They really went and did it.
Think Overwatch’s hero design has gotten a bit dull lately? Well, you’re in for a treat. Blizzard has just revealed hero 28, which validates a totally out-there fan theory shared over the past few days that the long-awaited Hammond is not an escaped monkey like Winston, but instead, a hamster.
Welp, Hammond is a hamster.
Blizzard revealed Hammond today in a short ten second teaser that shows a mecha-ball rolling up, unfurling machine guns and legs, and then none other than a giant hamster pops out of the top of it. It took me a solid hour to research this to figure out it wasn’t a joke, as I thought Blizzard may be trolling due to recent fan theories, but I don’t think this is the case. I think this is actually hero 28. Amazing.
The theory spawned a few days ago when the “rolling ball” teaser was first shown off on Twitter. The idea pieced together other clues, like emails exchanged between scientists on the moon base that Hammond had escaped, but they didn’t seem particularly worried about it. You would worry about a chimpanzee roaming around a base on its own. A hamster? Not so much. Also, there are carrots in Hammond’s cage and blocks with nibble chunks bitten out of them. I’m not sure the theorizer even believed their own idea, but it turned out to be true all the same.
Blizzard has been promising a new mech-based hero for a long while now to join D.Va, but everyone was assuming it would be a new monkey in a mech, not a hamster, clearly. I have many questions about this, namely whether Hammond is smart like Winston and can talk, and if he’s really large, or this mech is really small. Also, like D.Va, can he be blown out of his mech and have to fight in hamster form? That seems unlikely.
I will say this reminds me a little bit of Battleborn’s Toby, a tiny penguin strapped into a mech suit in order to fight, but Toby was obviously far from the first tiny creature to be tasked with controlling a mech in pop culture. But in the hero shooter genre, I’ll give Battleborn credit for getting there first.
Now that the cat is out of the bag (well, hamster…out of the ball), we should probably get some more detailed info about Hammond soon enough, including what his kit is going to be like. Mech usually implies defensive hero, but if this thing is small and fast, I suppose it’s possible that he could be an attacker instead.
I love that Blizzard is thinking outside of the box here, and if this turns out to be some kind of very elaborate joke I’m going to be very upset. But I think this is actually happening.
Update: Hammond is now live on the PTR, and his official name is “Wrecking Ball” which uh, sure okay.
Here’s everything Blizzard just released about his kit, along with a new video:
Be warned, heroes:
“Do not anger the hamster!”
Rolling into the fray with his newly upgraded battle mech, the champion of the Scrapyard—Wrecking Ball—our newest Tank hero, is ready to flatten foes and bulldoze frontlines on his way to victory!
Hammond, also known as “Specimen 8,” was genetically modified during his time on Horizon Lunar Colony and, like Winston, was granted increased size and intelligence as a result. He is a witty and conniving creature that loves to cause mischief. During the rebellion on Horizon, he secretly attached his escape pod to the back of Winston’s ship, hitching a ride to planet Earth to save himself from imminent destruction. He crash-landed in the Australian Outback near Junkertown, and over time upgraded his escape pod into a formidable mech, soon becoming a force to be reckoned with known as Wrecking Ball. He doesn’t speak any human languages, but his mech automatically translates his voice in a fittingly menacing tone.
Wrecking Ball brings a plethora of unique traits to the roster of tanks available in Overwatch. He can switch between a bipedal Combat mode with high-capacity machine guns and a Roll mode allowing him to cruise through maps and enemies alike with great speed. Entering the fray, his large health pool and shield-generating capabilities give him resilience when initiating and finishing battles. If that wasn’t scary enough, he can climb and swing on surfaces using his Grappling Claw and perform Piledrive, a devastating ground smash, to enemies below. In addition to setting up Piledrive, Wrecking Ball’s Grappling Claw enables him to reach top speed. Top speed increases his basic movement speed, damaging and knocking back foes in his path. His ultimate ability Minefield is just as versatile, allowing him to set a trap and control routes, or simply trigger a large area-of-effect explosion for enemies in the immediate vicinity.
Quad Cannons: Wrecking Ball fires machine guns
Adaptive Shield: Grants Wrecking Ball a number of temporary shields based on the number of enemies nearby
Roll: Wrecking Ball transforms into a sphere with increased speed
Grappling Claw: While in Roll mode, Wrecking Ball can launch a short grappling hook to attach to surfaces, swing around, clear gaps, and move upwards. Using this ability allows Wrecking Ball to gain momentum, dealing damage and knocking back enemies upon impact
Piledriver: Wrecking Ball slams down from the air, pulling enemies towards the center of impact and dealing damage
Minefield (Ultimate): Wrecking Ball litters the ground around him with damage-dealing proximity mines