Take a look back at the game when it was initially announced. Twelve unique heroes, 6v6 team-based gameplay, a vague story set on a post-robot apocalypse Earth about a peacekeeping organization that was dismantled and the world's need for more heroes to fill the void. Aside from their interactions in-game, we didn't have a clear sense of the relationships between the heroes.
The heroes that we saw added to the roster between announcement and launch all generally followed a similar trend of having little connection to one another (with the exception of Junkrat and Roadhog, who have always been a package deal, but who together represented a facet of the world that hadn't been revealed yet). Blizzard was widening the foundation before laying down the frame of the house it was building. Which is why it's notable that Genji was one of the last heroes added to the roster before launch; he provided a link between the Overwatch organization and Hanzo that otherwise didn't exist.
The progression of how post-launch heroes represent this creeping expansion of the game by building on existing links to other heroes shows how Blizzard is beginning to build on the wireframe foundation they initially established.
- Ana – An Overwatch veteran, connected with many of the other Overwatch-affiliated heroes, and who provides a key link for Pharah.
- Sombra – A Talon operative associated with Reaper and Widowmaker, who is positioned as an adversary for Zarya, linking HER into the narrative.
- Orisa – Positioned more as connective tissue for Numbani, Orisa also laid the groundwork for Doomfist's subsequent introduction.
- Doomfist – Referenced in the announcement cinematic, he's quickly become one of the chief antagonists of the setting.
- Moira – Her inclusion built a bridge between Overwatch, Blackwatch, and Talon, building up links to all of the characters in-between.
- Brigitte – Reinhardt's squire and Torbjörn's daughter provided a key link between the old heroes of Overwatch and the "more heroes" all-call from the announcement cinematic.
- Wrecking Ball – Another refugee from Winston's home on the moon, who coincidentally provided a connection to Junkertown, which was otherwise completed cut off from the narrative.
- Ashe – Introduced as part of expanding McCree's backstory with the Deadlock Gang.
- Baptiste – Baptiste presents a big reversal, since he's positioned as an ex-Talon soldier who turns away from doing evil, rather than a hero who falls to darkness. And while his initial reveal seemed like it was only expanding on Talon's facet of the narrative, now it appears to be creating more connective tissue with the Overwatch story by giving him a connection to Mercy, in addition to building bridges to other future potential adds like Mauga and Nguyen.
This is just one facet of the franchise as a whole, without even looking at the cinematics and comics and Archives events. But as all of these connections are made, we get closer to a critical mass where the story HAS to move ahead.
If Overwatch (the team-based PVP shooter) is the playground where all of these ideas meet, then it's entirely reasonable that Overwatch 2 (whatever form it takes) is an expression of these connections coalescing into a story.
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