Overwatch's new hero, Jean-Baptiste Augustin, is here -- well, not completely, as he's only available to play with on the PC version's Public Test Realm (PTR), but he should be available on all platforms pretty soon.
Blizzard Entertainment teased the French medic's arrival in a letter last week and, on Monday, they released an origin story for the player via YouTube. As far as the story goes, the character hails from Caribbean island Haiti and was orphaned as a result of the omnic crisis.
Baptiste grows into a reliable soldier and medic who joins a military group called the Caribbean Coalition, where he fills a void by helping others. Following the war, he is recruited by a band of mercenaries, Talon, who realize that they can profit off of his skills.
His alliance with Talon does not last very long, however, as he comes to the conclusion that he isn't where he belongs, mainly because he had no idea that they were baddies when he signed up.
The combat medic leaves Talon to fight the good fight, prompting his former squad to pursue him in the hopes of either getting him to rejoin them or killing him since he knows too much. It's noted that they prefer the first option, though, since they would much rather have him back playing cards and drinking rum, but we can imagine how it all goes down judging from the trailer.
So what does this former rum-loving mercenary bring to the table? There may be changes before he goes live everywhere, but here's what we know for now thanks to a developer update from Overwatch posted to YouTube on Tuesday.
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Baptiste's primary weapon is a Medic SMG, which delivers a three-round burst that can cause significant damage. The Medic SMG is also equipped with a Biotic Launcher, which is capable of launching a grenade that heals allies within a certain radius. The healing grenade has no impact on Baptiste, however.
As a primary ability, Baptiste is able to perform a heal-over-time function called Regenerative Burst, which affects all nearby teammates. This is able to heal him, too, and allies can continue to heal over a period of time even if they leave his side.
Baptiste's secondary ability, Immortality Field, is triggered by a device that he places on the ground to create a force field visible to allies and teammates alike. While inside this zone, characters on the same team cannot go below a certain percentage of health (reportedly 20 percent), but they can sustain damage up until that point. The field lasts around eight seconds, but it can be disabled by the opposition if they focus their fire on the device itself.
Baptiste is also strapped with Exo Boots as part of his passive ability, which allows him to charge a jump meter and can be used to vault into the air at great heights. The developers included this ability so that the hero can disengage and reposition with ease and so he can find high ground quickly, which is best for the use of a healing grenade.
The character's ultimate ability comes in the form of an Amplification Matrix, which is a targeting interface that he can create a sort of wall from. Anything shot through the wall, from teammates, has its effects (both damage and healing) amplified. This means that it can come in pretty handy for Reinhardt's Fire Strike or Ana's Nano Boost. Basically, any sort of fire going through this matrix wall has its impact heightened considerably.
This ability is best used when it is lined up in a spot that allows the most allies to shoot through it in the direction of the enemy's greatest concentration.
All in all, Baptiste should come off as a very cool hero and it seems like he will be at his best when teamed up with characters such as Ana, as he's able to heal her and make her even stronger.
As for cosmetics and voice interactions, these are usually released after a character's testing. However, we do know that he lends his voice from Canadian actor Benz Antoine, though there are certain call outs that aren't in English.