Overwatch

Overwatch Echo art reveals scrapped alternate look and abilities

by Brad Norton

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While Echo appears to be one of the most powerful additions to the Overwatch lineup in years, the hero could have been even more devastating based on these early designs.

As Blizzard gears up for the release of Overwatch 2, Echo appears to be the final new hero that fans will be able to experience for a good while.

With her jaw-dropping Ultimate and abilities, she’s certainly a force to be reckoned with, and could become a staple inclusion across the board. Despite how powerful she appears, it turns out she could have been far more devastating. Early designs have unveiled a few abilities that didn’t quite make the cut.

Blizzard Entertainment
Echo's original designs reveal just how different the character could have looked.

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Unveiled on March 20, Echo is the latest Damage-based hero and drops into battle with a shockingly unique set of abilities. From a duplicating Ultimate that mimics other heroes, to a powerful Focusing Beam and even the option to fly in and out of combat, Echo could be an instant-lock moving forward.

However, while the hero has remained similar in design throughout the years in development, Echo once came equipped with a few abilities that may have pushed her beyond the realm of being fair and balanced.

Prominent community member ‘OverwatchNaeri’ shared a few early looks at the character in a March 23 Tweet, following on from a March 22 Stylosa video that showcased a wide array of functions and mechanics that didn’t quite make it through to the final version that we see today.

The hero also appeared in many different forms throughout her development, ranging from an entirely Omnic design to a more humane facial design.

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An early look at Echo's many different looks.

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Under the ‘attack ideation’ concept art, we get a glimpse of how the character was put together and which abilities were eventually scrapped.

From a Mega Man-esque Arm Cannon to fluid wings that could launch deadly projectiles, Echo’s entire kit could have been completely different.

Additionally, other concepts saw the hero phasing into multiple forms through an ‘echo image,’ while her wings came into play once again with the ‘wing boomerang’ projectile.

One of the more notable aspects of the early concept art, is that her Focusing Beam seems to have made it through to her current loadout. Rather than projecting the laser from her face, however, she currently charges the beam with her hands.

Blizzard
Echo's earlier abilities may have made the character too powerful.

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The early look at the character also unveiled five different ways that Echo’s ult could have come across in-game had Blizzard not settled on her current design.

‘Wing Scanner’ would have seen the hero transform into another character while wings panned down from head to toe. Meanwhile, the ‘Wing Wrap’ would have seen Echo transform into a cocoon of sorts and be reborn as a new hero.

The ‘Limb Transform’ animation would have harnessed her Omnic ways and disassembled each limb while rebuilding into a brand new hero. 

Perhaps these ideas were too challenging to implement in-game, or maybe the devs simply preferred the quick, efficient ‘Digitize’ concept we see today.

Blizzard
Echo's Ultimate once looked completely different.

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Originally a Support hero, these abilities could have been fit for a character in that role, but may have proved too powerful for the Damage build. 

As players familiarize themselves with Echo, the state of Overwatch could be thrown completely for a loop as strategies go out the window and the new hero shines until the release of Overwatch 2.