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There's a story in Overwatch.

It isn't rammed in your face, it doesn't get in the way

of the action, but it is there. I didn't know much at all about it after 20 hours or so
of playing but now I do, I wanted to share it with you, because knowing a bit more
about adds a certain je ne sais quoi. It's cool, all right?
The game takes place in a fictionalised version of Earth 60 years into the future.
Overwatch was an organisation formed by Earth's United Nations 30 years earlier. I
say "was" because it was destroyed, torn apart by allegations and in-fighting and
eventually an explosion at the Swiss headquarters that reportedly killed two of its
founding and leading members, Gabriel Reyes and John "Jack" Morrison, and
maybe Ana Amari, Pharah's mother. Overwatch was disbanded and declared illegal,
and all agents associated with it scattered to the wind. That was six years ago.
But once upon a time Overwatch was great, held aloft and cheered around the
world. It was a super-team created to end the Omnic Crisis - omnic robots turned
bad (or was it robots awakening from slavery and rebelling?). For years the omnics
had served humans, churned out by huge omnium factories, but something went
wrong just over 30 years ago. God programs - AI super-brains - took over the
omniums and turned omnics against humans, equipping them for war, and the
Omnic Crisis began.
The omnics had taken over most of the world but with the help of Overwatch they
were eventually beaten, forced back into submission, although a religious omnic
off-shoot was formed called Shambali that claimed omnics had souls, and crusaded
for equality with humans. An era of peace was ushered in and Earth's champion
Overwatch prospered for 20 years under the command of Morrison, expanding its
influence and numbers all over the world.
But in the six years since Overwatch disappeared, tensions have risen between
human and omnic, stirred by Talon terrorist attacks - particularly the assassination
of Shambali leader Tekhartha Mondatta by Widowmaker. But Talon has also been
attacking old - not quite dormant - Overwatch outposts hoping to steal data and
whereabouts of all old operatives. These attacks were led by mysterious and
merciless killer Reaper, but were thwarted by Winston, a gorilla scientist who
refused to let Overwatch go. It's Winston who illegally reconnected the Overwatch
network, and it's he who issues the Overwatch Recall - calling back into service all
agents - upon which the game begins.

Who are the characters in Overwatch?

Broadly, the goodies associated with the organisation Overwatch are: Soldier 76,
Ana, Reinhardt, Torbjorn, Mercy, McCree, Winston, Genji, Tracer and Mei. Pharah
never worked for Overwatch but wanted to and her mother did.
The baddies working against Overwatch are Reaper and Widowmaker, although
Roadhog and Junkrat are also considered baddies but with their own chaotic crimespree of an agenda. Symmetra can also be considered a baddie, although she has
nothing to do with Overwatch and she appears to be questioning her conscience.

The roaming outliers are everyone else.

[New entry] Ana: name, Ana Amari, age, 60
She was presumed dead, but she's back, and she's the first new character to be
introduced to Overwatch after launch. Ana Amari is Pharah's mother and a
founding member of Overwatch, having been recruited for her near peerless
marksmanship skills. She served as second in command to Morrison until she was
shot and blinded on a hostage rescue mission by Widowmaker - someone Amari
once knew as Amelie Lacroix. That near-fatal mission is the focus of Ana Amari's
Overwatch comic Legacy. Did you know that Ana has one cybernetic eye that
makes her vision six times better than yours our mine?
Ana went underground following her reported death, hiding even from her
daughter, it seems. But we don't know much about where she rehabilitated nor who
she had contact with while she was there. We do know, however, she couldn't sit by
and watch the world fall apart and the people she cared about suffer - so she picked
up her rifle and rejoined the fray.
Soldier 76: name, unknown, age, unknown
Despite being classified as officially unknown, Soldier 76 is totally John "Jack"
Morrison, the 20-year leader of Overwatch. "They thought I died; part of me did,"
he says in the Soldier 76 Origin Story video (which shows a picture of the original
Overwatch team). These days he fights as a masked vigilante hunting those people
who brought Overwatch down.
But once upon a time he was a plucky young upstart, a top-secret augmented
soldier drafted into Overwatch alongside his augmented soldier buddy, Gabriel
Reyes. A lore article on the Overwatch website tells us Reyes initially led the group
but it was Morrison who shot to prominence and became Overwatch's first official
commander, creating a rift between the two soldiers in the process. It was that rift
that led to the fight between them that caused the explosion in the Swiss Overwatch
Given that Overwatch was formed 30 years prior to the game's present day,
Morrison would be around 50 years old today.
Here's the new Soldier 76 short. He just can't stop helping people can he?

Reaper: name, unknown, age, unknown.

It isn't explicitly confirmed anywhere but Reaper must be Gabriel Reyes - there's
even a Blackwatch Reyes skin for Reaper included in the Origins edition of
Overwatch. Blackwatch was the covert arm of Overwatch.
How Reyes turned into Reaper is unclear. It's speculated that Reaper may the failed
product of genetic alteration - perhaps a procedure needed to rescue him after the
Swiss Overwatch HQ explosion. Whatever happened, his body's cells can now

simultaneously decay and regenerate at super speed, hence his ability to turn into
Reaper appears to be working for terrorist organisation Talon and hunting
Overwatch agents. It's not clear what his bigger plan may be.
Reinhardt: name, Reinhardt Wilhelm, age, 61
Reinhardt was one of the original Overwatch strike team, a decorated German giant
of a soldier living by a knightly code, fiercely loyal and not afraid to speak his
mind. But he got old, and he was forced to take mandatory retirement from
Overwatch and watch from the sidelines as it imploded from within.
Reinhardt didn't sit back and watch the world crumble, though. He travelled the
world with his Crusader armour vowing to fight evil wherever he found it. One
such adventure is featured inan issue of the online Overwatch comic.
Torbjorn: name, Torbjorn Lindholm, age, 57
Another member of the original strike team, Torbjorn was an engineer responsible
for most of Overwatch's arsenal. Before Overwatch he built things for the Ironclad
Guild - things like huge omnic Titans meant for building skyscrapers. But when the
omniums went rogue those Titans were re-equipped - re-equipped for war. Torbjorn
joined Overwatch as a way of putting things right, and when it disbanded he tried
to stop his creations falling into the wrong hands. It's on one such mission we find
him in his comic strip, Destroyer.
Widowmaker: name, Amelie Lacroix, age, 33
Amelie was once on Overwatch's side, married to Gerard Lacroix, who led
operations against Talon. In response Talon had tried to assassinate Gerard several
times but all attempts had failed, so one day it changed tack, kidnapping Amelie
instead. When Overwatch found her she appeared unscathed, but two weeks later
she killed Gerard in his sleep. Talon had neurologically reprogrammed her and
completed the process when Amelie fled back to the terrorist organisation
following her husband's murder.
Now Widowmaker is a remorseless killer. She appears in the Alive animated
shortassassinating Tekhartha Mondatta, leader of the Shambali order that preach
equality between human and omnic. It was to the Shambali that Zenyatta once