Delegating who to include in a video game’s title is quite a tedious task, but the majority of game developers have to face this challenge. Blizzard, known for their deep characters and lore, are no strangers to this, as the current lineup within Overwatch 2 reflects their thorough yet careful decisions to create a balanced, story-enriched cast.
Many factors must be considered to give the go-ahead for heroes. Some of these include their legacy within the established family’s history, their overall skills and what they bring to the title, their overall playability in and out of competitive standards, and even their relevance to issues outside of the gaming industry. Regardless, these cut-off seekers snuck into the title somehow, through hero re-works, all the way to completely altered variants.
10/10 Hive mind
Before the lucrative launch of Overwatch, Blizzard’s failed video game concept ‘Titanium“had triggered the springboard for a modern title,”Prometheus‘. Holding back many elements players see in today’s Overwatch, Prometheus showcased a wide variety of hero ideas, many of which are seen within the capabilities of the current roster.
Hive mind has a few aspects fans may notice in Blizzard’s title, one of which is similar to Moira’s facial structure. Although the connection to her is not official, some players agree that her features may have originated from this fascinating concept. In terms of visual appearance, the Hivemind’s bulky head armor could also have driven influence in a current hero design, Sigma. Despite his unfortunate block from entering the game, his name lives on through his shockingly similar hacking abilities seen in Sombra.
Regarding changed variants of heroes, Huntress takes the crown. Blizzard’s development team saw an opportunity during the creation of Overwatch, and used this Prometheus-based hero design for the birth of the acclaimed Hanzo.
Although looks may not match, and despite the crossbow being thrown, Huntress has almost identical abilities that fans see in Hanzo’s loadout. Her ‘Multishot‘ability was eventually reworked into Hanzo’s overwhelming’Scatter arrows‘, which would later be removed to make way for his’Storm arrows‘ the ability. Nevertheless, her denial of release ultimately proved successful.
As the name and face paint suggest, McCloud is an entire concept of Scottish nationality, which contrasts other character concepts. Granted, McCloud has no relationships within the concurrent cast available to players, but countering this would be his Easter Egg features within various map designs.
The ability’Stamped‘ could possibly suggest the appearance of a horse, which is further emphasized by Blizzard throughout the escort map‘The King’s Row’. Curious fans can see a painting of a Scottish clan, apparently led by McCloud on horseback, in the second attack,’Ascalon club‘. Despite being rejected, McCloud still takes on the saddles of Overwatch maps.
As for unreleased DPS (damage per second) heroes, Praetor can be seen as the basis for the emergence of Soldier: 76. With nearly identical abilities, Praetor’s Prometheus set release was leveraged to create, as some players would argue, one of the most effective characters in Overwatch’s roster.
Boasting skill sets such as “Tri-grenade” and ‘Hunter Visor’, this alluring concept would eventually make its way into the title through a hero change. Both abilities can be seen through Soldier: 76’s loadout, with its piercing ‘Helix Garnet’ and specify “Tactical Visor”which makes fans take advantage of Blizzard’s failed lineup.
Like most of Blizzard’s MMOs, earth elements are used in character personas as a way to introduce different dynamics and playstyles into the title. Overwatch is no exception to this. The hero May conjures up elements of snow and ice within the much-loved franchise, no doubt derived from the early, yet stunning, concept design that is Frost.
Fans of the quirky hero are mobilizing herIce wallability, blocks enemies from teammates and creates room for easy picks. Although not a direct confirmation from Blizzard, many players would dispute the fact that the unfortunate ban of Frost later paved the way for Mei’s overall triumph in the title.
5/10 Fire starter
Continuing with the elemental theme, the Prometheus-bound concept Fire starter was among the top heroes slated for the failed title’s release. As the name suggests, his fiery skill set posed quite a chaotic threat to the enemy team, but unfortunately failed to make the first cut.
Despite this, and while it’s unclear if it’s true, his disruptive elemental abilities could have helped Blizzard’s development team give birth to the hero Torbjørn. The molten state that Torbjorn phases into could be a direct link between the unreleased fantasy and the playable Swedish charm fans have come to love.
With its destructive kit and futuristic look, Troy is hailed by many fans as one of the earliest inspirations for Torbjørn’s daughter Brigitte. Troy’s design had nearly identical loadouts, and unofficially led Blizzard to create the 27th hero in Overwatch and implement a much-needed support character.
Tweaking the names of the abilities slightly gave Brigitte a powerful rise in the franchise, using her ‘Whiplash‘ to displace her enemies by force. Although conceptually created as a DPS hero, Troy’s name lives on through the supportive yet effective Brigitte.
3/10 Mama Hong
Arguably the most controversial hero concept for the Overwatch launch will be Mama Hong. With strong links to stereotypes such as authoritative Asian women, it was a no-brainer Blizzard decided to leave this one out, as it could have potentially caused an uproar in the community.
Vaguely presents her abilities, it is off ‘Murder’, a definitive conclusion of having no relation to the current Overwatch franchise can be drawn. However, some fans have strong feelings about her implementation of the precious hero pool already available.
2/10 Jetpack Cat
Overwatch prides itself on unique and abstract hero concepts, from a barbaric laser-wielding Russian all the way to a miniature hamster controlling a moving ball. That said, unphased fans were horrified to find out they could have driven a jetpack like a cat.
With later iterations of pet-based hero designs, Blizzard’s conscious choice to cut Jetpack Cat from the initial release of Overwatch came with a heavy heart, and felt like it disrupted the overall feel of the title. Despite this upheaval, the furry friend lives on in Torbjørn and Brigitte’s story, as it was revealed by Blizzard that their pet cat was once used by Brigitte to test the armor she built, striking players with the eternal hope that one day , their cherished wishes for this hero come to life see light.
Often mentioned in the Overwatch comics, Mauga is a recurring theme throughout Overwatch’s history. His strong ties to Baptiste The origin story has consistently left fans eager to see his release, with hopes that his tank-like abilities will crush enemy teams.
Swapped at the last minute for the release of Sigma, Mauga hasn’t been completely cut from the game, but rather teased for an introduction further down the line. This Talon-related persona portrays all the traits a tank possesses, and fans love the idea of his delayed implementation in the title.
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