The April 8 teaser for the next Overwatch Archives event, “Storm Rising”, has revealed a brand-new character that could potentially be a future hero.
The newest teaser for Storm Rising features an audio recording of a voice message left for Commander Morrison – a.k.a. Soldier 76 – by Sojourn, a previously unheard-of character.
While the teaser obviously offers hints about what’s coming up in the next iteration of the Archives event, it’s also given rise to speculation about who this new character is and what her role in both the story and the game itself might be.
So far, details relating to the character are non-existent outside of the teaser, but some deductions can be made.
It’s obvious that Sojourn is connected to Overwatch, although it’s not clear that she’s necessarily a field agent. Whatever her role, however, it seems she’s fairly high-ranking. Not only does the tone of her message to Commander Morrison imply that she’s at very least an equal, she also states she’s “putting Tracer in charge” of the planned mission.
The fact that she has the authority to plan, authorize and determine the command structure of an operation, despite the apparent reluctance of the Commander to put the Strike Team back in the field, suggests a high rank within the organization.
It does seem that Sojourn’s role isn’t purely organizational, however. With regards to the Strike Team, she says “I’ve been working with them and I know they’re ready”, which would imply that she has enough combat or tactical experience to help the team prepare. Alternatively, it could also suggest she performs an auxiliary role, perhaps as a psychologist.
> Accessing archived file...— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) April 8, 2019
Decryption status: IN PROGRESS
Target: Located pic.twitter.com/AUmV8LlUJc
It’s still far too early to tell whether Sojourn will be a playable character, but it’s certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that this could be the first glimpse of a future hero.
Sojourn already has more depth established than many of Overwatch’s more peripheral characters, with a voice actor and at least the foundation of a backstory presumably already worked out, and a strong likelihood that more details will emerge through the upcoming Storm Rising event.
If – though it’s still a very big if – Sojourn is being lined up as a future hero, it certainly won’t be for a little while that she actually appears in-game. Hero 30, Baptiste, has only just arrived himself, and assuming Blizzard follow their usual schedule, the next slot for a new release isn’t until the end of July.
That’s also assuming that Sojourn would be next in line, which is far from certain. Other potential candidates include Echo, the mysterious android seen in the “Reunion” animated short that Blizzard have confirmed will eventually be a new hero, although haven’t stated exactly when. There are also a variety of other named characters that have yet to be utilized but could be in the works as future heroes, the most popular perhaps being the Junker Queen.
Blizzard have also been known for deliberate misdirection, so it’s very possible that Sojourn’s role in the game for the foreseeable won’t extend beyond delivering some exposition, only being further explored if and when Blizzard decide to revisit the character.
Whatever the truth behind the mysterious Sojourn, it seems most likely that the “Storm Rising” event, due to kick off on April 16, will hold the answers.
Unfortunately, Storm Rising held few answers regarding Sojourn’s character, but Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan has announced that more information will definitely be coming in the future.
“Sojourn is a very big and important character in Overwatch so I’m really excited for our players to learn more about her. You’re definitely gonna see more Sojourn in the future.”
It also turns out that Sojourn is a character that Blizzard have had plans for since the beginning. Though it’s taken nearly three years since the game’s release for her name to be mentioned, Sojourn was actually seen – albeit very briefly – in one of the very first animated shorts.
“Sojourn is actually someone we teased – she was in the first Recall,” Kaplan said. “She was also in the Ana origin story where we showed the team lineup, she was one of the characters in that.”
Unfortunately for those particularly fascinated by Sojourn, it seems more details won’t be coming in the immediate future, as Kaplan also ruled her out as the game’s 31st hero.
Exactly when we will find out more about Sojourn remains to be seen, but it certainly seems she’s not just a peripheral supporting character who’s going to be forgotten about.