The maps in Overwatch are filled to the brim with lore tidbits and details that not only add flavor to the game world, but also reveal information about the heroes themselves. Oftentimes, the maps are used to foreshadow upcoming hero releases, such as the payload on Route 66 changing to tease Echo or the destruction of the Numbani airport in anticipation of Doomfist. Many maps give background to a particular character or set of them. Examples of these would be Hanamura being home to Hanzo and Genji or Eichenwalde peering into Reinhardt’s tragic past.
The Archives event each year provides extra context to each map. Not only is King’s Row the site where Tracer and Widowmaker faced off in the “Alive” animated short, but also a major site in the Omnic Crisis with the Null Sector Uprising. And even though no heroes hail from Rialto, Reaper, McCree, Moira and Genji have been tied to it through Retribution. Though these add context to the lives of certain heroes, they are more geared towards the story of Overwatch as a team.
With Overwatch now having 32 playable heroes and only 28 maps, some heroes have been left mapless. Some are confirmed to be coming with Overwatch 2, such as Rio de Janiero for Lucio and Toronto for Sojourn. But here are the heroes still lacking, and thus are the best candidates for new releases:
The newest addition to the roster of playable characters, it is not that surprising that Echo does not have a map to call home. While she did appear in the “Reunion” cinematic, it is hard to say Route 66 belongs to her. The map itself does not really add anything to her story other than what is already known from the Reunion cinematic. Compare that to Numbani, where Doomfist’s destructive capability is shown in the attacker’s spawn, or the banners of Efi letting players know how important Orisa is.
Echo has much potential in her story that they will likely build on in the events of Overwatch 2. As far as maps tailored to her, they could use it to give more information about her creator, Dr. Liao. She has been a relatively unknown figure until Echo’s release, other than being a founder of Overwatch. A map around her research facility could hide many tidbits regarding her life leading up to Echo’s creation. Additionally, her home country of Singapore could be a prime location for a new map and new stories of the Overwatch team.
- Liao’s Facility
- Warehouse where Echo was quarantined (Arcade)
Being one of the more recent characters added to the game, it is not entirely surprising that he does not have a map to call home yet. This could also be due to the fact that hero 31 was supposed to be Mauga, yet the abilities did not fit so they made Sigma. His background is fairly fleshed-out yet the only connection to other heroes is that Talon was using him as a living weapon.
One of his voice lines indicates that he was on the Horizon Lunar Colony at some point. But there are so far no more ties to that map. The scientist hails from the Hague, so if Blizzard wants to take a map to the Netherlands this would be a great choice. Some of the areas in his past would have a bit smaller scope, such as his laboratory. These could be transformed into new maps in the arcade. A map showcasing a Talon hideout or secret facility could give a lot of extra info on all the characters aligned with the organization. Here are a handful of potential maps that could be made for him:
- Talon hideout (Could have rooms with personal belongings/details on all Talon members)
- The Hague
- Government detention facility that Talon breaks him out of
- The lab in the Hague (Arcade map)
- International Space Station where the accident went wrong (Arcade map with focus on low gravity)
Symmetra has gone through three reworks since launch as well as shifting from a Support hero to one that specializes in Damage. She works for the Vishkar Corporation, using hard-light technology to reconstruct cities and make them self-sustaining like Utopaea in India. They built this city to house the displaced populations following the Omnic Crisis and would make an incredible, visually unique map. As the hard-light architecture is able to change in an instant, which would make for an interesting map that changes as the match progresses.
Besides the architectural work with Vishkar, Symmetra also operates as a secret agent for them. She has gone on missions to secure the company’s interest, including a notable one in Rio de Janiero. This story played out in the comic, “A Better World.” While a Rio map is confirmed for Overwatch 2, it may be focused more on the Omnic Crisis and incorporating Lucio into the team. Though given the love Blizzard usually gives their worlds, a hard-light favela section is not out of the question.
- Rio de Janiero
- Vishkar Headquarters/Build site (Arcade Map)
Blizzard introduced Baptiste into the game back in March 2019. A few weeks later, the map of Havana was added with the Archives event. With the proximity of these two and him being of Caribbean origin, one could easily associate him with the map. Yet as far as the lore thus far goes, he has no attachment to it.
Looking for potential maps, a Talon base could fit several of these characters. As Baptiste was a former combat medic for Talon, this base could have an abandoned room containing some of his belongings or prototype Immortality Field. Or perhaps he’d be their main target to track down and have his face plastered on “Most Wanted” posters.
Going back a bit further, There could be Arcade maps that cover him abandoning Talon at Monte Cristi, or his encounter with Mauga at Port-de-Paix. His hometown of Port-de-Paix could also make a good flashback map. In this, they could show the destruction from the original Omnic Crisis and the events that caused Baptiste to pursue the Caribbean Coalition.
- Port-de-Paix after the Omnic Crisis
- Monte Cristi and the escape from Talon
- Sainclair’s Mansion from the short story (Arcade Map)
- Venezuela aid site where he meets Merch (Arcade Map)
- His clinic in Port-de-Paix (Arcade Map)
Honorable Mention: Reaper
Perhaps the most shocking of this list, Gabriel Reyes aka Reaper does not have a map to call his own. Despite being a crucial member of the story as a foil for Jack Morrison and the crux of Overwatch’s dissolution, none of the maps are callbacks to his story outside Overwatch. Sure, he played a major role in the botched Blackwatch mission on Rialto, but he was alongside McCree, Genji, and Moira. This map and mission tell about the team and their internal interactions with lots of clever quips and dialogue. But outside of the Archives event PvE mode the map holds no real lore or character details.
Reaper has appeared in many lore points, from animated shorts to comics and short stories. In the cinematics, he infiltrated Watchpoint: Gibraltar against Winston. He was also at Volskaya Industries with Sombra and Widowmaker, and the original cinematic attempting to steal the Doomfist Gauntlet. He was a main player in the terrorist attacks on the temple of Anubis, as well as Doomfist’s prison break. Despite that, his presence is not felt on any of the maps themselves.
Some potential map additions could include:
- Talon Hideout
- Overwatch Headquarters pre-explosion
- The Prison that housed Doomfist
- Moira’s Lab where she conducted the experiments on him (Arcade map)
Some may say that Soldier: 76 and Mercy also fit in this group, but they are at least a step closer to their maps. Soldier is linked to Dorado with his cinematic, plus there is a sign in Lijiang Tower reporting that he has been sighted there. Mercy has been in two events (Uprising and Storm Rising) and the Paris cinematic. Additionally, her ‘Valkyrie’ short story places her in the Temple of Anubis with the attacks on Cairo. Fans may want another map of her in Zurich or the Overwatch Headquarters with Soldier: 76. But it may be a long wait until that comes. The Game Haus will stay updated with any new lore additions or map/hero announcements.
Featured image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.
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