Activision-Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan took to YouTube today to fully unveil Echo before the latest character heads to the PTR.
Just yesterday, the team at Overwatch gave us our first look at their 32nd hero Echo via a new origin story trailer. Today, the team has released the character onto the PTR and posted a lengthy update video. It gives you all the info you’d want on Echo’s story and her loadout. The whole thing is quite an interesting watch, but below, we’ll quickly run you through the important bits you’ll need to know when you hop in and start testing the character out.
Surprisingly, Echo is a damage-dealing class. Many (myself included) assumed Overwatch’s next character would be a support. However, Activision-Blizzard has put together an impressive suite of abilities that should result in an extremely fun character. Echo’s basic shot actually shots three blasts at once in a triangle pattern. This opens up your spread a bit but is still pretty powerful. The character’s alternate fire is a sticky bomb, which can be used as a gleefully fun way to confirm an elimination on a retreating enemy. Echo also has a focusing beam that deals greatly increased damage to enemies below 50% health. It does the same for barriers under 50%.
Echo also has the ability of flight. In the explainer, Game Director Jeff Kaplan compared this ability to Pharah’s boosters. The big difference is that Echo’s flight gives you more control over in-flight movement. However, you won’t be able to stay in the air as long because it can’t be paired with other abilities like Pharah’s can. Speaking of somewhat similar abilities, Echo’s glide functions kind of like Mercy’s Angelic Descent. Except, in this case, you’ll fall faster and be able to move more horizontally. Kaplan used the analogy that Mercy’s ability is like a parachute, while Echo’s is a hang glider.
Finally, Echo’s ultimate is a skill called Duplicate. Basically, this works sort of like Kirby’s Vacuum ability in Super Smash Bros. You choose a target on the enemy side and then become that hero for a set duration. It sounds wild and like a complete game-changer. Kaplan was quick to say that, if it feels overpowered in testing, they won’t hesitate to balance it. That said, I can’t wait to see it in action. It seems like it could do some major damage in the hands of some of the best Overwatch players.
Overwatch is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Echo is currently available for testing on the PTR. The character should launch into full release about a month from now if previous characters are anything to go by.