The morning after their meme-tastic announcement, Wrecking Ball a.k.a. Hammond went live on the Overwatch PTR and – dare I say – we’re having a ball. Get it? Ball?
Bad puns aside, the new hero is a ton of fun. Wrecking Ball is classified as a tank hero with a three star difficulty. Although his size is relatively smaller than the other tanks, he makes up for it by being one of the most innovative heroes Overwatch has seen in awhile.
The hero’s primary form is a metallic sphere with quad cannons and four spider-like legs. It retracts its legs and cannons in its second form, becoming a solid metal ball of pure destruction and mayhem. Wrecking Ball’s coolest abilities revolve around his second form, including ‘Grappling Claw’ which transforms him into a literal wrecking ball and ‘Piledriver’ which slams his ball form into the ground, damaging and knocking back enemies.
Here’s the full list of his abilities & gameplay footage:
Primary Fire: Quad Cannons (LMB)
Automatic assault weapons.
Grappling Claw (RMB)
Launch a grappling claw to rapidly swing around the area. Enables high speed collisions to damage and knockback enemies. Activating this ability immediately transforms Wrecking Ball into ball mode.
Transform into a ball and increase maximum movement speed. This is similar to how Bastion can transform into Sentry mode. There is no cool down for this ability.
Slam into the ground below to damage and launch enemies upward.
Adaptive Shield (E)
Create temporary personal shields. Amount increases with more enemies nearby. There is a counter on the bottom left of the screen showing how many enemies are within radius of this.
Ultimate: Minefield (Q)
Deploy a massive field of proximity mines. Mines detonate when enemies are in close proximity of them.
From what we’ve seen so far, Wrecking Ball seems to fill an off-tank role. His abilities are designed to brawl and disrupt enemy lines, rather than stand still and shield his team. His adaptive shield is the most critical part of his kit, as it adds on 100 additional armour for every enemy that’s within his radius.
Wrecking Ball’s ‘Grappling Claw’ is by far the most fun ability. If timed right, Wrecking Ball’s mech bursts into momentum-charged flames, and when combined with ‘Piledriver’, results in a deadly impact. Timing and control of ‘Grapping Claw’ will likely take some time to get used to, but this movement is crucial to getting full utility out of this feisty little critter.
For a full breakdown of Wrecking Ball’s abilities and lore, check out Jeff Kaplan’s developer update. In it, he answers the question on everybody’s minds: Does Hammond SPEAK??
Overwatch is available now on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.