Overwatch’s newest hero, Brigitte, was released earlier this week. I’ll be avoiding the more technical aspects of her gameplay (which can be easily found in-game or in any Overwatch Wiki) and will focus on how she more practically works in the game so far. After getting to play her a little bit this week outside of the PTR, here are my initial thoughts.
Reinhardt Similarities and Differences
Brigitte is the perfect support hero for a Reinhardt main. If you’re already familiar with the timing used with Reinhardt in deciding how long to hold up your shield before you attack, that experience comes in handy when playing Brigitte.
She’s also a great hero to dive right into the action. She’s incredibly sturdy. The first time I played her was in random heroes and I had no idea how to play her. When cornered by a D.Va and a Moira, it took them way longer to take me out than I was expecting, and my clumsy keyboard mashing helped to knock them back. She also moves faster than you’d expect with her shield up. Unlike Reinhardt, who has to stay a certain distance away from the enemy with his shield up for lack of speed, Brigitte is able to rush up and retreat quickly while still maintaining great defense.
She, of course, heals her teammates with her repair packs, and while I saw most people utilize her healing abilities to the fullest, I actually don’t feel like her healing in very intuitive when I play her. When playing Ana and Mercy, healing is instinctual. Whereas with Brigitte, it feels more like Torbjorn’s armor packs where I will do it if it’s convenient or extremely necessary.
What I found most interesting about Brigitte was the percentage of damage she was able to do, even when players would play her fully as a support hero. At one point, I saw a Brigitte do 85% damage for her team. And like I said before, even when I had no clue how to play her I was able to keep back a Moira and a D.Va for way longer than I would’ve expected. Considering this, I don’t find it surprising that players already love her! I’ve loved seeing all the emerging cosplays and highlights of Brigitte people continue to post on social media. However, this kind of thing always makes me worry about the backlash.
No Surprise: Overwatch Players are Annoying
If you’ve played Overwatch for a while, you know that the way players feel about heroes changes over time. People used to beg their teammates not to play Hanzo or Junkrat because players couldn’t do enough damage with them but now people are clamoring for them to be drastically changed or completely removed from the game. D.Va, a very powerful and easy character to play (but hard to counter), was well loved from the start, but the cries of “OP! Oh-peeeeeeee!!!!” lead to her enormous nerf. And even Moira (who I actually believe to be genuinely a little bit broken and should get some kind of nerf) who is still well loved right now in the game, is slowly losing favor as well.
Over-powered characters (many of whom aren’t truly OP, but are simply difficult to counter) are usually fan favorites early on due to how fun they are, then grow to be loudly despised for being “too easy to abuse”. I think countering Brigitte will prove to be much harder than people anticipate and I think she’ll quickly fall out of favor with the most critical players.
But that doesn’t stop people from enjoying them! Brigitte players may have to take a note from us Skillrat mains and learn to love the mute button.