An Overwatch player has discovered a hidden Easter Egg on new map Havana that might hint at the identity of Storm Rising’s unknown hooded omnic, and perhaps even a greater mystery to be unraveled.
The latest in-game event, Storm Rising, introduced a new story mission in which an Overwatch Strike Team captured Maximilien, a high-level Talon operative and Doomfist’s accountant.
At the end of the mission, a cutscene shows Doomfist talking to a hooded figure, who at the end of the scene lowers their hood to reveal an omnic who hasn’t previously been seen.
The Storm Rising mission took place in Havana, and the location has also been turned into a multiplayer map that’s now available on the Public Test Realm (PTR). While exploring the new map, u/McManus26 noticed a newspaper featuring the title “Quién es Null Sector?”
This isn’t the first reference to Null Sector in the game – in fact, players who’ve played through the Archives event missions will have met them first hand. Null Sector is the organization of omnics that initiated the King’s Row Uprising, which Overwatch agents fought to put down in the first Archives event.
So far, this is the only interaction players have had with Null Sector, who at that time – seven years prior to the “present day” of the Overwatch world – were an entirely UK-based organization, as far as anybody knows at least.
It seems Null Sectors ambitions might be going international, however, if a report on them is surfacing in a newspaper in Havana.
This new reference to Null Sector would also line up with the theory that the mysterious hooded omnic seen at the end of the Storm Rising mission is in fact the leader of Null Sector. The character’s purple accents and Doomfist’s assertion that he “fights for [his] kind” already suggested a connection, and this new reference to the group only seems to solidify the idea that Blizzard are planting the seeds of new Null Sector storyline.
Those Overwatch players that didn’t play the game within the first six months of its launch may not be aware that the release of Sombra involved an extensive ARG (Alternate Reality Game) unlike anything that’s been done for another hero’s reveal before or since.
The ARG involved a series of clues and puzzles that could be decoded to form hints as to the identity of the new hero, found hidden in everything from Developer Update videos to in-game achievements.
It was a fascinating concept that fit perfectly with the narrative behind Sombra, a hacker of unmatched skill. Unfortunately, many fans ultimately felt that the ARG dragged on a bit, taking too long for a conclusion that was ultimately no more satisfying than any other hero reveal.
Perhaps as a result of the frustrations expressed by many players, Blizzard have refrained from repeating anything like the Sombra ARG, with hero reveals instead typically taking no more than a week between the first teaser and the full reveal.
But what’s the connection between Null Sector and the Sombra ARG? It’s a slightly tenuous one, but the very first reference to Sombra also came in the form of a newspaper, in this case found on Dorado, with an article titled “Quién es Sombra?”
While the similarity may be nothing more than an Easter Egg, it’s entirely possible that Blizzard are preparing for another more in-depth hero reveal. It seems unlikely that they’d go to quite the same extent as the Sombra ARG, but a middle-ground that offers players a trail to follow and a mystery to unravel could be on the cards.
If Blizzard were setting up such a mystery, using the leader of Null Sector as the central character would certainly make sense. The shadowy leader of an omnic terrorist group is perhaps the most ideal candidate for such a narrative, the most inherently secretive potential hero since Sombra herself.
Regardless of Blizzard's eventual intentions for Null Sector and the hooded omnic, it certainly seems that both will have a bigger role to play as the game’s story unfolds in the future.