For being a stealth-based character, the announcement of Sombra was as subtle as a megaphone with firecrackers attached to it. Teased by Blizzard since June of this year, the company behind Overwatch (a game with homicidal Pixar-looking characters) finally announced her as a playable character for the Public Test Region on the PC next week.
So after five months with nothing but wild goose chases and an
increasingly frustrated fan base, was she worth it?
I guess you could say that.
While nothing short of the second coming of Christ could live up to the
expectations all the hype brought, Sombra brings a bigger sense of trolling
onto the field with her fully-automatic SMG and Internet-hacking skills.
For instance, her bread-and-butter ability, Hack, allows her to stop opponents from using all of their abilities for a short duration of time. This would serve no end of amusement as you stop Tracer users in their tracks from flitting around like annoying flies and turn pretty much any character into walking target practice. From the gameplay trailer, it seems that Hack can even stop opponents' ultimate attacks, but has a 12-second cooldown to make up for your tinkering with the opponents' game plans.
Apart from this, Hack can also disrupt first aid stations and prevent them from healing your enemies, making map familiarity less of an issue for allies. It can also mess with turrets, making end game TorbjÃ¶rn turret cams a thing of the past.
So what else can she do apart from turning your opponents into cannon
Well, she can go invisible. But instead of using this power to spy on people in the shower, Sombra can utilize this staple superhero ability to get behind enemy lines and give them a good reach-around.
Thermoptic Camo has a 6-second cooldown (as based on the trailer) and
ends either when the allotted time is finished or by attacking, using your
abilities, or getting attacked. This makes you play a bit more stealthily than
other characters and forces you to find alternative routes to flank enemies.
Oh, if only there was a way to teleport...
And there is.
Translocator allows Sombra to throw out a beacon which she can teleport
to as long as it is active. With a 6-second cooldown between teleports and the
ability to relocate even in mid-flight, I can already picture players
attempting to reach areas that were previously available to characters with
jetpacks, wings, or crazy Spider-Man abilities.
And then there's her ultimate ability, EMP. If the 12-second cooldown of Hack seems a bit bothersome, EMP more than makes up for it by letting you explode, creating a blast that instantly destroys all enemy barriers and shields while preventing those caught in the radius from using their abilities.
I don't know how other characters will be able to counter such an overpowered ability, but in my experience, it always pays to shoot first and hope that your enemy panics and fires their ability wildly in the opposite direction.
Not content with just showing off her abilities, Blizzard has gone gung-ho on the announcement (perhaps to appease those who wasted a good five months of their lives searching for a character that would be revealed nonetheless) and released not one, not two, but three videos regarding the Mexican hacker.
The first one was the gameplay video at the start of this article, and
shows all of her new abilities. It's the next two videos that take the lore of Overwatch one step forward and show just
how Sombra came to be and what she does, apart from giving hair salons a run
for their money.
This video shows off Sombra's origins. From a girl sitting in a chair to a woman sitting in a slightly bigger chair, she was a victim of the Omnic Crisis (which is the game's version of robots going against their human masters) as were countless other children.
With an affinity for hacking and a severe lack of cleaning habits, she worked her way up to the seedier parts of the world and became the neon-wearing hacker we finally know today. Take note that at the 1:22 mark, you can see various faces that are still left out, hinting at a couple more characters that may be revealed (hopefully at a better pace than the build-up for Sombra herself).
The last video is an animated short titled "Infiltration". This sees Sombra along with Reaper and Widowmaker attacking Volskaya Industries. With the multiethnic team of mercenaries attacking the compound, we see that Sombra is actually a double-crossing, no-good piece of work.
She blackmails the CEO of the company with pictures of her doing business with the Omnics and relays to her teammates that the mission was a failure, revealing her own ulterior motives to have someone powerful on her side that isn't Donald Trump.
That's all we have now for Sombra, I'm afraid, but considering all this information came out in a day, that's actually a lot to digest. There will no doubt be more information on her as time goes on, and considering that the announcement more than satisfied fans who were doing everything short of breaking into Blizzard headquarters itself, Sombra is turning out to be one essential offense character who will turn Overwatch into a bona fide "hack-and-slash" game.