Recap: Rejoice Overwatch healer mains, Blizzard has announced the newest hero for popular shooter Overwatch. Baptiste is a Haitian combat medic who grew up during the Omnic Wars as an orphan. The new support oriented hero makes a compelling reason to play as a support despite the dominance of tank and damage dealing Overwatch heroes.
Baptiste was forced to join the mercenary group Talon (whose members also include Reaper, Widowmaker, and Sombra) to survive and has since learned how to adapt to various situations.
Last year saw the release of Brigitte, Reinhardt's dutiful engineer; Ashe, the leader of the Deadlock gang; and Wrecking Ball, a genetically modified hamster who basically rides in a giant ball of death. However, only Brigitte was in the support class which is crucial to competitive team play.
As a support character, Baptiste seems to slot somewhere between Ana and Lucio. His abilities include:
- Biotic Launcher: A three-round burst with significant damage output that can also heal allies by lobbing projectiles near them.
- Regenerative Burst: Heals himself and allies over time.
- Immortality Field: Uses a generator to create a field around himself that prevents allies from dying.
- Amplification Matrix: Creates a "matrix" that doubles the damage and healing of any friendly projectiles that pass through it. For example, if Ana shoots a healing dart through the matrix, the dart's healing power will increase when it hits an ally.
- Exo Boots: Baptiste can jump higher by first crouching, then jumping.
Talking to The Verge, Overwatch lead hero designer, Geoff Goodman, liked the idea of a "gadget healer" hero: “We were playing with various gameplay concepts around deploying gadgets / devices as a way to support and heal your team. From a pure gameplay standpoint, this hero was built to both give support players new options and gameplay to support their team, and also to appeal to players who might not play support often.”
As an avid Overwatch player myself, I can personally attest to how frustrating it is when someone doesn't play healer. Given how large the character roster is, it can be tempting to simply pick your favorite DPS or tank character and go for it. However, not having a healer can prove devastating if the other team is particularly good.
“I think we’ll see Baptiste played with Ana for some longer range damage dealing and damage boost ultimate comboing,” says Goodman. “Ana can also fire through his ‘amplification matrix’ and get both boost healing and boosted damage, depending on who she hits. I also think its possible we’ll see Baptiste paired with Bastion, which can be really scary when you can buy him precious time with ‘immortality field’ and boost his already scary damage with ‘amplification matrix.’”
Respawn's Apex Legends has taken the gaming world by storm by being surprisingly fun and polished. In fact, many Overwatch players may be lured by the similar hero shooter mechanics that Apex Legends has. That said, Overwatch has maintained a healthy competitive player base since its 2016 launch including winning best Esports game at the 2018 Game Awards.
For now, there isn't a concrete release date for Baptiste. However, PC players can try him out in the public test region (PTR) right now. Watch Baptiste's origin story below.