After a month of teasers, Blizzard is revealing their first post-launch free character for Overwatch. Introducing Ana, support sniper and mother of Pharah.
Blizzard has been teasing their first post-launch free DLC character for Overwatch ever since the game launched. Whether it be banners referencing Doomhammer, the Overwatch computer AI Athena, or the notorious and equally mysterious Sombra, Blizzard knows fans are excited for more and will devour every bit of new information given. Yet for all the teasers and mysteries, sometimes the right answer is the most obvious one. Today Blizzard revealed their latest Overwatch character: Ana, Pharah's often mentioned mother.
Oddly enough few expected Pharah's mother to be a DLC character, despite her being heavily referenced in-game by Pharah and others. She's even been featured prominently in art and in videos as an original member of the Overwatch crew, but few suspected. Perhaps it's because Ana is supposed to be long dead, having been MIA since the battle where she lost her eye. Ana's back, however, from a self-imposed exile in repentance for being unwilling to kill Widowmaker and costing several team members their lives as a result.
Ana, as mentioned, is a support sniper hero. Her kit is designed around providing her team with the the tools they need to succeed, all from a safe distance. Her shots will heal allies and damage foes, but not immediately. Both healing and damage are over time, though it's a quick window -- only a second or two it seems. To accompany her sniper rifle, Ana has several support abilities: a sleep dart fired from her side weapon; a biotic grenade that increases healing to allies and blocks healing from enemies; her ultimate, a nano boost that speeds up an ally, gives them extra attack damage and increases defense too.
The question on many minds is whether or not Ana is the Sombra so many were expecting. There's a chance that Ana's original Overwatch call-sign was Sombra and she is now going by her birth name. Upon further investigation though, it seems like the name Sombra and the teased visuals for the in-development sniper support do not cross over. It's likely that whoever Sombra is, we haven't met her yet.
Or perhaps we've only just met Sombra. During Ana's lore video, two unknown Overwatch characters are shown in a photo of the original Overwatch team. They disappear from the edges of the photo rather quickly as the focus moves in on Ana and young Pharah, but the hint should ring loud. Since Sombra has been teased as an old Overwatch hero by Reaper, perhaps the woman on the right is our missing character. Or not. There are many new details to consider with Ana's announcement.
Ana is already available on the Overwatch Public Testing Servers, so those with access should head over and give it a try. Those without access can likely check out a Twitch stream to see her live. For more information on Ana also check out her official Overwatch profile. Expect more information on her free release in the weeks to come.