Overwatch's Wrecking Ball Now Available, Gets Detailed Backstory

We've been waiting for a good challenger to come along in the Overwatch ranks, and now we've got him!

After being announced a little while back, the hamster by the name of Hammond, also known as Wrecking Ball, is now available for play in Blizzard's hit multiplayer shooter. He should automatically be added to the Hero roster the next time you start it up so you can jump in and do some major damage.

On top of that, the game's lead game producer, Adam Gershowitz, recently took to the PlayStation Blog to provide a very detailed backstory on the little hero and how his ingenuity could very well change the game. Here is some information from the piece.

"There's more to Wrecking Ball the hero than just a robotic ball armed with quad cannons, as some of you may already know," he explains. "Really, 'Wrecking Ball' is just a persona that was crafted by Hammond, a super-intelligent hamster, when he began fighting as a gladiator in Junkertown. To help explain the distinction between Hammond the hamster and Wrecking Ball the hero, let me step back a little bit to the beginning of the character's story.

"Hammond was Specimen #8 on Horizon Lunar Colony, which Overwatch players will recognize both as a playable map in the game and also the research facility that produced Winston, the gorilla scientist who's been part of the game's hero lineup since the very beginning.

"Based on Winston's history, some players may have assumed that all of the specimens at the Horizon Lunar Colony were apes, or at least primates. But here on our own Earth, humans have sent all sorts of animals into space over the years for a variety of different reasons -- cats, dogs, turtles—and we thought that would be something fun to explore in the Overwatch universe.

Wrecking Ball 2

"Hammond was another test subject at the lunar colony, but the experiments they conducted went a bit further than the ones they conducted on Winston. That's why Hammond isn't just smarter than a normal hamster; he's also much bigger."

He continues, "If you've ever owned a hamster, you know that they're always trying to break out of things and explore. Hammond's story starts in a similar place to Winston's, but then branches in a different direction. During the uprising on the moon where the colony's primates take over, Winston decides he's just going to escape instead. Hammond already likes getting out of things, so he formulates a plan to tag along with Winston and builds a little pod that attaches to Winston's ship.

"Hammond is more of a DIY mechanic than a scientist, so his escape pod is a pretty slapdash construction. It snaps off mid-flight, landing him in a scrapyard in Junkertown, while Winston makes his way to Gibraltar. After poking around the scrapyard and realizing the local inhabitants are more than a little volatile, Hammond decides to go underground, so to speak, and he knows he's going to have to rely only on himself to survive. So he builds himself a mech and invents the character of 'Wrecking Ball' to fight in the Junkertown arena as a gladiator, and that's how he survives there: he develops a new persona for himself as the champion of Junkertown.

Wrecking Ball 3

"When Wrecking Ball initially appears in-game, you might notice that others interact with Wrecking Ball in different ways. Roadhog and Junkrat, for example, only knew Hammond as Wrecking Ball for the longest time, so Junkrat might walk over and just start gushing over how amazing he thinks this giant destructive mech is… and completely ignore the fact that he's a hamster."

He concludes, "The nature and history of Wrecking Ball also posed some challenges when it came to reconciling Hammond's story with the hero's gameplay. While making it so Hammond himself is visible in matches doesn't make a ton of sense from a story perspective, we knew we had to show the character's personality in-game. Plus, actually showing the hamster gives opponents a much clearer headshot region than they'd otherwise have. On top of that, hamsters are super cute, and we liked the idea of showing this critter more than, say, giving the robot a mechanical head or something like that so that players knew where they should aim."

1comments

You can read more about Hammond, aka Wrecking Ball, on PlayStation Blog. But whether you're playing as him or going up against him, you'd better prepare for a big fight.

Overwatch is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.