Kiriko is Genji without the blade.
Instead she throws kunai, ripped straight from an early version of Genji before he got his ninja stars in the original Overwatch. Although dealing damage isn't her main focus, Kiriko's supportive kit borrows the high mobility and precision that Genji players will know well.
"There was a lot of inspiration taken from Genji," associate narrative designer Kyungseo Min said in a group interview with PC Gamer. "In fact, one of the starting points of this character was 'how can you create a support hero that DPS players who like Genji would enjoy playing?'"
Overwatch 2's newest support hero was raised with Overwatch's ninja brothers Hanzo and Genji in Kanezaka, Japan, a fictional location that's also the setting for one of the game's maps. As a combatant, she blends her grandmother's traditionalism with her mother's pride: a daring ninja that honors the tricksy fox spirit.
Kiriko's upbringing is, like most Overwatch heroes, a tad ridiculous—she's like a Disney character—but it makes her fit neatly into the sequel's redefined support role, which balances lethality with protection. Her kit mimics ideas from other support heroes: her healing ofuda are little paper slips that home-in on allies and release small healing bursts similar to Brigitte's Repair Packs, her movement ability is an amped version of Mercy's Guardian Angel, and Protection Suzu is a brief Baptiste Immortality Field.
But combined with her ability to flick kunai out and wall climb, she's much more nimble than the rest of the support roster.
Here's Kiriko's abilities in full:
- Healing ofuda (primary fire): sends out up to 10 slow-moving slips of paper that home-in on allies and heal a small amount over time.
- Kunai (secondary fire): throws out one kunai at a time to deal a small amount of damage, with 12 total.
- Swift Step: teleports a large distance to allies and can pass through walls.
- Protection Suzu: sends out a bell that wraps nearby allies and Kiriko in a damage-nullifying and effect-cleansing barrier for a short period of time.
- Wall climb (passive): Kiriko can climb up walls like Hanzo and Genji.
- Kitsune Rush: projects a path of torii in front of Kiriko that buffs her and her allies with movement speed, attack speed, reload speed, and a cooldown reduction on abilities for a brief period of time.
Kiriko will be available with Overwatch 2 on October 4, but not for everyone immediately. As part of the sequel's new battle pass system, she'll be locked behind Tier 55 of the free track. Anyone who owns the original Overwatch will get a Founder's Pack that must be redeemed before the end of season two. Alternatively, if you grab the Watchpoint Pack or buy the $10 (or 1,000 Overwatch Coins) premium battle pass you can also unlock Kiriko. For anyone who doesn't own those, they'll have to progress through the tiers before getting access to her.
Alongside the new hero will be the game's latest Push map Esperança, Portugal. It's an ultra bright destination that looks to have the sort of mirrored, swiss cheese design that Overwatch 2's 5v5 format thrives on. Teams can flank and surprise-attack each other as the Push robot moves back and forth across the map. And, according to the game's art director Dion Rogers, everyone's favorite music healer Lúcio will have some easter eggs on the map related to his Brazilian roots.