After a vicious round of nerfs, Brigitte Lindholm, Overwatch‘s mechanized shield-maiden, has been a controversial pick in the popular hero shooter. But one creative gamer is bringing some levity to the lady knight with a gut-busting alternative to her normal ultimate ability.
Even after the release of its final new hero, and a sequel coming in the indistinct-but-hopefully-near future, Overwatch is still going strong four years after launch. The game primarily owes its longevity to a fierce competitive scene and tight, ability-rich gameplay, but features like the deeply customizable Workshop tool allow enterprising players to pump fresh life into the game with their personal creations.
Overwatch’s Workshop has some truly awesome variant games which players can freely share via codes, but certain entries are more about making people laugh than shaking up the shooting.
Overwatch streamer and Workshop veteran, DarwinStreams, produced one such example in the form of a fresh ult for Brigitte. Rather than “Rally,” Brig’s standard shield and speed boost, the shield maiden summons a small army of miniature Torbjorns to assail her enemies. Like a swarm of angry Swedish bees, the tiny Torbs mob enemies with melee attacks. On Twitter, DarwinStreams released a video of the ability in action, which absolutely decimates a full-health Roadhog in seconds. It’s hard to tell where the ult would place on Overwatch’s ultimate ability tier list, but it definitely seems viable.
Blizzard has radically reworked heroes’ ultimate abilities before, and after a hard-hitting patch, Brigitte’s kit could use a pick-me-up. Unfortunately, the Torb-Swarm has zero chance of replacing Rally—Torbjorn is but one man, and Brigitte’s father in Overwatch lore—though many players would likely welcome the change for the memes alone. Even sadder, DarwinStreams has yet to publicly release the workshop code to make players’ summoning dreams come true.
It is possible, however, that an ability similar to this just-for-laughs ult may emerge with a new hero in Overwatch 2. After all, there isn’t anything quite like it in-game, though the mechanics are similar to Ashe’s summoning ult, Bob, and the end result is similar to a melee-version of Pharah’s high flying rain of death, Barrage. Blizzard has teased a lot of new heroes arriving in Overwatch 2, and there are only so many ways to keep new characters’ kits feeling fresh.
Coming up with distinctive gameplay hooks for new characters will be even more important for Blizzard in the face of Riot Games’ new squad-shooting contender, Valorant. While Valorant and Overwatch have distinct strengths and weaknesses, the two titles often feature similar abilities, and being the first title to debut a novel mechanic is often the difference between appearing innovative versus derivative. And regardless of balance or coherence, DarwinStreams’ dwarven death squad is certainly novel.
Overwatch is available now for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.