Jeff Kaplan joined popular Twitch streamer Timothy “TimTheTatman” Betar to introduce us to the 32nd Overwatch hero, Echo. Jeff Kaplan showed off Echo’s abilities and playstyle in front of over 120,000 viewers on Twitch.
Tomorrow at 10AM PT, join @timthetatman, along with Game Director Jeff Kaplan, as we get the first look at Overwatch's newest hero: Echo.
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) March 18, 2020
Many people expected Echo to be a support hero, however, she instead turned out to be a 200 health DPS hero. If this introduction is anything to judge by, her kit will focus on high mobility and damage. Obviously, her abilities are open to change between now and release, after all that’s the point of the Play Test Region (PTR).
Primary Fire – Tri-shot
Trishot fires three bullet projectiles. Each projectile does 17 damage while adds up to 51 damage per blast if you hit all three. There is no damage falloff for Tri-Shot. She can fire 15 shots before having to reload.
Secondary Fire – Sticky Bombs (6-second cooldown)
The Sticky Bombs ability fires a volley of six AOE projectiles, which do five damage on impact, and 31 damage each upon exploding after one second. There is no range limitation on Sticky Bombs, they can fly indefinitely until landing on a target.
Left Shift Ability – Flight (6-second cooldown)
Her shift ability allows Echo to hover and fly for three seconds. The ability allows players to move in any direction after activation. Like Mercy, Echo can slow her fall using the space bar to control her descent.
Jeff explained that Echo falls much faster than Mercy and she brings much more horizontal movement. She also isn’t limited to flying to teammates. Jeff likened the glide ability to a hang glider.
Alternate Ability – Focusing beam (8-second cooldown)
Echo fires a powerful beam that lasts several seconds with a range of 20 meters. The beam deals 50 DPS normally and 200 DPS to targets under half health. The ability also works on barriers. There is no damage falloff on Focusing Beam, though 20 meters in a pretty limited range.
Ultimate Ability – Duplicate
According to Jeff Kaplan, Echo has the slowest ultimate generation in the game. Her ultimate allows you to pick any enemy player to duplicate. When an enemy is duplicated, Echo is able to play as that enemy hero and build their ultimate ability almost instantly.
“While you are that enemy you have accelerated ultimate generation,” Kaplan explained. “The ultimate lasts 15 seconds, and the ultimate gain is 650%”
If you die during Echo’s ultimate, you don’t revert to Echo’s normal form rather than being sent back to the spawn.
Functionally this ultimate allows Echo to become a Tank or Support for 15 seconds, which can make Overwatch matches more dynamic. Jeff pointed out that we rarely get to see DPS heroes in Overwatch League play as non-DPS heroes, but with Echo’s ultimate we will finally get to see what OWL DPS players like Ethan “Stratus” Yankel can do as a Reinhardt.
When Echo uses an enemy ultimate while in their duplicated form, she says their ultimate voice line in sync with the original voice line for the character she has duplicated. Although this feature doesn’t change the gameplay, it is a very fun and unique sound design choice.
Jeff Kaplan emphasized Echo’s mobility and high damage potential. When TimTheTatman started showing off her abilities in the training room, Jeff explained that she is “kind of in the Tracer category of fluid mobility.” Her flight ability is her only defensive escape ability, with every other ability focusing on raw damage.
Her ultimate ability allows you to embody an enemy hero for 15 seconds and build their ultimate almost instantly. This is a game-changer. The impact of her ultimate is only limited by your own creativity and the heroes that the enemy team has selected. Due to the 650% increase in ultimate generation speed, if properly executed Echo is actually able to charge and use multiple ultimates as some duplicated characters.
It’s hard to declare a definitive playstyle for a hero who isn’t fully released yet, but it seems like her playstyle is all about doing damage from unexpected angles using her flight ability combined with her stick grenades, primary fire, and beam weapon. TimTheTatman also used her flight ability to escape after aggressively pushing enemy heroes. If you cycle her abilities strategically, you will almost always have a high damage ability ready to use.
Echo is a robot programmed with “rapidly adapting artificial intelligence” created by Overwatch affiliated Dr. Mina Liao. According to Echo’s origin story cinematic, Dr. Liao was closely involved in the creation of omnics for the Omnica Corporation and was a founding member of Overwatch. To learn more about Echo’s backstory, check out our previous coverage of Echo’s origin story here.
For PC players, Echo is currently available to play on the PTR.