Overwatch's new hamster hero Wrecking Ball goes live next week

Update: The wait is almost over: Blizzard announced today that the wrongly-named rodent who drives a Dwemer Sphere in the increasingly strange universe of Overwatch is just one week away from leaving the PTR. 

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While you wait, be sure to catch up with how he dresses, what he can do, and why we think Hammy (which is what I'll be calling him, thank you very much) is Blizzard's "most inventive" Overwatch hero yet.

Original story:

Another mech joins the Overwatch fray, but this time, there's a hamster in it. He's no jetpack cat, but Overwatch's second new hero for 2018, Wrecking Ball, is a furry little guy who pilots a spherical mech outfitted with a pair of giant machine guns. Oh, and he's live and playable on the Overwatch PTR right now. We've given the little guy a test drive, so if you're curious to know what he can do, we've compiled Wrecking Ball's abilities for easy viewing. 

"A resourceful tinkerer with remarkable mechanic skills, Wrecking Ball is rolling around the world seeking out his next challenge to overcome," says Blizzard's first look. As the 28th hero, Wrecking Ball brings another tank to Overwatch's roster.

The hamster tinkerer, real name Hammond, has a backstory intertwined with Winston's:

"In one of the many experiments carried out at Horizon Lunar Colony, animals were given genetic therapy to assess their adaptation to extended periods of habitation on the moon. As an unexpected side effect, several of them exhibited exceptional growth in physical size and brain function. While most of the test subjects were gorillas or other primates, there were some exceptions, including a hamster named Hammond...

 "One of the gorillas, Winston, was making a plan to escape to earth. Hammond sensed his opportunity. He built a makeshift capsule and secretly hitched it to Winston's craft as the gorilla blasted off. As the two entered earth's atmosphere, Hammond broke off and landed in a different location: the wasteland of the Australian Outback.

Hammond modified his escape pod to enter the lucrative mech battle arena of the Scrapyard. Working his way up the ranks, "Wrecking Ball" went from contender to champion, though the pilot's identity remained a mystery to all. Gathering his winnings, Hammond was able to upgrade his mech enough to survive the dangerous trek out of the Junker-controlled Outback."

Wrecking Ball released to the PTR today, June 28. We'll update with more on his abilities and release date onto the normal servers as we know it.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).