Update, 12 p.m. PT: Echo's abilities have been revealed and the robotic Damage hero is live on test servers right now. Their primary fire is a triangle-pattern shot, while they can also fire volleys of stick bombs, take flight, and channel a powerful beam.
Echo's Ultimate is the most intriguing part of their kit, though: Echo is able to duplicate a target enemy hero and gain use of their abilities. I'm looking forward to the antics that will ensue from multiple Wrecking Balls or Reinhardts running around.
You can play Echo right now by logging into the Public Test Realm on PC. The original story follows:
Echo is a robotic character who's appeared in a number of Overwatch shorts. Now, the character is finally making their debut as the next hero to join Overwatch.
After a number of teases on social media, Echo's origin story was posted yesterday, detailing the beginnings of Echo's character. The creation of Dr. Mina Liao, Echo is a "rapidly adapting artificial intelligence" that's taken on aspects of the doctor's personality. As the video notes, Echo is an "echo" of Dr. Liao's own life.
Echo was first seen in Reunion, a 2018 Overwatch short featuring cowboy McCree and introducing the outlaw Ashe. Echo popped up again a year later, in the cinematic "Zero Hour" announcing Overwatch 2. Now, after almost two years of dancing around it, Echo will finally join the roster.
We'll probably get a look at their abilities soon, preceding their appearance on the test and eventually public servers. Judging from their appearance in Zero Hour, it's looking like flight and some kind of sticky, explosive goo attack are possible powers for Echo.
Blizzard is currently working on Overwatch 2, a story-driven PvE sequel to 2016's Overwatch. While the narrative will be part of the new package, Overwatch players will still be able to play multiplayer even after Overwatch 2 launches. It's an idea that took some convincing, but it does mean that Echo will be available for players of both games once Overwatch 2 goes live.
No release date has been set yet for Overwatch 2, though it has been confirmed as coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.