Guess what happened recently? Blizzard added Orisa. She is a robot built off of the OR15 defense models by Efi Oladele, a child genius. She’s a tank hero, something we’ve been craving for a while, and has some great attacks and abilities that help her to protect and serve. Also, she has a crossing guard emote that even turns her eyes red and green, which is pretty great. Seems like a character that would be difficult to dislike, right?
Well, this is the internet so yes, Orisa’s Overwatch debut wasn’t entirely well received. It isn’t that people are specifically against her. They’re against what she represents. No, I’m not talking about robots. I’m talking about women. People are concerned that Overwatch’s cast has too many members of the fairer sex.
Let’s go over how many heroes there are in Overwatch, shall we? There are 24 different kinds of people to play as in the game. (I use the term people losely, because Orisa, Bastion, Zenyatta, and Winston are special cases.) Of those 24 characters, 13 are male. They’re Bastion, Genji, Hanzo, Lucio, Junkrat, McCree, Reaper, Reinhardt, Roadhog, Soldier:76, Torbjorn, Winston, and Zenyatta. That means there are 11 women: Ana, D.Va, Mei, Mercy, Orisa, Pharah, Sombra, Symmetra, Tracer, Widowmaker, and Zarya. Well, that seems pretty even to me! Shall we call it a day and go home?
No? Okay. Let’s go a little deeper and explain why people are upset. The roster used to be even more unbalanced in favor of male characters. There are originally only eight female characters. Ana, Sombra, and Orisa have all been added to Overwatch, for free mind you, since the game launched. This means that some folks are upset that all of the additional characters brought into the world have been female. Is that a little unfair? Perhaps. While the general roster is all balanced, getting one extra woman after another as new heroes might get a bit old.
But then, we also have to think about the future of Overwatch. Look, Doomfist is coming. We know he’s going to be one of the game’s next characters. Blizzard’s been teasing us. Terry Crews has been teasing us. Doomfist’s gauntlet was even stolen during the attack that led to Orisa’s creation. We’re going to get a male character very soon, if not next.
This is a complaint about a temporary status. Yes, Overwatch’s additional characters have all been extra women added to the game. No, the game isn’t completely overwhelmed with female characters. The shooter is growing. There are times when it will be a bit unbalanced, in terms of gender, roster, specific character abilities, and other factors. What we need to do is show a little bit of patience during this adjustment period. Soon enough, we’ll have an equal and well represented cast of characters.
Image Credit: Choi tae hyun