It finally happened. Doomfist has been officially confirmed and made available to play on Overwatch’s PC Public Test Realm as of Thursday, July 6, 2017. The long awaited supervillain and leader of the antagonistic Talon organization has been added to the official Overwatch roster, and fans have already been hard at work picking apart the details and speculating on how he might impact the game going forward.
The bulk of the information surrounding this Doomfist reveal can be traced back to the standard developer update video on YouTube, where Game Director Jeff Kaplan reveals some secrets behind Doomfist’s development and outlines the hero’s abilities for the first time.
The Doomfist backstory is very detailed and it’s definitely worth watching the official video that accompanied Blizzard’s announcement. He’s the estranged heir to the world’s leading prosthetics company and also a prominent Nigerian martial artist. He owes his incredible power from the legendary Doomfist Gauntlet, an item that he was recently spotted stealing from a museum case that could be found in-game on the Numbani map.”To give you the Sparknotes version, he’s a pretty bad dude. Personality-wise, his dialogue made me think of Bane from Batman. He seems to be a ridiculously strong fighter who also appears to be very intelligent and eloquent in demeanor.
With all that said, Fangirl has compiled a short preview of Doomfist’s strengths and weaknesses, along with some thoughts on how he might fit into the game.
Mobile front-line attack hero: Doomfist will become the eighth hero to take up an Attack role, and he brings a disruptive physicality to the game that will challenge players for the foreseeable future. In many ways he plays like a hybrid between Winston and Genji, a hero with high mobility that can enter and exit fights with ease while inflicting massive damage on enemies. His damage fits a high-risk, high-reward playstyle, and he seems to be reasonably balanced at this point in his development. Competitively, many high-level players expect Doomfist to be a very high skill cap hero.
Abilities and overall usage:
Doomfist has an incredible amount of utility, and in some situations he can even be played as a “tanky” offense hero. His primary ability, Hand Cannon, is essentially a short range shotgun with four shots that automatically regenerates ammunition in the same way that Tracer’s blink ability does.
His mobility abilities are where his kit starts to get interesting. His Seismic Slam attack has him lunging at opponents and, somehow, knocking them towards him, while his Rising Uppercut “cuts enemies in front of him into the air,” according to his roster. Both of these abilities allow Doomfist to quickly enter fights to disrupt the field in a similar manner to that of his arch-rival, Winston. They also allow him to traverse the map like a flanker, and it’s scary to think about how dangerous he could be in the right hands.
Those aren’t even his bread-and-butter powers, though. His most dynamic attack,
Rocket Punch, is a time-based charge-up that sends him soaring across the map. If he runs directly into an enemy, he will knock them back, and if he knocks them into a wall the punch deals additional bonus damage. This can essentially stonewall squishier attack heroes like Tracer if done right, similar to a Reinhardt charge but slightly less powerful.
His ultimate ability is called Meteor Strike, and when activated it sends Doomfist soaring into the sky, prompting a targeting system where the player can select a radius for him to drop down on. Any enemies within his targeted landing spot will be damaged and knocked down for a short period of time, making his ultimate very versatile as it can both eliminate large crowds of low-health enemies or set teammates up for big ultimate combinations.
Last, but perhaps most intriguing of all, is his passive ability, The Best Defense. This power “generates temporary personal shields when he deals ability damage,” according to the official description. In total, Doomfist can accumulate 400 total HP this way — a very scary thought when considered alongside his mobility and damage dealing ability.
How might this impact the game?
As a disclaimer, I haven’t tried Doomfist myself, but based on the gameplay and analysis I’ve seen so far I can make a very good guess at predicting just how much he could shake things up when he’s finally released to the general public.
Doomfist’s strength lies in his ridiculous mobility. He feels surprisingly similar to Genji in that he can engage a large group of enemies, do a solid amount of damage and escape with relative ease. He can disrupt things like shields with his Rocket Punch, briefly opening up an avenue of attack for the rest of the team to get a key pick.
With all that said, Doomfist does appear to be well-balanced right off the bat. He can do a lot of damage and disrupt the game in multiple ways, but he’s also countered heavily by Sombra, who can easily hack him, stripping him of all of his utility at key moments. A Pharah with good aim could also give him trouble, as he doesn’t have a reliable means of stopping her in the air. McCree is another one that comes to mind. He can kill Doomfist in two shots and prevent his charge with a well-timed flash bang grenade.
Even when he’s released across all platforms in a few weeks, it will probably take the community several months to truly get a feel for Doomfist’s capabilities from a competitive standpoint. It’s worth mentioning that he’s a very high skill cap hero (again, like Genji), and that this will make him a niche pick at high skill levels early on.