We finally know the 32nd hero who will join the Overwatch team very soon. Expected by the fans — since her first appearance in "Reunion", the cinematic featuring McCree — Echo will enlarge the ranks of the organization now led by Winston.
This robot — described as an evolutionary robot programmed with a rapidly adapting artificial intelligence, versatile enough to fill multiple battlefield combat roles — is endowed with new capabilities that could well change the game once mastered.
After being released on the PTR, Echo is finally available on the live servers since April 14 at 11:00 am (PT).
Echo fires 3 shots at once, in a triangle pattern
Echo fires a volley of sticky bombs that detonates after a delay
Echo surges forward quickly, then can fly freely
Echo channels a beam for a few seconds, dealing very high damage to targets with less than half health
Echo can glide while falling
Echo duplicates a targeted enemy hero and gains use of their abilities
- Real Name: Echo
- Occupation: Multirole Adaptive Robot
- Base of Operations: Switzerland (formerly)
- Affiliation: Overwatch
"It’s good to be back."
An evolutionary robot programmed with a rapidly adapting artificial intelligence, Echo represents the cutting edge of technology. As you may have guessed, her role will be to go to the front and therefore be a damage hero.
To chart the origins of the Echo project, it is important to delve into the personal history of Singaporean scientist Dr. Mina Liao, who would later become perhaps best known as one of the early members of Overwatch. But prior to joining the organization, Dr. Liao was widely considered one of the preeminent experts in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence, and an employee of Omnica Corporation. There she worked on the team that was responsible for the design and creation of the omnics that would ultimately wage war against humanity during the Omnic Crisis. Ultimately, it was this expertise that led her to be recruited into Overwatch to help stop her creations.
Even that catastrophe was not enough to dissuade Liao of her firmly held belief in the potential artificial life and its power to transform the lives of humanity for the better. She dreamed of improving upon the original omnic designs. These theories would become the foundation of the Echo project. However, due to Overwatch’s restrictions on artificial intelligence research and development after the Omnic Crisis, Liao was forced to limit Echo’s capabilities.
What she created was a multirole, adaptive robot that could be programmed to learn different functions: anything from medical support to construction: but had serious limits to its independent decision making. Critically, Echo had multiple layers of protections, failsafes, and security to keep it under control. Echo was used successfully on test missions alongside Overwatch strike teams, but Overwatch leadership was reluctant to put it into full service.
However, the truth was that Liao had programmed Echo with a powerful, general artificial intelligence that learned by observation. After thousands of hours in the scientist’s presence, much of Liao’s behaviors (including her speech), were adopted by the Echo robot. This secret that was known by very few, including Blackwatch agent Jesse McCree, who had, at times, been assigned to guard the scientist. When Liao was killed in attack on an Overwatch facility, Overwatch’s leadership was reluctant to continue pursuing such a dangerous project, and all development on Echo was shut down, and the robot was placed into quarantine.
After the fall of Overwatch, Echo was transferred to the control of the United States government. It was being transported to a secure facility in the American Southwest when the notorious Deadlock Gang attempted to steal it. McCree intervened and freed Echo, sending her to help Winston in his efforts to rebuild Overwatch.
Having joined up with the new Overwatch team to defend Paris against the Null Sector incursion, for the first time, Echo is seeing action as a full-fledged team member. But as she is exposed to new people, new ideas, and new situations without Dr. Liao to guide her, no one knows how she might evolve in the future.
Discover the Origin Story of Echo, the all-new hero that will soon be available in-game. Designed by Dr. Mina Liao, this robot now works within Overwatch alongside Winston and Tracer to keep the ideals of its creator alive.