UP­DATE

How do Over­watch’s new he­roes change the game?

PC GAMER (UK) - - CONTENTS - By Jen Simp­kins

That char­ac­ter se­lect screen is start­ing to look mighty cosy. Bliz­zard’s team shooter has sailed past its first an­niver­sary big­ger and brighter than ever, its ros­ter swelling from 21 to 25 playable he­roes thanks to a num­ber of free up­dates. First came sup­port sniper Ana. Her long-range heal­ing abil­i­ties and pow­er­ful Ul­ti­mate changed both the ca­sual and com­pet­i­tive meta. The com­mon cold was in­stantly cured. Shares in grand­mas went up 300%. Then came prob­lem child Som­bra, who hated Christ­mas and kicked pup­pies for fun.

Okay, so it was just that the new hack-at­tacker didn’t com­fort­ably fit into the game at first. Her abil­ity-dis­rupt­ing kit was never quite enough to sus­tain her or her team, so pick­ing her al­ways guar­an­teed me an ear­ful of abuse. It cer­tainly had a few play­ers con­cerned: was Bliz­zard out of vi­able ideas for use­ful new he­roes? For­tu­nately, two new ad­di­tions have rounded things out nicely.

The new an­chor tank is a strangely adorable robo-quadruped. Orisa is her name, and ag­gres­sively en­forc­ing safety at all times is her game. Al­though her rel­a­tively small health pool, low-im­pact gun and planet-sized head mean she’s too squishy to truly ri­val Rein­hardt, her abil­i­ties are sig­nif­i­cant enough that her in­clu­sion in a team com­po­si­tion can still knock op­po­nents for a loop. Her E-key is Pro­tec­tive Bar­rier. It’s on a short cooldown and can be fired out in var­i­ous po­si­tions to pro­vide a 900-point shield of cov­er­age to team­mates. Left-shift, mean­while, ac­ti­vates For­tify. Boost­ing her dam­age re­sis­tance by 50% for four sec­onds, it’s easy to dis­miss as in­con­se­quen­tial, un­til you re­alise it coun­ters mo­bil­ity-slow­ing at­tacks.

With care­ful shield place­ment and at­tached to a good healer, she is a men­ace at choke points or on pay­load-push­ing maps. And god for­bid you meet an en­emy Orisa around any con­ve­nient chasms (look­ing at you, Ilios well). Her right-click is a mini ver­sion of Zarya’s Gravi­ton Surge. If it’s fired over an edge and you’re any­where near it, not even a res­ur­rec­tion is bring­ing you back from be­ing un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously yoinked into the abyss.

PUNCH DRUNK

The reign of the dive comp looks set to con­tinue, be­cause Doom­fist is here, and Doom­fist can fly right through a Rein­hardt shield and punch him square in his an­cient ar­mour-clad jaw. While the new of­fense hero does have a short-range hand can­non to fin­ish off low-health tar­gets, it’s mostly all about the fist­ing (stop it), which, when done cor­rectly, can ab­so­lutely dec­i­mate en­emy squishies (okay, that one was me and I’m sorry). Hold down right-click to charge Rocket Punch: the longer it’s held, the fur­ther Doom­fist will fly for­ward and the more dam­age he’ll do. It feels great when it con­nects, knocks an en­emy back into a wall and de­liv­ers a knuckle sand­wich with an ex­tra help­ing of hurt. And, rather won­der­fully for an FPS, Doom­fist is all about com­bos. Chain­ing Seis­mic Slam and Ris­ing Up­per­cut – one pulls

god for­bid you meet an en­emy Orisa around a chasm

en­e­mies to­wards you, while the other launches them sky­ward – into Rocket Punch can be dev­as­tat­ing. The down­side is that Doom­fist is very abil­ity-de­pen­dent: once they’re all on cooldown, and you’re in the thick of it, it’s tricky to stay alive. The key is to be very par­tic­u­lar about po­si­tion­ing. He’s also an ex­cel­lent flanker, with­out put­ting in too much ef­fort. To make the most of a dive comp, how­ever, head­ing into the fray with a pre­planned exit strat­egy is es­sen­tial.

But there are ways to in­crease his sur­viv­abil­ity, and un­sur­pris­ingly, they in­volve more punch­ing. Doom­fist’s pas­sive abil­ity gives him +30 to his shields, which de­cays over time, for ev­ery en­emy he kills. Be­ing able to stay mo­bile and dan­ger­ous at all times in a fight is true Doom­fist mas­tery – some­thing that, like play­ing Genji and prop­erty own­er­ship, will likely re­main a dis­tant dream for me. But there’s a sil­ver lin­ing to all of this, for me at least: the ad­di­tion of Doom­fist means a cer­tain abil­ity-hack­ing hero fi­nally has a rea­son to be tol­er­ated. I haven’t been called a cock­womble for pick­ing Som­bra since.

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