A big draw to Overwatch when it first launched was the expansive world and lore attached to each character. Every hero contributes to the world in their own unique way, whether it’s leading a terrorist organization, stealing a mysterious treasure, or helping save the world.
As the roster continues to grow with each passing year, some characters’ arcs seem to be left in the wake of the game’s expansion. There have been less cinematics, comics and lore material in general releasing lately. Occasionally a skin will come out to give little tidbits of information, but that isn’t enough.
Here are some Overwatch characters we think need more lore.
A Talon agent with an ulterior motive, Sombra’s motivation is to investigate the entity that is connected to the biggest organizations in the world: Talon, Overwatch, Lumerico, etc. She was initially painted as a freedom fighter for hacking corrupt governments, corporations, and organizations.
Sombra’s origin story revealed that she is with the bad guys and knows just about everything going on in the Overwatch world. Unfortunately, the only significant update to Sombra’s lore is the reveal of her name: Olivia Colomar.
Sombra was released in November 2016 after a long ARG by Blizzard; it’s time for an update on her mission with finding the secret organization and what it means for every character in the story.
The last time Widowmaker got any interesting updates to her character was the Overwatch Christmas comic that came out in December 2016. One panel showcased her at Gerard’s grave alone, which sparked much speculation over whether the Talon sniper recovered her memories or not.
Two years later and Widowmaker has received zero updates to her lore. It is possible that there isn’t anything more to expand on the character, but stagnancy is never a good place. Widowmaker’s history is exciting, but her personality is not. Players want to see more contribution to the story or a character change going forward.
Mei is a character whose contribution to the story seems almost irrelevant. A climatologist who was in cryo-stasis for nine years, Mei woke up to a damaged Eco-Watchpoint, deceased co-workers and communication cut off from the rest of the world. In the cinematic “Rise And Shine,” it shows Mei trying to establish a connection to the outside world and travel from Antarctica to civilization to report her findings.
While environmentalism is an important matter, Overwatch frames the current issues in the world around Talon, insurgencies, and Omnic unrest. No location has had any issues with weather patterns or climate; the only exception was the freak hurricane during the Storm Rising event in Havana, Cuba.
It’s alluded that Mei will make it back to civilization; perhaps Blizzard can find a way for Mei to contribute to the disbanded Overwatch crew.
While Ashe got to appear in a cinematic, she was more of a gateway to a bigger piece of lore: Echo. She was the reason that part of Route 66 is a wreck, but that does not really add much to the story. It was a byproduct of a simple heist that ended up being more.
Elizabeth Caledonia Ashe is the leader of the Deadlock Gang, McCree’s former affiliation before Overwatch/Blackwatch. A rich girl and troublemaker, Ashe values family, obedience and loyalty above all else. While she has her history and co-founded the Deadlock Gang, she doesn’t offer much in the wider story as of right now. At least Baptiste got a follow-up comic after his release.
The last time the elder Shimada brother received lore was from his Scion skin, which was released in April 2018. To be honest, it was simple and provided information that players already knew.
Hanzo was the heir to the Shimada Clan’s criminal empire. At the behest of the family council, Hanzo almost killed his brother Genji to claim his birthright. Distraught over the assumed death of his brother, Hanzo left the Shimada Clan and travelled aimlessly.
Hanzo seems to be after Junkrat’s treasure and was offered to join Talon, but his future seems to be up in the air. He could join the good guys, the bad guys or remain independent. But since he found out Genji is still alive, his motivation is still unknown.
While finding a motivation could be his driving force right now, in the bigger world of Overwatch, that’s code for nothing. He might as well be a playable supporting character who only influences Genji’s development.
Junkrat is a deranged demolitionist with a big international bounty on his head. While he performs heists and loots banks alongside his accomplice Roadhog, he is relevant to the bigger story due to his “secret treasure.” The pair are on their way to North America, probably to execute more mayhem; this could point to a climatic story in the bigger Overwatch world.
Junkrat was featured in a lot of media with Roadhog. He’s had a mini-cinematic, which served as a promotional for the map Junkertown, a couple comics and more. Despite his multiple appearances, there hasn't been much expansion on the character himself nor his ultimate plan with the "treasure." It could be a major plot device later, but who knows when that will be...
Despite Roadhog’s long history with Junkrat, he is technically a bodyguard for the maniacal technician. A former Enforcer with the Australian Liberation Front, Mako Rutledge participated in the rebellion that sabotaged the Australian Omnium’s fusion core. A meltdown happened, Mako’s home in the Outback became an irradiated wasteland, and the madman Roadhog was born.
Roadhog and Junkrat were featured in a variety of media from Blizzard, mainly illustrating the origin of their partnership and their crime spree across the globe. Despite all these featured appearances, none of them point in a particular direction. It illustrates their character more than contributing to the story, which revolves around Junkrat’s secret treasure.
Some theorize that Junkrat’s treasure relates to the Omnics in some way, but until Blizzard spills the beans, then these heroes just exist in the wider lore.
Mercy has been featured in two Overwatch Archives events. The only thing we were able to gleam out of her during those missions is her relationships with other Overwatch characters, most notably Torbjorn, Tracer, and Genji, and more of her personality. She was also in the Overwatch Uprising comic.
While she contributed to a lot of past events in Overwatch, she currently works as a travelling doctor. While she did receive the Recall alert, it is unknown if she will return to the organization. She was against Overwatch’s methods while it was active, and even claimed that the world is better off without it.
Players will have to see if she has a future with the revitalized Overwatch; she may reluctantly return just to end Talon once and for all. If not, she may be reduced to a popular, playable supporting character. The narrative hinges on the Omnics, Talon, and the return of Overwatch.
Reaper made some big lore headway when the Retribution event launched in 2018. We finally got to see the big event that put the Blackwatch Commander on the chopping block from the Uprising Comic in 2017.
Instead of bringing in important Talon influencer Antonio Bartalotti for questioning, Gabriel Reyes executed the figure to avenge an injured Gerard LaCroix. This event brought Blackwatch into the public eye and begun the downward spiral toward Overwatch’s demise.
While we are learning more and more about Reyes’ breaking point and how he became the person he was, there are still a lot of questions regarding the individual. Why was he a candidate for the Soldier Program? Why did he decide to let Moira experiment on him? How did his condition get worse? Why does he want to kill Overwatch agents? What’s his motive for joining Talon? Is it just vengeance for Overwatch, or is it something more?
Out of the original 21 characters, Zenyatta received the least amount of lore expansion. He has no dedicated comic and has made no appearances in cinematics or literary material.
An omnic monk from Nepal, Zenyatta travels the world spreading knowledge and wisdom. He is also the mentor of Genji Shimada, helping the cyberninja find peace with himself. The Iris, which is a higher state of being for all organisms, is a subject of much speculation in the world as well.
People speculate that Zenyatta may serve an important role in the bigger Omnic issue in the world down the road, but until Blizzard releases some meaningful lore on the Shambali monk, he’ll just be a fun support hero rather than an actual character.