Blizzard’s hero-based shooter Overwatch is unique in that much of its lore and character development occurs in animated shorts and comic books that are not accessible in the game itself. This means that many players miss out on learning interesting details about their favorite characters in the game, especially those that don’t realize these world-building materials exist. For those that have missed out on Overwatch‘s world-building, we have compiled the 10 most interesting things you may not have known about Overwatch and its characters.
D.Va Was the #1 Ranked StarCraft Player in the World
Before she was known for fighting alongside the Overwatch team as D.Va, Hana Song was a 16 year old professional gamer living in Busan, South Korea. Song had an exceptional career in eSports, becoming the #1 ranked StarCraft player in the world and going on a win streak that lasted for three years. Song’s video gaming talents have translated to her role as D.Va, giving her the skills necessary to pilot her mech into battle.
Lucio Stole His Weapon
When the Vishkar Corporation began terrorizing Lucio’s hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Lucio took it upon himself to steal technology from the company to create his signature weapon, the Sonic Amplifier. The Sonic Amplifier allows Lucio to heal multiple teammates at once or give them a speed boost, and he used it to help rally his people against the Vishkar Corporation. Lucio’s heroic feats launched his music career to the next level, making him a global celebrity.
Mei Was Stuck in Cryostasis for Years
The world of Overwatch has been ravaged by a robotic apocalypse known as the Omnic Crisis, in addition to catastrophic weather events. In order to study these disasters and learn what is causing them, bases were established at key locations around the world, including one in Antarctica. It was here that Dr. Mei-Ling Zhou, better known simply as Mei, served as a climatology researcher.
Unfortunately for the crew at Ecopoint: Antarctica, the base was hit by a devastating polar storm. In order to survive, the scientists placed themselves in cryostasis pods to wait out the storm and be rescued. No rescue came for years, and Mei was the only member of her staff to survive the ordeal.
Mercy Saved Genji
Genji wasn’t always a cyborg ninja. As his alternate skins show, Genji was a young, handsome warrior at one point in his life, but that changed when he was seemingly murdered by his own brother, Hanzo. However, Genji was saved at the last minute by Mercy and her healing staff, who then later outfitted the warrior with cybernetic technology so that he could be even more powerful than he was in the past.
Soldier: 76 and Reaper “Killed” Each Other
Jack Morrison and Gabriel Reyes were once friends, serving together in the early days of Overwatch. However, Reyes became bitter when Morrison was named the leader of Overwatch, with Reyes relegated to running the group’s covert ops division, Blackwatch. Tensions mounted, resulting in a fateful confrontation between Reyes and Morrison at the Overwatch HQ. This battle ended with an explosion that seemingly killed both Morrison and Reyes.
On the contrary, both Morrison and Reyes somehow survived the blast. Morrison decided to become Soldier: 76, a superhero of sorts bent on bringing justice to the world, whereas Reyes reemerged as Reaper, a deadly mercenary that’s apparently working with the antagonistic Talon organization.
Symmetra Has Autism
In the fourth Overwatch comic, “A Better World,” Symmetra reveals that she may have autism, and is even teased for it by her coworkers at the Vishkar Corporation, who ask where she fits “on the spectrum.” Months after this comic was published, Overwatch game director sent a letter to an inquiring fan that confirmed Symmetra has autism, making her one of the first prominent video game characters with the diagnosis.
There’s More Than One Doomfist
With all the excitement surrounding Doomfist’s gauntlet and how it was stolen from the Numbani map, one may not realize that “Doomfist” is actually a title given to certain characters in the Overwatch lore, and isn’t one specific person. The first Doomfist was known as the “Savior,” the second was called the “Scourge,” and the third is known as the “Successor.” At this point, it’s unclear what the motives will be for the latest Doomfist, but hopefully Blizzard pulls the curtain back on the highly anticipated character sooner rather than later.
Torbjorn Has A Lot of Kids
Some players may overlook him, but Torbjorn may be one of the most important characters on the Overwatch roster. Not only did his design inform the art style of Overwatch, but his character is responsible for creating many of the weapons in the game. While his demeanor in-game may give the impression that he is one-dimensional, Torbjorn actually has some interesting character traits that make him a bit more complex than some of the other heroes, including his racist feelings toward Omnics. Torbjorn isn’t just a stereotypical angry dwarf character, though. In fact, Torbjorn has at least eight children and a loving wife, which shows that he has a soft side for more than just his precious turrets.
One of Overwatch‘s most prominent themes is that of diversity, with Blizzard filling the roster of playable characters with people of all different races, age groups, species, and sexuality. While there will likely be more LGBT characters in Overwatch at some point, the time-bending Tracer has been confirmed to be the game’s first lesbian character. Tracer’s sexuality was explored in the “Reflections” comic, which saw Tracer stress about finding a proper Christmas gift for her girlfriend, Emily.
What’s in the Payloads
One of Overwatch‘s game modes is called Escort, and it sees players attempt to escort a payload from on end of a map to the other, while the opposing team tries to stop them. These payloads contain special cargo, but it’s not always clear what players are fighting so hard to transport.
On the Dorado map, players are transporting a fusion core that will help provide clean energy to the people that live there. On Eichenwalde, players transport a battering ram that helps them break into the castle at the end of the map. On both King’s Row and Route 66, players are tasked with transporting bombs, whereas Watchpoint: Gibraltar has a satellite drone that needs to be delivered so Winston can initiate the “Overwatch recall.”
Hollywood and Numbani have more interesting payload cargo. In the case of Hollywood, players escort a limousine that houses Hal-Fred Glitchbot. Numbani, meanwhile, once had a payload with Doomfist’s gauntlet inside, but recent updates to the game have seen that payload smashed and the gauntlet stolen. Until Doomfist’s gauntlet is retrieved, players on Numbani are stuck transporting an empty payload.
As Blizzard continues to release new comics and animated shorts, Overwatch‘s lore will expand to include even more surprising details about its characters and world. In the meantime, Blizzard has already started taking steps to incorporate some of this lore into the game itself, and it will be interesting to see the game fully embrace its growing universe.
Overwatch is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.