been, Ashe feels like a pretty conservative release. McCree already exists, after all.
What little we do know about her back story at this point isn’t all that unique. She was born into a wealthy, privileged family but, thanks to a chance encounter with McCree, turned to life as an outlaw. But despite that milquetoast origin, Ashe brings a whole new style of play to the table.
I’m no Overwatch expert. I’ve never hit level cap before. What I have done is play a lot of the heroes: primarily tanks. I’m also an objective-focused player, to it’s hard to feel useful as a carry unless I rack up kills. The damage-dealers I do enjoy—Soldier: 76, Mei, Pharah, and the like—all have distinctive defensive capabilities. Ashe feels like she fits somewhere between these folks and the other 100 percent damage-focused heroes, like Tracer and Genji.
The Viper, Ashe’s weapon, has both a primary and secondary fire. The first shoots rapidly, emptying the 12 rounds in storage rather quickly. The second is a kind of aim-down sights (ADS) akin to Soldier: 76, except with a slightly better zoom. ADS is rare in Overwatch and it wasn’t until I played Ashe that I realized how much I miss it from other games. It satisfies my itch for precision damage without feeling lousy for missing all of my headshots as McCree.
Viper’s versatility allows Ashe to play both offense and defense. She’s fragile, but if you absolutely need to you can get up close and still be useful. Naturally, pulling back to do some sniping is also a perfectly viable option.
Her abilities are in the same vein. Dynamite gives her a way of dealing area-of-effect damage around a specific objective, or to flush someone out from behind a corner. It’ll detonate after a short period of time or when shot. Although, honestly, the latter method feels like the only way to actually kill folks. Most people aren’t just going to stand there and let it hit them.
Coach Gun both knocks enemies away and pushes Ashe herself backward. I used this multiple times to clear enemies off the objective, push myself out of harm’s way, jump up to the top of a building, or boop folks off the map.
Then there’s B.O.B. Our favorite omnic sidekick is really what sets Ashe apart as a defensive damage-dealer. B.O.B., a large robot in a bowler hat, will charge wherever you aim, knock enemies up, and then fire projectiles at the closest target. He put bullets down range for a short period of time until he’s killed or blasts off like Superman into outer space.
I called him to keep us safe while my team pushed the payload. I also used him defensively to keep enemies at bay off of our capture point. The best way to deal with him is just to hide until he’s gone. You can kill him, but just poking your head into his line of sight immediately makes you a target—unless you’ve got the numbers to confuse and rush him.
Overall, Ashe is a more mechanically challenging McCree. She has more mobility, an AOE, a knockback, can attack from close and afar, and has what is essentially a giant, bulldozer turret as an ultimate.
But like I said, I’m no expert. I don’t know how viable Ashe will be in competitive play. But I’m sure as hell excited to play her again. One hour isn’t a long time to make such a big decision, but I think I have a new main. She pushes my offensive, defensive, and objective-focuses buttons perfectly.
Ashe is currently available on the Overwatch Pubic Test Region if you want to give her a shot yourself!