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From the get-go, the Overwatch developers have stated that they consider story and lore to be one of the cornerstones of the game they’re trying to create. Taking their cues from Valve’s treatment of Team Fortress 2, the devs have worked to ensure that each character has a backstory, personality, and uniqueness that helps them stand out from all other characters.
They’ve done a great job overall; there are dozens of animated shorts, comics, and short stories, as well as the yearly lore-building events during Archives. But there’s a sorry trio of underrepresented heroes who have never appeared in any of it. This article is a solemn plea for Blizzard to show a little bit of love to the following:
Lucio has been all but invisible in any of the lore Blizzard has released for the past 3 years. We know basically nothing about his backstory stealing Vishkar tech or his apparent rivalry with Vishkar employee Symmetra. The historical storylines that took place in his homeland of South America (Symmetra’s ‘A Better World‘, Soldier 76’s ‘Hero‘, and Sombra’s ‘Origin Story‘ trailer) likewise don’t include him.
The closest thing Lucio has to expanded universe content is his real-world cereal, Lucio-Oh’s. And while Lucio-Oh’s are delicious, they don’t exactly answer the burning questions everyone has. How did he infiltrate and steal his sonic technology from Vishkar? Has Vishkar targeted him since he used his stolen tech to become a world-famous celebrity? Did his father really develop the tech, as he claims to Mercy?
Orisa is doing slightly better than the other two heroes on this list. This is in part thanks to her being a DLC character, meaning she automatically gets an Origin story trailer. Unfortunately, that’s literally all she gets.
While her creator Efi gets a few mentions here and there, and the OR-15 bots that inspired her design do appear in Doomfist’s backstory and the Null Sector uprising, Orisa herself is only a few months old. Therefore, we would need the plot to move forward in order for her to make any real appearances. But she’s far and away still doing better than our last entry.
You gotta feel bad for the Omnic monk. First, he suffers Omnic prejudice in his early life and spends his later years helping Genji come to grips with his cyborg body. Then he chooses to leave his monastic order and seek enlightenment on his own terms, as detailed in his character bio. But after that, who knows? Zenyatta has so little lore that when Wired interviewed Michael Chu about all the Overwatch heroes, they had to use a fanmade animated short for the background footage. There was just nothing else available.
The weirdest part about Zen is that his backstory doesn’t say anything about combat. Canonically, it’s possible he’s never fought anybody and his discord orb goes completely unused. This just contributes to how out-of-place he currently feels in Overwatch‘s narrative.
Lore-wise, you could delete all three of these characters and the storyline wouldn’t be affected in the slightest. That’s a really unfortunate place for a character to be, and I hope Blizzard will give them something, anything, in the future. Especially Lucio. He’s my favorite character, after all.