As is tradition at this point, BlizzCon unveiled the newest hero coming to the Overwatch roster. And, much like last time with Moira, it’s a character who came out of nowhere. Ashe appeared almost out of thin air, making her debut in the new McCree cinematic, Reunion. Despite the bait that the new hero might be the female omnic, ECHO, this time it’s all about McCree’s former Deadlock Gang partner. And there seems to be quite a bit more to her story than one might expect from her purely antagonistic role in the short. As with pretty much every hero, Ashe got herself an “origin story” video, featuring some narration over highlights of her past that led to where she is now.
The video notes her coming from a wealthy background – albeit a lonely one – marked by parental neglect. So she caused trouble, as characters with that particular background are wont to do. She puts a not-insignificant amount of emphasis on the theme of family as a result. Eventually, she fell in with the Deadlock Gang (or, a band of rebels who would eventually become the Deadlock Gang. It isn’t entirely clear) and took charge. She’s shown to be quite the force of personality, with a voice provided by the exceptionally talented Jennifer Hale.
As for the character’s actual integration into Overwatch, Blizzard used a video to reveal her and her kit. Based on the cinematic, it didn’t seem likely she’d fill a tank or support role. True to that observation, Ashe is a DPS hero with a rather unique, if simple range of options. And the event revealed concepts for some of the skins she’d be getting.
Her primary weapon, The Viper, is a semi-automatic rifle, the damage of which changes when aiming down the sights. She also has a Coach Gun. On top of doing a decent amount of damage, it also comes with a considerable knockback that she can even use to rocket jump. She carries around dynamite for explosive damage and also sets enemies on fire for a DOT (Damage Over Time) effect. But her most interesting ability is her ultimate – B.O.B.
Based on the Overwatch origin story video, B.O.B was her omnic butler but wound up joining her in the Deadlock Gang. Her ultimate allows her to summon him to the field as a temporary 7th teammate. He charges forward, knocks anyone in his way into the air, and roots himself like a Torb turret, shooting the enemy team. B.O.B apparently functions like an ordinary teammate, as well, barring the lack of real movement. He can be bubbled by Zarya, slept and Nano-Boosted by Ana, the works. While he has a massive health pool, his being stationary doesn’t make this a problem, similar to how Bastion functions in sentry mode.
The team at Blizzard apparently has six more heroes already in development. Whether they plan to release them on the standard “three heroes a year” schedule is currently unknown, but one of them is most likely ECHO. And it seems very likely that most of them will be tanks and supports. In the meantime, Ashe is projected to hit the Overwatch PTR on Monday.