Brigitte could have dropped into Overwatch as a completely different hero to the Shield-Bashing Support we know today, as new Blizzard artwork has revealed an earlier sword-wielding design.
Released in 2018, Brigitte immediately made her presence known in Overwatch. The Support hero was unlike anything else at the time and completely redefined the 6v6 meta with her controversial GOATS composition.
With a shield in one hand and a flair in the other, Brig is capable of protecting allies up close and dealing small amounts of damage from a longer range. However, this wasn’t always the case.
When work first started on bringing Hero 27 to life, Blizzard had other ideas in mind. As new concept art teased in The Art of Overwatch, Volume 2, revealed the daughter of Torbjorn once carried a sword into battle.
Before Brigitte’s default design was locked in, artists pitched a number of distinct looks for the hero. One featured a pickaxe as her weapon, while another included hefty, blue armor from head to toe.
Though one design featured in this preview for the upcoming book, slated to release on December 28, showcased Brig with a sword. This large melee weapon gave the character a “different flavor,” as Blizzard described.
With a flag, sword, and shield at the ready, it combined to “make this version of Brigitte feel like a character whom others rally around.”
This vibrant sword never quite made it into the game itself, existing purely as concept art for the popular hero. One key reason why had to do with Brig’s overall visual, Blizzard added.
“The armor or the colors or some of the shape design started to feel too futuristic,” they explained. “When we design characters in Overwatch, we always want them to be relatable to the player.”
Had this original concept made it through, there’s no telling just how different Brig might have played in-game. Without a flail, her range certainly would have been limited.
Though unique sword-based abilities could have carried the Support to the top of the meta just the same. We’ll have to wait and see if any new figures arriving in Overwatch 2 take inspiration from Brig’s initial design.