After a blissfully short period of teases and lead-up — at least compared to the Sombra ARG, that is — Blizzard finally revealed Overwatch's newest character: a tank hero named Orisa, who looks like some kind of robotic centaur crossing-guard woman. She's delightful.
In a developer update video released alongside her origins trailer, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan describes her as an "anchor" tank like Reinhardt, around whom allies can rally for protection. Unlike Reinhardt, however, Orisa is a ranged hero whose ultimate, called "supercharger," buffs her allies with Mercy-like damage-boosting beams.
She can also deploy a protective barrier that's shaped like Reinhardt's but works on a cool-down like Winston's. Her alternate fire, charmingly called "Halt!," deploys a ball of energy that pulls enemies toward it when it detonates, kind of like a mini version of Zarya's graviton surge. Finally, she has a defensive ability called "fortify" that temporarily increases her damage resistance and makes her immune to any kind of movement-impairing effects, like knockback, stuns and freezing.
Her toolkit, which is kind of a Frankenstein-like mashup of other heroes' abilities, makes her a really intriguing hero who has the potential to become a main staple of any Overwatch team. Whether you're about to hop into the Public Test Region to try Orisa out for yourself or simply want a leg up on the competition once Orisa goes live in a week or two, we've assembled a list of tips and tricks to help you get started.
Overwatch Orisa: Gameplay footage of the new hero
First, to give you an idea of how this beautiful robotic centaur plays, here's a nice long chunk of gameplay.
Alright, now that you have a basic understanding of how her abilities work, let's get into the good stuff: strategies for ensuring your victory.
Overwatch Orisa: Gameplay, abilities, tips and tricks for the new hero
We haven't yet had a chance to play Orisa, but there are plenty of players sharing their strategies online. Here are the best tips and tricks we've come across so far. This is a great collection of tips from Rawflax on Reddit, edited lightly for accuracy and clarity:
• Orisa has a constant and unchanging spread, meaning burst fire is useless. You should simply hold down left-click when shooting at a target at any range. Unlike many other spread-fire heroes, the first shot is not accurate and can fall anywhere within the spread pattern.
• Fortify does not cancel stuns/charges/sleeps in progress. It can only stop [a crowd-controlling effect] before it happens. However, it does get you out of things like graviton surge and Mei's freezes (before you are fully frozen).
Now, because Orisa is still brand-new, there are lots of weird quirks and bugs on the PTR that make some of her abilities not work exactly as intended. For example, her damage-boosting supercharger is supposed to synergize and stack with Mercy's damage-boosting beam, but that is not the case right now.
Overwatch Orisa: Known issues with the new hero's abilities
Here's the full list of known issues affecting Orisa on PTR, per Blizzard's site:
• Additional voice lines are currently not listed in the hero gallery or unlockable.
Orisa will probably stay on PTR for a week or two before making her way into Overwatch in a future update. Once that happens, we'll let you know.
More Overwatch news and updates
For more on Overwatch, check out the rest of what Mic has to offer. Here is a list of our predictions for what seasonal events might appear in 2017, a look at a very funny but naughty meme on the Overwatch subreddit, an interview with the creator of an awesome new Overwatch zine, a full explanation of the different types of health in Overwatch, our definitive ranking of every Overwatch hero, a roundup of awesome gender-bent Overwatch cosplay and a giant Overwatch FAQ for beginners.