Overwatch Orisa
Overwatch hero Orisa in promo art for the game. Blizzard

There was quite a lot of buzz around Overwatch's 24th hero Orisa before developers Blizzard revealed her to the world, which is a stark difference to 23rd hero Sombra. The Mexican hacker was arduously hinted at for months, and the ARG set up to reveal information about her left a bitter taste.

Android Orisa instead lands with nothing but enthusiasm among fans. Her reveal was perfectly timed and executed, with excitement and speculation brewing for just long enough to capture the community's imagination.

As she's just a short time away from being released into the live version of the game, here's a guide to help you out with who she is, what she does and why she's just what the game needs right now.

Who is Orisa?

Orisa is the creation of 11-year-old genius Efi Oladele. Oladele resides in the African city of Numbani, where humans and android Omnics live in harmony and where she's one of the great minds in robotics.

After winning a grant for her work, the inventor's parents take her on a trip to celebrate... or at least that was the plan. While at the airport, Oladele witnessed an attack by Doomfist which caused a great deal of destruction. This attack then spurned the genius on to create Orisa with her new found grant.

Built from part of a security bot known as an OR15, Orisa was created for the sole purpose of being a protector in Numbani. Her primary function is to keep its citizens safe from attacks just like the one Doomfist perpetrated.

What does Orisa do?

So now you know who she is, here is a breakdown of the character's abilities and how she fits in to the game as a whole.

Tip: If you are on the other team, this drum can be destroyed. It usually makes sense to take it out first before a team fight gets away from you.

Overwatch Orisa
Orisa and her creator Efi Oladele in an introductory animation released alongside the character's announcement Blizzard

Orisa excels at both protection and messing with the other team. Keeping barriers on the field at a near constant rate is powerful, especially if you consider it can be thrown. This means that while she can help push a payload or defend a 'choke' on a map, she can also use her shield in versatile and surprising ways. This will really keep an enemy team guessing, and on their toes, like no other tank does.

Her kit is quite broad, with no two abilities serving similar purposes, meaning she isn't a straight 'protector', 'harasser' or 'buffer'. Instead she does a little bit of it all, allowing her some diversity on the battlefield. Still, she will almost always be most effective as an anchor tank.

Why does Overwatch need Orisa?

This is an important question. Orisa is actually a pretty wild character and she doesn't really fit an 'archetype' for a hero-based multiplayer game. Still, there is nothing about her kit, or why she was designed this way that's a mistake. Overwatch needed a character like Orisa.

While, for large portions of Competitive Season 3, tank play became quite important to the meta – with the use of three tanks dominating for a while – the tank class was missing options. D.Va, Winston, Roadhog and to some degree, Zarya, are more 'secondary tanks', that have high health but aren't necessary characters that dictate and protect your team as a pure tank should.

For that, there's only really Reinhardt, and that became a problem. Especially in the higher ranks of the game, Reinhardt is probably the most consistently chosen character. "You have to have a Reinhardt" was just law, because he was the only one a team could play around while being protected.

Orisa was needed to add a new 'anchor tank' to the fold. If one character is a near certain choice for most teams, and it's thought you need them to win, that is a problem for a game like Overwatch. I'm sure Blizzard are hoping that their 24th hero can add some diversity when it comes to the core tank role in the game, giving the German super machine a rest now and then.

It's worth adding that the feeling around the community is that Orisa won't be a straight 1-to-1 swap with Reinhardt. Her barrier is much weaker and will protect fewer players overall. However, it adds choice and depending on the team composition – such as a well-oiled 'dive composition' which is about engaging quickly and forcefully – some might appreciate Orisa's barrier versatility a little more.

Or perhaps frighteningly, a team might want the ultimate survivability and pick both Orisa and Reinhardt. That certainly would be a durable team.

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