Overwatch 2’s first season ends in about four weeks, and we’re already getting the first glimpse at what’s in store for season two, starting with an origin video for the new tank hero, Ramattra. (Sorry, Mauga hopefuls.) First teased in the Storm Rising PvE event in 2019, Ramattra will be the first new hero added to the game after Overwatch 2 launched on Oct. 4, and from the looks of things, he’s about to significantly expand Overwatch lore.
One of the biggest changes from the original Overwatch to Overwatch 2 is the addition of seasonal content as part of the game’s free-to-play model. Season one featured a cyberpunk theme and introduced the support heroat level 55 of the free battle pass for new players. Season two will introduce Ramattra and a new, as yet unannounced map that will have connections to the new hero. Early indications are that Ramattra will still be unlocked at level 55 of the free battle pass and instantly unlocked in the premium pass.
Exact gameplay details are still being kept under wraps, but in an interview with media earlier this week, Overwatch developers did confirm a few aspects of his gameplay. Most notably, Ramattra is a form-changing hero, similar to Bastion. His omnic form has a barrier and longer-range damage, but he can also transform into his nemesis form, making him a threatening melee character who can pierce barriers. According to the developers, Ramattra players will have to master the skill of when to change forms.
I asked what lessons about developing for 5v5 gameplay the team had applied to Ramattra’s design. Lead Hero Designer Alec Dawson talked about the game’s approach to tanks more broadly, saying, “One of our goals in Overwatch 2 in general is that they do have a level of self-sufficiency,” which Ramattra has in the form of crowd control and ways to protect himself in addition to his team.
Dion Rogers, the game’s art director, added, “In his nemesis mode, he’s so menacing and threatening — it suits 5v5 really well.”
We’ll get more details about Ramattra’s gameplay in the coming weeks, but there’s plenty to get excited about already. Ramattra’s reveal video has deep connections to the biggest conflict in the Overwatch universe — the Omnic Crisis. Warning: Lore deep dive incoming.
Omnics are a race of sentient robots, like the heroes Orisa and Zenyatta, many of whom have experienced discrimination at the hands of humans in countries around the world. Ramattra is the leader of Null Sector, a militant group of omnics that attacked humanity in a global uprising a few decades before the game takes place. The Overwatch team was originally formed to end the crisis by taking out the organization’s central command.
Overwatch succeeded in that mission, but would eventually be disbanded in disgrace in the years after the Omnic Crisis. The Overwatch 2 announcement cinematic shows a new attack from Null Sector, implying that Ramattra may be at the center of the main conflict in Overwatch 2 when the PvE game mode comes out next year.
The new hero also has close ties to an old favorite — the support hero Zenyatta. According to Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie, the game’s lead narrative designer, Ramattra was the omnic who brought everyone’s favorite omnic monk into the Shambali monastery, and the two became as close as brothers, though their paths eventually diverged.
Ultimately, Ramattra’s release on Dec. 6 should be the beginning of a new era for the Overwatch narrative — the beginning of answers to questions Overwatch fans have been asking for years, according to the devs. In the words of the team’s narrative lead, “Players will start to see what we’ve been planning all along….Secrets that players can explore and find out what we have in store for the coming years.”
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