A runaway success and 2016's game of the year, Overwatch is a game shrouded in mystery. From the murky pasts of some of the characters to the origins and lore of the the Overwatch organization, this game, though rich in back story, still leaves us with a lot of questions and avenues to be explored. Part of why Overwatch is so brilliant is that the story it tells us is so multi-faceted and dynamic that it creates a world with so much possibility for continuation. There are so many characters with individual backstories, that we have so much to learn about still. Though it's been out for a while now, there's still things being found in it frequently, so players are constantly looking at it in different ways and trying to learn about the game.
And sometimes we can learn things, if we just look in the right places. From easter eggs, to little known behind the scenes facts, here are 15 hidden secrets that even the most seasoned Overwatch player has definitely missed. Was there something really cool that we forgot about? Let us know!
15 What Did He Say???
Voice lines in this game are a great way to show personality for every hero. Whether it be Reinhardt shouting "BEER!" or Tracer with her iconic "Cheers love, the cavalry's here!", there are an abundance of classic lines that these heroes deliver. However, every now and then we hear a voice line that makes us go "WTF?" Reaper's "It's in the refrigerator" line has perplexed me since its release in the 2016 Summer Games, and I know I'm not the only one who thinks this line is a massive troll. But it does actually mean something. The phrase was coined by Lakers sportscaster Chick Hearn to mean that the game is won, or the match is over. So when Reaper says this line, he's basically telling you he's about to drop down on you and Death Blossom the s*** out of your squad.
14 Home, Sweet Home
There's a lot of beauty to behold in the maps of Overwatch if you only look close enough. Yes, they are all quite picturesque, but if you look with a keen enough eye, you'll see so much more. The stories these maps tell make the heroes Overwatch all the more real. A few characters' private domiciles can actually be found in game. In Nepal: Village, on the second floor near the objective, you can see the room Genji inhabited while training with Zenyatta. In Horizon: Lunar Colony, on the first floor below the airlock door, you can see Winston's dwelling. And, though not really a room, on Ecopoint: Antarctica you can see the cryostasis pod that Mei spent a few years in. Blizzard knows we love easter eggs and they do not disappoint when it comes to providing them.
13 They Weren't Cut Out For Retirement Anyway...
One thing Overwatch absolutely got right was finding a compelling and believable way to bring together a diverse cast of characters from all ends of the globe and unite them in several complex story lines that intersect at many points. Overwatch has playable characters that hail from every continent (even Antarctica... that would be Mei, aka Satan) and span a massive range of ages. The Overwatch organization's youngest member is Hana Song, aka D. Va, who is only 19, and their oldest member would be Reinhardt, who is 61 years young. Ana Amari comes in at a close second. It turns out retirement is a little underpowered right now and might get a buff in the next patch.
12 Payload? What's That?
This next one is for the 5% of Overwatch players that do not experience intense anaphylactic shock when nearing the payload. At least that's what I think happens... what other reason would be good enough to stay a good 50 feet away from the payload at all times? Any way, in the escort/hybrid maps, you don't just mindlessly push flying cars. Every payload has a destination for a reason. Attackers on King's Row are escorting an EMP to the heart of a known Omnic hiding spot to, as Junkrat would say, "Scrap some bots". If the attackers deliver it all the way to the end, you can see the detonation of the EMP as the match ends. On Hollywood, the attackers are escorting a famous Omnic director named Halfred Glitchbot in his limousine. Glitchbot can be heard making jabs at the attacking team for being too slow. Yeah... he's a dick!
11 Free Voice Lines!!!
When released, Horizon: Lunar Colony really set the bar for Overwatch maps. It's amazing enough with the immersive story it tells about Winston's home, the zero gravity area, and the hydroponics bay (I just really love plants, man), but there's another awesome thing about the map that may easily go unnoticed. On the attacker's side, as soon as you spawn, there is a massive telescope pointed out an even more massive glass window behind you. Approaching this telescope actually allows you to interact with, and look through it to reveal a scenic overview of the Strait of Gibraltar. This is not only awesome because it shows us how Winston planned to escape from the moon to Earth, but each character will say a unique voice line when they look through the telescope. My personal favorite is Soldier: 76's "Earth, I've gone through a lot for you. Hope you appreciate it."
10 Potentially Obscure References
Overwatch is a game where references run amok. On several maps in the game, you can see arcade games such as "Super Siege Mode 3" and "Fighters of the Storm", which are references to other Blizzard games: Starcraft and Heroes of the Storm. They also reference Diablo with the arcade game "Soul Stone Demon Slayers" and the infinitely less subtle "The Lost Vikings VI", which is a nod to the game The Lost Vikings. They don't stop here with the references. The movie poster entitled "Some Like it Bot" on the attacker's spawn in Hollywood is a reference to the old classic movie, Some Like it Hot, and then of course, because Blizzard cannot help but plug itself, they have another movie poster entitled "Hero of my Storm", which again, is a nod to Heroes of the Storm.
9 Heroes Never Die
I have got to give Blizzard props for this next one, because they sure do know how to show love to their fans. A day before Overwatch's release in 2016, Wu Hongyu, a Chinese student, who was eagerly awaiting the release of the game was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident as he was trying to thwart the robbery of his friend's bike. Blizzard pays tribute to Hongyu in the map Lijiang Tower: Control Center, with a display of astronaut suits. On the red side of the map, these suits can be seen, with the one in the middle emblazoned with Hongyu's name and the phrase "Heroes never die" written in Chinese characters above it. A fitting homage to a true real life hero, and as Tracer said, "The world could always use more heroes".
There are only two things in life that are certain. Your Genji will spam "I need healing" all game, despite being full health, and Blizzard will easter egg the crap out of their games with pieces of their other games. Hell, the entire game Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard's MOBA game, is just one massive easter egg essentially. Overwatch is no exception because you can represent your favorite characters from other Blizzard franchises with your profile icon. Classic characters available in icon form are: Li-Ming, Kharazim, Sonya, Valla, Diablo, and the witch doctor from the Diablo franchise, Varian, Illidan, Sylvanas and Arthas from the World of Warcraft franchise, and Jim Raynor, Kerrigan, and Artanis from the Starcraft franchise. They also have Jaina and the Hearthstone icon available if that's your game. You can also set tangerines as your icon. No reference here... just some small oranges.
7 Athena: God Of War
This next one is more of a fact/theory hybrid, but it is certainly an interesting and quite feasible possibility for the future of Overwatch. This one is in regards to Winston's AI companion and Overwatch's in-game announcer, Athena. There's a good chance that Athena is what's called a god program. God programs are complex forms of artificial intelligence that can control lesser forms of A.I. The implications of this are huge, as another speculation of Athena becoming a playable hero seems quite likely. The Athena program icon can be seen on the upstairs computer system in the attacker's spawn in Watchpoint: Gibraltar. This icon can be seen again on the forehead of an unnamed, mysterious omnic character in the picture above. Could this be Athena? There's a very good chance.
6 Rock n' Roll Into The Iris
Your friendly neighborhood ball chucking, purple orb giving, Iris passing into-ing robot monk, Zenyatta, is one of my personal favorite heroes in this game. His ability to delete heroes off the map with his orb volley and discord orb along with his ultimate, Transcendence, which can neutralize many ultimate abilities in the game are part of the reason why, but I liked Zenyatta a lot more when I learned the origin of his name. Zenyatta, along with his omnic Shambali brother Mondatta, who has a massive statue erected in his likeness on King's Row, were named after the third studio album of The Police, Zenyatta Mondatta, released in 1980. Also, a little known fact about Zenyatta is that he is 20 years old. Yeah, that's right, Zenyatta is a freaking millennial. Here's hoping the next skin for Zenyatta has him throwing fidget spinners instead of orbs.
5 Watchpoint: Irvine
Adawe International Airport serves as the attacker's spawn in the map Numbani. As your team spawns, behind you there is a flight board with notable cities from across the globe on it. From London, to Tokyo, to Cairo. All these cities seem like they have some relevance to the story or some character in the story, but one sort of stands out. Irvine. Now, I only knew where and what Irvine is because I live so close, but it occurred to me that this is a pretty obscure city in the global scale of it all, so why include it? It doesn't even have an airport! Well, Irvine is a city in California where Blizzard's main headquarters preside. Free tours of these headquarters are given where fans get to see the Blizzard museum, library, and other interesting areas around the HQ.
4 DUN DUN BOOP BOOP
That's right! This next little known fact is about everyone's favorite metal rectangular prism. You love to hate him, but you hate to love him, it's... BASTION! Bastion had the most ultimate abilities tested when creating the game. Developers just could not dream up an ultimate that fit Bastion's play style. When developers were balancing Bastion, they toyed with the idea of Bastion's ult allowing him to shoot bouncing grenades. Once they scrapped that, they thought maybe giving him an ult that allowed him to shoot through walls. (Maybe that was low key too OP with Widowmaker ult or sonic arrow?) They even experimented with a burrowing drone that could be remotely detonated by Bastion and unleash a mini, untargetable Death Blossom of sorts. Once they realized that everyone hated that ult immensely, they settled on the insta-play of the game ability we all know today, Configuration: Tank.
3 Fans in High Places
Overwatch is one of the biggest games on the market right now and its fanbase is absolutely massive. Casual gamers and competitive gamers alike love this game. Even famous people play this game. Singer T-Pain and actor Terry Crews are both fans of the game! However, I think the famous fan that is the most hard core would be writer, Matt Owens. Owens, who writes for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., actually writes hero voice lines into the show! Owens confirmed his intentional inclusion of these lines on Reddit. In the show, there is a character who is a demolitions expert from Australia, who utters some familiar lines such as, "This bomb's for you", "Stop me if you've heard this one before", and "That's a fine how-do-you-do!" Who's lines are these you ask? Well of course they belong to no one other than Overwatch's own resident, Australian explosives maniac, Junkrat.
2 Voice Acting Vets
Blizzard pulled out all the stops to make Overwatch top notch, and this shows heavily when looking at the voice acting work. Overwatch has veterans of the profession in spades. Matt Mercer, Darin De Paul, and Fred Tatasciore, the voices of Mccree, Reinhardt and Soldier: 76 respectively, are no strangers to voice acting in video games. De Paul and Tatasciore both lend their voices to other Blizzard game as Zeratul from Starcraft and Anub' arak from World of Warcraft, respectively. Along with the voice actor of Winston, Crispin Freeman, Mercer gives voice to guardians in Destiny. It does not stop there. Keith Ferguson, who voices Reaper, also voices Lord Saladin from the Destiny franchise. But it doesn't even stop there either!!! Tatasciore also appears in Destiny as Xur, the Cthulhu-esque black market arms dealer of the franchise.
1 Soldier: 1998
Everyone knows about the critically acclaimed, super skill intensive, hardest character to master in the game, Soldier: 76. Did the sarcasm transfer in that last sentence? I thought I got the new sarcasm font, but I see no difference. Anyway, it's a little known fact just how old Soldier: 76 is. Not the actual character in, but the idea of him. The idea for Soldier: 76 had been around in master fictional universe architect Chris Metzen's head for over ten years before Overwatch was even announced at BlizzCon. Kotaku.com tells us that Soldier: 76 started as a comic character in Metzen's Digital Webbing Presents #16, in 2004. Above is a picture of how he looked back in the good 'ol 1990s. Well, all I can say to this is that if I don't get a ski mask skin for Soldier: 76 in the near future, I. AM. RIOTING!!!