If there’s three things I know about Overwatch it is that justice rains from above, Mei is bae, and support classes are basically industrial-strength magnets for the other team’s bullets. Previously, healers had to maintain a close proximity to their targets in order to keep their teammates alive and well. Now, though, Blizzard is looking to change the way you heal with Ana, its first new Overwatch character since the game’s launch.
Announced on Tuesday morning, Ana Amari is a “battle-scarred veteran” who provides long-range healing and support to her allies using a variety of specialized weaponry. While her sniper rifle may remind you of Widowmaker, this is a Biotic Rifle, which fires darts that heal allies and harms enemies. For splash damage, she is armed with Biotic Grenades that will heal allies and wound enemies within a larger area of effect. As a secondary weapon, Ana wields a pistol that fires a Sleep Dart, which allows you to humanely stun your enemies by putting them to sleep before Reinhardt bashes them into a fine paste with his hammer. Last, but not least, Ana’s ultimate is the Nano Boost, a powerful buff that grants teammates increased damage, defense, and speed — which could prove to be a real game-changer in those nail-biting overtime scenarios.
But gameplay mechanics alone do not an Overwatch character make. With this game, Blizzard has done a phenomenal job of building out the narrative, something rarely seen in competitive first-person shooters. In the world of Overwatch, Ana Amari has been around for quite a long time. Except most of the world thought she was dead. Widely considered to be the world’s best sniper, Ana was one of the founding members of Overwatch, serving as second-in-command under Commander Morrison, a.k.a. Soldier 76. What’s more, as was speculated on forums like NeoGAF, Ana is the mother of one of the existing Overwatch characters, Pharah. She is not, as some believed, named Sombra though. Who knows, maybe that’ll be the name of another character down the line!
Blizzard also released a video detailing Ana’s origin story, which is full of loss, regret, and a burning passion for justice.
After that video, much like justice, my tears rain from above too. As the office’s resident Overwatch obsessive and someone who plays Pharah more than any other character, Ana is insanely up my alley, both canonically and gameplay-wise. Not that I mind dancing around the payload on rollerblades as Lucio, but it’ll be nice to find a vantage point to buff my allies from a distance while they push in to take the point.
Ana is playable now on PC, but Blizzard has not yet announced when she will be playable on console. But with a panel all about the character set for San Diego Comic-Con, you can expect more news in the near future.
What do you think of Ana? Will you be playing her? What other kinds of characters would you like to see the game add? Let us know in the comments below.