Hello, Nasties! Welcome to another Character Spotlight hosted by Mod Zan! In this delightful article, I’m going to be discussing my favorite Overwatch character: Sombra.
Sombra is a somewhat recent addition to Overwatch, entering the game in November of last year. Her playstyle is that of an infiltrator, categorized as an offense amongst well-loved characters like Tracer, Reaper and Soldier 76. Her powers available for use in-game are a translocator that allows you to teleport back to a location you set within a 15 second time frame before it expires, invisibility that also increases your speed, and hacking, which makes health packs unavailable to enemies and decreases the amount of time it takes for them to spawn for you and allies. If you hack enemies, they will be unable to use any of their abilities for 6 seconds.
Sombra is somewhat difficult to master and use effectively, especially to the benefit of the team. Since Overwatch relies on teamwork to accomplish most of the goals in game, it’s important to know that Sombra is great during control point games and capture the flag most importantly. She’s great for isolating enemies and taking them out one by one, but is easily overwhelmed if you aren’t quick on your feet and good at avoiding enemy fire.
Regardless, Sombra’s primary appeal for me is in her personality and backstory (like it is for many of my favorite characters…if not all of them.) Sombra is a Mexican survivor of the Omnic crisis, orphaned and left to fend for herself who ended up growing up and learning how to hack both computers and even people in order to further her own interests and to survive.
However, Sombra doesn’t just survive as a hacker. She thrives, and is presented as one of the most nefarious and fear-inducing hackers on the planet. Though she works with or for Talon, she is clearly more interested in furthering her own interests and proves it in her cinematic short where she, Widowmaker, and Reaper attack Volskaya Industries together.
Sombra is in her thirties, and her personality is that of a fun-loving gal with the kind of confidence that I would kill for. She’s incredibly unique as a character, especially one in a first person shooter such as Overwatch. Not only is she presented as a woman out for her own interests and willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish her goal, she’s also the victim of a cyber attack through a global conspiracy that forced her to change her identity and go into hiding. She’s looking for the people behind it in addition to making connections through manipulation and hacking.
Her powers are varied and impressive. She’s a stealth-based character who exists to be played as offense as opposed to support. Sombra is never presented (thus far) as always having the upper hand, continually being the real one in power, pulling the strings for all characters involved. Her dynamic with the rest of the cast is also nothing short of hilarious, her voice lines presenting a variety of dynamics with each of the cast members. Most of them are humorous and give the player a nice sense of both personality and comedy.
Altogether, Sombra is my favorite character in Overwatch for a reason. She’s got a great deal of depth to back up an interesting play-style that you don’t often see in many games at all, let alone a first person shooter. She’s a woman of color with her own story and interests that don’t overlap with anyone’s that I can see thus far, and doesn’t operate under anyone but herself.
She’s powerful, strong, and feminine without being overtly sexualized, which I truly appreciate. Particularly because Overwatch historically has issues with the sexualization of some of its female characters despite its positives in diversity. Sombra is a great example of a character that is diverse in her identity while remaining interesting as a person without any help needed to engage the player in her story.
Another thing that the developers did very well in the making of Sombra was hyping her up as the release date approached. They littered the game and the wiki with hints about her existence for months, teasing her and refusing to confirm anything concrete in order to push the excitement for her release. It worked fabulously, and I don’t believe that they have hyped up any character with exception of Doomfist to the same level as Sombra. So far, every character that they’ve added to the game has only increased the diversity of the cast and increased the universe’s depth.
Sombra is still my favorite addition to date, and has taken the top place in my mind out of the entire Overwatch cast, and makes my top 10 favorite characters of all time throughout all of the video games that I’ve played to date. There’s a lot to love about her, and I honestly cannot wait to see what we learn about her in future cinematics, hints and teasers.