Yesterday, Blizzard revealed Overwatch 2’s Doomfist and Orisa redesigns, with both seeing massive changes to their loadouts and overall goals. They also act as a measuring stick for forward momentum and aggressive follow-on direction.
It’s been over two years since the last major content update released for the game, with its latest hero, Echo, added in April 2020. On Tuesday, with the launch of the new Overwatch 2 beta, players will be greeted with the most significant and drastic changes to the franchise since its launch.
When it comes to characters, Sojourn is bound to be the most exciting addition because she’s a brand new character. But Sombra, Bastion, Doomfist, and Orisa are seeing reworks that will almost make them look like new additions. This is doubly the case for Doomfist and Orisa, which saw the most drastic changes, as detailed in an Overwatch blog post.
Perhaps most striking is Doomfist, who has transitioned from a DPS role to a tank. In a Tweet, Blizzard describes the character’s differences:
Talk to the fist. All new weapon and ability sets for Doomfist are coming to #Overwatch2. pic.twitter.com/toAXhvCqaJApril 20, 2022
At first glance, Doomfist will be a more technical, but risky choice. His abilities suggest that it’s all about attacking the enemy and trying to put yourself in harm’s way, opening up opportunities for your team to exploit. Its main job will be to jump into the backline, taking focus on enemies, so your team can then push and try to punish them as they divert their attention.
In many ways, he seems very analogous to Winston and, to a lesser extent, Wrecking Ball. If you like these characters, it looks like he could be a great choice.
Personally, as a player who spends a lot of time on Doomfist, thinking of him in tank terms is odd, however, also as someone whose favorite tank is Winston, this might be a perfect match. The riskiest tank, which requires a mix of wits and technical skill to live on, is one of the most fun tightrope acts in the game. Having this expansion to Doom is quite appealing.
Orisa, on the other hand, appears to be something entirely different, and a largely unique type of tank compared to the others. Blizzard revealed their redesign on Twitter, showing off a kit that’s now centered around a spear.
Orissa online. All new weapon and ability kits for Orisa are coming to #Overwatch2. Dive deeper into Doomfist and Orisa rework in our latest blog.April 20, 2022
This revamp is very interesting, as it makes Orisa an active member of a brawl. She has often been a powerful tank, but notoriously passive and, dare I say it, boring to play. Its rotation largely consists of putting a shield down, then pointing and shooting at enemies. This new redesign seems to place it at the forefront as an active and serious threat.
Orisa sounds like, for lack of a better word, a tank bully. She advances into the enemy team and her Javelin Spin should allow her to penetrate the other team like few characters can. Mixing this with her returning Fortify ability, as well as her Terra Surge ultimate, she should be able to push other players and shrug off massive amounts of damage. If a tank’s job is to make space, Orisa should excel at taking it.
Few characters act like this, but Reinhardt seems to be the most obvious counterpart. Orisa has projectile primaries and a skill shot, but they both resist damage and move forward while doing it.
While these are big starts for both characters, and might be a little worrying for those leading them, this push to create something new is a really positive sign from Blizzard’s Team 4.
While Overwatch’s meta fluctuated and changed due to balance patches, the game remained functionally the same for two years. The fact that there are players left is a testament to the community, but it’s been a long haul. Now, finally, Tuesday is the big day.
These Doomfist and Orisa overhauls are a very promising look at how the development team is approaching the game. With the shift to 5v5 matches, it’s clear that Blizzard is making tanks much more aggressive and disruptive, acting a big bad team boss. While tanking is a thankless role in Overwatch, being able to shove other players around and hold on while giving other roles pop-off potential – that’s quite enticing. This is something the tanks haven’t felt for a long time.
Overwatch 2 appears to be a much furrier iteration of the game players have come to know and love for over six years. It feels like a well-deserved dose of adrenaline after such a long period of stagnation.