Overwatch‘s roster of heroes has reached 30 with the reveal of its newest hero, Baptiste. Baptiste is a support-class hero, albeit with an emphasis on gadgets and buffing allies. A short trailer detailing his backstory has also been produced.
Baptiste was a Haitian orphan from the Omnic Crisis, who learned combat medic skills serving in the Caribbean Coalition military. Afterwards, he became a Talon operative, until he became disgusted by Talon’s brutality and corruption and left in order to use his skills to help those impacted by the war. Although he has been hunted by Talon for leaving the organisation, he continues to use his skills to heal who he can and fight who he must.
In terms of abilities, Baptiste’s primary weapon is a sub-machine gun that can either fire bullets or healing rounds depending on the magazine. His first ability is Regenerative Burst, which delivers a large amount of healing over time to himself and others. His other ability is immortality Field, which spawns a drone that prevents all nearby allies from dying. Finally, his Ultimate, Amplification Matrix, creates a rectangular field which doubles all damage and healing by friendly projectiles that passes through it.
Baptiste is certainly a different flavour of support hero to Overwatch’s other Supports, especially how he is able to keep his allies fighting with Immortality Field, and significantly buff his allies’ abilities with his Ultimate. He joins a number of other heroes released after launch, such as the engineer Brigitte, the gunslinger Ashe, and of course everyone’s favourite hamster Wrecking Ball.
According to an interview with The Verge, lead hero designer Geoff Goodman states that Baptiste was created 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.” He acknowledges that, with Overwatch’s ever-expanding cast, it can be difficult to find ways to make heroes unique and not overlap with abilities and gameplay niches. However, Goodman believes that Baptistes unique healing abilities, combined with his combat skills, will give players new strategic options to pick from.
Blizzard’s ongoing support of Overwatch has been a strong reason for Overwatch’s popularity, with regular updates adding new characters, locations and skins, usually free of charge. With this new hero becoming available soon, there has never been a better time to jump back into Overwatch.