Overwatch’s story is one that is very, very complex, with constant new heroes, maps and abilities being added, the lore of Overwatch is constantly changing, so today for this Friday’s post I’ll be giving a quick summary of the lore in Overwatch.
What we can assume is around 30 years in the future, was a golden age of science and technological advancements for humanity. Scientific Moon Colonies, such as the one where Winston grew up, and development of sentient AI were some of the advances made in the pre-omnic crisis years.
Speaking of Omnics, the Omnica corporation was a company which set up huge automated factories which mass produced robots known as omnics, as the term “Omnic” is one that refers to a robot sentient being, so many different types of robot units fall under the name omnic. However, about 30 years before Overwatch is set and 30 years after our timeline, the robots suddenly just attacked, for no reason, showing no humanity and launching a military campaign against the human race.
Every country on Earth had to combat the Omnics, and conventional warfare was too much for humanity to handle, each country began using its own means to combat the Omnic threat. For example, the US began is “Soldier Enhancement Program”, Germany developed the Crusader Armour, and Russia, who combatted the Omnics on its own, developed more robots, built in Volskaya industries, which were massive titans that could stand a chance against Omnic Artillery.
Since conventional warfare wouldn’t work still, so the Overwatch Strike Team, led by Gabriel Reyes (later Reaper) was formed, targeting key locations and omniums which would have a large impact on the Omnics as a whole. They took some of the best minds and fighters available, from the United States, Gabriel Reyes and Jack Morrison, two fine soldiers genetically enhanced by the Soldier Enhancement Program. From Egypt, Ana Amari, a world-class sniper who never missed. From Germany, Reinhardt Wilhelm, a giant of a man and a champion pilot of the Crusader Armour, who had fought in various battles under the command of Balderich Von Alder, specifically in Eichenwalde. From Sweden, Torbjörn Lindholm, a master engineer capable of solving any mechanical problem. Also joining them was Liao, who we have yet to learn more about.
The newly formed Overwatch strike team was a success, targeting major targets and bringing an end to the Omnic threat, humanity was saved. Due to the success of the Overwatch strike team, the organisation branched out into various other fields such as medical/environmental research, with a major goal of bringing world peace. This period was known as the golden age of Overwatch, and saw many new faces joining the agency, such as Winston, Angela Ziegler, Genji Shimada, Mei Ling-Zhou, Lena Oxton and Jesse McCree. In this golden age scientists like Mei Ling-Zhou tried to crack why the Earth’s climate was changing, agents like Genji Shimada and Jesse McCree helped to bring down large criminal gangs and empires.
However, about 6 years before the game takes place, many allegations about Overwatch’s covert division, Blackwatch (commanded by Gabriel Reyes) came into the public eye, and opposition to Overwatch grew. This, combined with infighting between Jack Morrison and Gabriel Reyes, which ultimately led to the destruction of the Swiss HQ, brought down the organisation. The reason for this is that, despite Gabriel Reyes being the man who saved the world, his attitude of “mission completion at all costs” made Jack Morrison the more favourable candidate for leader of Overwatch, who then, instead of Gabriel, made Ana Amari his second in command.
Following this, the Petras Act was signed, making any Overwatch Activity illegal, meaning that there was no more Overwatch. Almost all the ex-overwatch agents disappeared, some, like Ana Amari were believed to be dead, and even those who stayed around to help those in need, like Angela Ziegler, cut all their ties with Overwatch.
6 years later, and with the possibility of a second Omnic Crisis looming, and increasingly dangerous terrorist actions threatening the public, maybe Overwatch is needed once again.