Blizzard Entertainment unveiled earlier this week its newest hero addition to Overwatch, Echo. Last year, rumors circulated throughout the Overwatch community regarding her role. The game’s lack of support heroes caused fans to theorize that she’d be a healer. However, it’s been revealed that Echo is the game’s 17th DPS (damage per second) hero and 32nd overall on Overwatch‘s roster. Her kit is one of the more versatile DPS kits in the game and features abilities never seen before in Overwatch, which we have covered at length. Of course, there’s more to every hero than their in-game abilities — let’s dive into Echo’s backstory and lore.
Who is Echo in Overwatch?
In today’s developer update, Game Director Jeff Kaplan discussed Echo’s lore and her context within the game’s universe. Singaporean scientist Dr. Mina Liao, an employee of Omnica Corporation, was known as one of the world’s leading experts in robotics and artificial intelligence. Her work with Omnica resulted in the creation of the omnics, who would eventually revolt against humanity, causing the Omnic Crisis. Dr. Liao’s in-depth understanding of the omnics led to her position as one of the founding members of the Overwatch organization.
Despite the devastating result of the Omnic Crisis, Dr. Liao held a strong conviction towards artificial intelligence and its potential benefits. She developed Project Echo, with hopes of improving the original omnic design. Echo’s skills were supposed to be limited by Overwatch’s restrictions regarding artificial intelligence. However, Dr. Liao designed her to be an adaptive robot with a wide variety of skill sets.
The unknown truth
Unbeknownst to the Overwatch organization, Dr. Liao programmed her robot with powerful artificial intelligence and keen observational skills. Through this, Echo adopted much of Dr. Liao’s personality and mannerisms. Her newfound skills were hidden from the majority of Overwatch, aside from Jesse McCree, who became close to Dr. Liao while protecting her and keeping the secret project. After Dr. Liao’s tragic death in an attack on an Overwatch facility, Project Echo shut down, and the robot put into quarantine.
Following the closure of Overwatch, the United States government gained ownership of Echo. As seen in the animated short “Reunion,” Jesse McCree convinced Ashe to help him free her from the government’s possession. McCree freed Echo from the payload cart in Route 66, reuniting Echo with Winston and the rest of the Overwatch organization.
Echo is now playable on the Overwatch Public Test Region.