hot topic: over­watch

A ham­ster in a mech suit­— yes, that’s a ham­ster in a mech suit—joins the Over­watch cast

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - CONTENTS -

While we never ex­pected Bliz­zard to have any re­al­is­tic char­ac­ters for its mul­ti­player hit, we can’t say the prospect of a tiny ham­ster wreak­ing havoc on the field or achiev­ing ‘play of the game’ ever crossed our minds un­til it was re­vealed as the next Over­watch char­ac­ter. Yep, that’s right, hero 28 will be a puffy-cheeked ro­dent who pi­lots a high-tech ex­er­cise ball cov­ered in weaponry who goes by the name Wreck­ing Ball. While the ham­ster inside the ro­tund mech suit will be called Ham­mond, he’ll of­fi­cially go by his Mi­ley Cyrus-in­spired moniker in the game.

The char­ac­ter’s ori­gin story is just as odd—he was also part of the same ex­per­i­ments that pro­duced the go­rilla hero Win­ston on the Horizon Lu­nar Colony, the re­sults of which made him larger than nor­mal and also ex­cep­tion­ally smart. He also man­aged to es­cape dur­ing the same in­ci­dent Win­ston did by engi­neer­ing his own es­cape pod and hitch­ing a space-based lift from his in­tel­li­gent ape friend with­out his knowl­edge. Un­for­tu­nately they didn’t land in the same place—Ham­mond’s pod de­tached early and landed in Aus­tralia near Junker Town.

No one there ever re­al­ized that Ham­mond was a ham­ster, as he ended up com­pet­ing in the queen’s glad­i­a­to­rial com­bat arena, and went on to win sev­eral times. This is also where he earned his name ‘Wreck­ing Ball’, as he was known for be­ing this spher­i­cal, dev­as­tat­ing force. De­spite tak­ing part in these fights, he him­self is not a junker even though he me­chan­i­cally mod­i­fies his es­cape pod all of the time. Luck­ily he’s also pro­grammed it to be able to com­mu­ni­cate for him as he can’t talk, as “that would be com­pletely “He is fired up and crashes back down to do huge amounts of dam­age” ridicu­lous,” ac­cord­ing to Jeff Ka­plan, vice pres­i­dent of Bliz­zard. Even though the same game has a British go­rilla in it.

Ro­dent rumble

He’s also got quite the arse­nal on board his lit­tle death ball. He’s be­ing set up as a tank-style hero that fo­cuses on dis­rupt­ing en­e­mies and has high mo­bil­ity to get around. He has two modes—one as a quadruped tank fit­ted with some huge guns that deal con­stant dam­age, though it needs to be fairly static to do so. The other is a ball mode that sees him roll around the map and able to uti­lize a grap­pling hook so he can swing around all over the place to bash into things like the wreck­ing ball he’s named af­ter. Ham­mond also has a pile-driver move that sees him fired up and crash back down to do huge amounts of dam­age.

Of course, be­ing a tank he also has a shield, though his is most ef­fec­tive when there are more en­e­mies around to am­plify its power. Ham­mond’s ul­ti­mate power is also re­ally dis­rup­tive, tak­ing the form of a mine­field that will force en­e­mies to clear out quickly be­fore they get caught in web of ex­plo­sions. All of his moves and playstyle feel just as mis­chievous as his de­sign, and we can’t wait to run around as such a de­struc­tive ham­ster while gig­gling the whole time.

Above Meet Squonk, the of­fi­cial OXM ham­ster!

right Over­watch has raised an in­cred­i­ble amount of money for char­ity.

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