Many Overwatch fans find themselves anticipating the next hero to drop soon as we move into July. The release schedule of new Overwatch heroes usually fall around March, July, and November. While it would be nice to get more than just three per year, this helps to ensure that the dev team has time to carefully craft each hero.
While it would be nice to talk about who Hero 31 will be, I thought it would be fun to expand the list to cover the entire year to help broaden the spectrum. For the last three years, we have had plenty of characters introduced that have yet to be playable. It is entirely possible we can see one or two of them become playable this year, or we might even see the inclusion of someone brand new around Blizzcon. Either way, let’s sort out the cast and put together a small list of characters fans are eagerly awaiting to see jump into a playable status.
Before we get going, let’s cover the characters we know will not be Hero 31. While none of these characters will likely get a fancy trailer next month, there’s also a good chance we won’t see them be playable anytime soon.
Our mysterious robotic companion who continues to generate buzz since its introduction back at Blizzcon. While Jeff Kaplan of the Overwatch dev team confirmed that Echo would be a playable character in the future, she won’t be Hero 30 or 31. It is also fair to guess if she were to get an announcement, it would likely be at Blizzcon. But who knows if she will be ready by then. Heck, we don’t even know what kind of class she would be, since Jeff teased how she could easily be a DPS, Tank, or Support. So we’ll just have to wait and see where that takes us.
We’ve had this picture of the Overwatch Team since the beginning of the game’s launch. Up until now, we didn’t know who either of the two characters on the far ends were, until the Storm Rising event put a name to a face. We know that the former Overwatch captain is still alive since she was briefly shown in Winston’s recall and how she does have some cybernetic enhancements, but it was also confirmed that she won’t be Hero 31 either. Maybe next year?
With those two out of the way, we can look at some of the more likely contenders.
So to quickly get the obvious one out of the way, we have a man who will give the fans what they’ve always wanted: a Talon Tank. Mauga got his introduction through Baptiste’s short story from a few weeks ago, “What You Left Behind”. Now, at first glance, you could say he looks like Maui with dual machine guns, which would be a fair assessment from the few pictures in the story.
He is also a pretty big guy too as we can see him tower over Baptiste. We’ve had quite a few details shared with us about his character, like his short temper. Given the circumstances, it is entirely possible he could be coming in July — especially since we need more tanks in the game.
There’s a really good chance that Maximilien will never become a playable character in Overwatch, but many fans still cling onto the idea that we’ll have a playable evil omnic. Back during the Archives event, we had our first official in-game look at him, and he certainly looked spiffy in that suit. It’s obvious that he isn’t a fighter though, as towards the end of the event, we see him trying to scramble to escape, only to get caught. Still, the way he conducts himself, casually pushing Genji’s weapon aside, shows the kind of personality he has and how much fun it would be to see him interact with the rest of the cast. Who knows what playstyle he would have, but having another support omnic could be cool while being a polar opposite of Zenyatta.
Speaking of evil omnics…
Evil Unnamed Omnic
So who exactly is this character? While its appearance was as brief as Sojourn’s in the Storm Rising Event, many feel like this omnic could stand a better chance of getting into the roster due to being an unknown individual. It might play a bigger role in the rumored “Overwatch 2”, but the appearance of this character looking a touch “Reaper-ish” has many speculating if and when we could see it playable.
MEKA Squad Member
While D.Va’s cinematic short left a lot to be desired for those who want more lore, we did get a showcase of her fellow MEKA Squad members and how upon each one brings something interesting to the table. The Mobile Exo-Force of the Korean Army (MEKA) consists of five members and one Commanding Officer. While it is doubtful at the moment the Officer will be playable, we still have the other four Pilots to take into consideration. Each of the remaining MEKAs is in the Busan Map for players to look at, but you can tell just by looks alone what each one can bring to the roster.
Casino’s Green MEKA that looks to favor pure speed (as he was an F1 racecar driver), so he could be an extremely mobile DPS like Tracer. King’s Yellow MEKA has a variety of missiles on the shoulders, so he could be another DPS or even a tank like D.Va. Overlord’s Blue MEKA is certainly the most unique of the five, as it resembles a VTOL aircraft, without legs to walk around. A possible tiei-in with the Zerg Overlord, a levitating creature from StarCraft. Finally, there’s D.Mon’s Red MEKA she calls “Beast”, which seems even bigger than D.Va’s and has a green energy shield projector on its right arm.
Who knows if and when we will see a second MEKA pilot join the roster. All we know is that when they do, it will be fun to see if they’ll synergize with D. Va to change things up in the game.
The Junker Queen
A fan favorite ever since Junkertown, the Junker Queen seems to be what you get if Junkrat was to focus his insanity towards being a badass. The funny thing to consider here though is that unlike Maximilien, we don’t know for sure what she’d look like in-game. However, posters and one cameo appearance in Hammond’s origin story gives us a good idea of what she could be like. Considering how she used to have voice lines on Junkertown before “mysteriously” going missing with Wrecking Ball’s inclusion has many thinking that the Queen’s time could be upon us soon(-ish).
To wrap up this list, let’s turn our attention to one other Talon team member who has been hiding behind the scenes until now.
For the longest time, many players begged Blizzard to expand upon the stories for D. Va, Lucio, Symmetra, and Zenyatta. As briefly mentioned during the MEKA Squad section, D. Va’s Cinematic short did little to expand her involvement in the story while we have others who can be summarized in a two or three sentences (or one if you’re Zenyatta).
For Sanjay however, he continues to be the one unplayable character that holds the most connections to the most characters (besides Maximilien) and could add the reasons why characters like Lucio and Symmetra are in the game rather than just being characters with interesting backstories. We hear so much about the “Hardlight” technology and what it can do, but it feels like, with Symmetra, that’s as far as we can explore this concept. But Sanjay could be our “Echo” where he could play any role in the game and further showcase why the Vishkar Corporation is as dominant as it is.
Hopefully we find out sooner rather than later.
So What Do You Think?
There are plenty of other characters we can take into consideration besides the ones shown here. Perhaps it will be the guy from the Overwatch group picture who is a Talon member. Maybe it will be whoever Liao is since that’s a name that keeps coming up without any additional context. Or hell, Mama Hong continues to remain a character people continue to rally behind alongside with all the other hero concepts shown a while back ago.
The world of Overwatch continues to grow and when they continue to introduce more characters into the story, it continues to grow the list of possible characters we could see join the roster. While it would be nice to increase the number of new heroes by more than just three, who knows if any of the characters shown in this article will have a single mention during the 4th year of Overwatch (besides Mauga). Until we know for sure, it is fair to say we will be seeing teasers for the next hero coming up fairly soon. Of course, Jeff did say there would be changes to the event schedule, and that might interfere with the release of Hero 31.
Who do you think is Hero 31 will be? Anyone you hope to see become playable during the 4th year of Overwatch? And why hasn’t Blizzard considered boosting the Hero Output for the game yet? Leave your thoughts down below and be sure to follow us here at Culture of Gaming for more editorials about Overwatch and other things in the gaming world.