Overwatch has a surprisingly developed story for a character-based shooter game. It gained a lot of attention on release with its powerful animated shorts, and supplemented its lore with more animations, comics, and short stories. So far, the stories that Blizzard has released haven't been too lengthy, but now fans can sit down and enter the world of their favorite characters with the new Overwatch young adult novel, The Hero of Numbani.
The Hero of Numbani will feature Efi Oladele, the child inventor of the robotic Overwatch hero Orisa. It will explore Efi’s journey as she goes from child prodigy roboticist to hero as she builds Orisa to defend her city. The story takes place in the futuristic city of Numbani, Nigeria, a city of robot-human cooperation that is featured as one of the maps in Overwatch. It will also include other Overwatch heroes such as Numbani villain Doomfist and international DJ Lucio.
The book will be written by award-winning writer Nicky Drayden, author of The Prey of Gods. It is set to be published by Scholastic in 2020.
By the time the novel is released, Orisa will have been released for three years. Efi was first introduced to gamers as part of the backstory of her robot guardian. Her background became more detailed as part of Doomfist’s release a few months later. This book explores her story even more, and for once, focuses on Efi herself as a hero in her own right, rather than as an accessory to someone else’s story. And while non-playable characters like Talon boss Maximillian or hacker Lynx 17 have appeared in Overwatch comics and shorts before, they usually appear as sidekicks or minor characters. This is the first time one has been featured as a protagonist.
Hopefully this is a sign of renewed focus on the lore side of Overwatch. While there have been several gameplay updates such as the implementation of role queue, the lore updates have become less and less frequent. A full-length young adult novel, though, is one of the largest undertakings by the Overwatch writers yet. With any luck, the trend will continue, and fans will get the lore they’ve been craving.