Blizzard’s Overwatch has quickly become one of gaming’s most popular behemoth franchises. The colourful, character-packed hero shooter enjoys a staggering user base of more than 30 million players around the world across PC and consoles.
With free content updates, in-game events and even a plan to revolutionise esports with the long-awaited Overwatch League, there can be no doubt that Overwatch has joined the ranks of Blizzard’s many other accomplished and beloved franchises, like World of Warcraft and Diablo.
It’s worth remembering however, that it all started with a single, computer-generated cinematic trailer – one imbued with all the infectious personality of a Pixar short film and featuring the gauntlet belonging to an Overwatch character that would remain shrouded in mystery for the past part of three years.
That character, and owner of the oversized golden glove, is of course Doomfist – the closest thing Overwatch has had to a proper villain so far.
But who is Doomfist, what are his motives, beliefs and desires? Where does he fit into the existing lore and, crucially, what does his imminent arrival in the game mean for its future?
Who is Doomfist?
After months of teasing, Doomfist was finally unveiled as the 25th playable Overwatch character on 6 July. An accompanying biography on Blizzard’s website confirmed a few vague rumours and some fan speculation, as well as confirming what he will be like to actually play.
You can read our guide to Doomfist from a gameplay perspective here.
As for the man himself, it turns out that Doomfist is a title that has thus far been carried by three fearsome warriors. The current mantle holder is Akande Ogundimu – a Nigerian martial arts expert born into a wealthy, prosperous family and heir to a prosthetic-technology company that would later come in very handy.
Ogundimu scoured the globe for tournaments in which he could test his might. However, after becoming embroiled in the aftermath of the Omnic Crisis – a global uprising of robotic Omnics against their human creators – he lost his right arm in the struggle, leaving Ogundimu to rely on a prosthetic replacement that made him ineligible for fighting tournaments.
His urge to fight on perked the attention of Akinjide Adeyemi, the Scourge of Numbani. Abeyemi was the second Doomfist (very little is known about the first, referred to on a Numbani poster as the “Saviour”) and convinced Ogundimu to join him as a mercenary for the clandestine, villainous Talon organisation.
Ogundimu grew through the ranks at Talon thanks to his smarts, physical power and leadership nous. Yet Adeyemi’s plans were led by petty monetary desires, while Ogundimu had grander ambitions.
Ogundimu murdered his Talon mentor and claimed both the gauntlet and the Doomfist title. As Doomfist, Ogundimu hatched a plot that would plunge the world into chaos… but the titular Overwatch group were ready to stop him.
What is Talon and where is Doomfist now?
To understand the motives of the third and current Doomfist, you have to understand Talon.
Emerging after the Omnic Crisis, Talon’s overarching philosophy claims that humanity’s strength is born of conflict. This Darwinian ethos became the driving force behind the group’s covert attacks and assassination attempts.
Targets range from industrial CEOs to political figures, with each mission intended to destabilize the brittle peace between humans and the Omnic race and performed with no regard for the number of civilian casualties.
Ogundimu’s ascent to the organisation’s inner council transformed Talon into a feared terrorist group, but not before Doomfist was himself captured and imprisoned by an Overwatch strike team consisting of Tracer and Winston (both playable characters in the game).
In the ensuing years, Talon operatives succeeded in killing Gerard Lacroix – an Overwatch agent – by brainwashing his wife Amélie, who later joined Talon as an elite sniper under the pseudonym Widowmaker (another playable character).
Talon’s reign of terror continued after Overwatch was formally disbanded following an international incident, with the de facto leader role falling to Reaper – a shadowy figure that most believe is fallen hero Gabriel Reyes, formerly of secretive Overwatch splinter group Blackwatch.
Their true leader, Doomfist, remained stuck in a high-security cell.
Until now, that is. Breaking out of prison and reclaiming the gauntlet once again, Doomfist has re-entered Talon’s elite and is ready to unleash hell.
What does this mean for Overwatch?
It’s obvious that Doomfist’s arrival is a huge deal for the fragmented, evolving narrative that Blizzard’s Overwatch team has created. Director Jeff Kaplan told IBTimes UK as such in an interview before Doomfist’s announcement, stating that the studio has a “big plan” for the character.
The first step of that plan is almost completed, but Doomfist’s debut could (and really should) trigger a cataclysmic shift in the Overwatch canon in a way the comparatively muted introductions of Ana, Sombra and Orisa did not.
Talon’s schemes will increase and intensify with Doomfist in charge, which may see the game’s villains emerge from the darkness. Our hope is that the ensuing clash is mirrored for players in a themed event – let’s call it Doomsday, shall we?
Pitting the forces of good and evil against each other and asking players to choose their allegiance could result in a fantastic throw-down. Wins for each side could stack up to create a worldwide cumulative total which would determine the outcome. It could work brilliantly, and it would allow players to effectively determine the next chapter in the Overwatch tale.
If a war is coming however, the more nefarious side is going to need some new recruits. Currently the number of thoroughly dastardly characters is low, with Talon’s Reaper, Widowmaker and Doomfist a definitively bad trio.
Prime candidates for ‘Team Doomfist’ include Junkrat and Roadhog who are prone to murderous rampages that could bring a bit of chaos to proceedings. There is also no shortage of characters that have remained neutral, or have dabbled with the darker side and could be turned. Sombra, Symmetra, Bastion (through hacking?), Hanzo and even the Omnic-hating Zarya are options in this camp.
The promise of characters switching sides is an inciting prospect: What if Widowmaker broke free from her conditioning? Does Sombra have an ulterior motive? Will Hanzo’s demons consume him? Can Zarya put aside her prejudice for the sake of the world?
The best solution though, would be for Blizzard to play the long game. Overwatch’s first year is complete, but what about the second? Ending its sophomore year with a spectacular war-themed event gives the development team enough time to bolster the ranks of its villainous cast.
There are no shortage of options, either. A scarred grown-up Rosa seeking revenge, missing Talon operative Hakim, Torbjörn’s nemesis Sven,or missile-spewing villain Sound Quake. Even Overwatch announcer Athena could become corrupted and enter the fray.
Whatever awaits us as players and the Overwatch lore as a whole, Doomfist is likely to be the harbinger of something huge. We can’t wait.
Source : IBtimes