Who is Echo? Overwatch’s 32nd hero is Echo – an AI learning robot who’s so good at studying, she can become any other hero. That’s right, Echo isn’t the support character many of us thought she would be, instead, she’s a highly mobile, damage character who’d blow us all out of the water when it comes to accents and impressions.
Echo is the creation of Dr Mina Liao, a Singaporean scientist and a founding member of Overwatch. Previous to Overwatch, Liao was a renowned robotics and artificial intelligence scientist and worked for the Omnica Corporation. The doctor was part of the team who created omnics, the same robots that waged war on humanity during the Omnic Crisis. Although the scientists who worked on the omnics felt their careers were over after they had seen what their creations had done. Jack Morrison (Soldier 76) recruited Liao in helping Overwatch defeat the omnics.
After seeing the faults in her work on the omnics, Liao began work again on creating an artificial intelligence robot, which came to be known as the Echo project. Overwatch’s limitations on AI meant that Echo’s capabilities were also limited – she became a multirole adaptive robot programmed to assist in whatever Overwatch needed. Medical support, construction, piloting – Echo could do anything except important independent decision making.
Despite these limitations, Liao had created a robot who, through observation, learned phenomenally quickly and effectively. Echo even replicated Liao’s voice. Very few knew the true power of Echo -Jesse McCree became one of these people after befriending Liao during his time guarding her as part of his Blackwatch duties.
Sadly Dr Mina Liao was killed in an attack on Overwatch. Without the scientist, Overwatch was hesitant to keep Echo in operation and placed her in quarantine. After Overwatch’s disbandment, Echo was placed in the care of the US government before the Deadlock Gang attempted to steal her – which is where the animated short Reunion fits in, and McCree saves Echo who then rejoins Overwatch.
But what can Echo do? Well, she can fly, throw sticky bombs, breakthrough damaged barriers super fast, and more. The full list of Echo abilities is quite something – she’ll definitely shake things up.
Funny how we all thought she would be a support character because of her slight frame, calming blue lighting, and friendly features, but it turns out she’s a badass.
Fun fact, the voice actress who plays Echo had to record all the ultimate voice lines of all the other heroes in both English and in their native languages for when she’s ult-ing. That’s a helluva lot of recordings and pronunciations to get right, huh?