The ‘calm before the storm’ teaser took everyone by surprise. And because it featured a very prominent picture of a monkey in a spacesuit, a lot of people found themselves screaming the name Hammond. Now, there are plenty of reasons to think that Overwatch New Hero Hammond is being hinted at, but the Horizon posters were not the only thing found in that image. Everything in a teaser like this is done for a reason, nothing is there by accident, and it didn't escape attention that there was also a scrapyard poster (apparently referring to Junkertown and the Mech battles they have there).
There has been a fascinating Reddit post where they suggested that in one of the Mech battle posters on Junkertown, there is a scene that shows two mech fighters. One is called Elvin 506, and the other one is called Bludger. In the Reddit post, they first suggested that the figure in the Elvin 506 mech could resemble an old and angry monkey, possibly making it so that Hammond would be its pilot. They theorized that since Winston doesn’t know if Hammond has escaped or not, and he hasn’t met him in the game world, at least as far as we know, perhaps Hammond landed somewhere else, more specifically - Junkertown.
However, after some good discussion under the post, Reddit peeps decided that it is what it looks like the most - a small old man piloting the mech.
We think that Hammond might steal the mech, as Elvin 506’s empty mech can even be easily seen on Junkertown and you can walk right up to it and take a look at it. Why wouldn’t a super smart monkey jump in and take it for himself?
An interesting note is that the Elvin 506 mech has a giant flamethrower and the name Elvin 506 is a reference to Fahrenheit 451, which is a novel about a futuristic America, where books are outlawed, and firefighters burn any books they find. A character that uses fire to destroy knowledge sounds pretty exciting, right? Now, this is going off the deep end a little bit, but could Hammond be so angry about what happened on Horizon and what was done to him and other primates in the name of knowledge, that he has now become fanatically opposed to it, firing a gigantic mech flamethrower to destroy all he encounters.
Not sure about you, but we’d like to see a monkey in a giant Mech, and it does solve one of the main problems, that having Hammond as a hero presents - how would it make sense to have such a small character in the game. A little monkey’s hitbox would be so tiny that it just won’t work. But assuming it is a super smart monkey, piloting a Mech, that we can see working.
Some of the battle mech hero theories are also supported by a forum comment made by Jeff Goodman on March 5, 2017. In that post, Jeff was talking about fans unhappiness that D.Va has been made less offensively potent, and here’s the key - he added that there is a desire among the Overwatch team to see a mighty mech hero that does tons of damage as an Offense or Defense character. It would be delightful to build another mech character in the Overwatch space, but the killer detail is a comment that comes directly after Jeff’s. It reads - “Ah crap, here comes the storm”. Now, all of this might be a giant coincidence, but still, Blizzard called the teaser - The calm before the storm - so it’s not too wild of a guess.
Now, on another note, why would Blizzard combine two popular community hero theories - the Hammond theory and the Junkertown mech hero theory into one. The calm before the storm teaser might be referencing not to one hero but two. We might be getting both a Junkertown mech and Hammond. Of course, we don’t expect to get them at the same time (however that’s not impossible to happen) but we do think that it is highly unlikely. After all, we’re expecting Hero 28 to be released in July, and a Blizzcon is coming up at the end of the year, so we will most likely see the second hero there.
If the ‘two heroes theory’ is correct, the question that immediately pops up is - which one will be first, Hammond or the Mech? And if Hammond is in fact not a mech, then what is he going to be like?
There a few more details around Hammond that we can talk about. You can now see Hammond is linked to Winston’s escape pod in the spawn room of Gibraltar. Much like the diagram in his room in Horizon, there’s an arm attached to it, but Hammond’s original capsule is missing. Did he land in Gibraltar or somewhere else?
Now, let’s go back to the teaser. We believe that it doesn’t just hint at the upcoming Overwatch New Hero 28, but rather at the next six months in Overwatch. If you read the image from right to left you can get this picture - Hammond and the Horizon rework, a Junkertown hero - a mech or the Junkertown queen, Lucio cinematic perhaps and a more present-day story content, centered around the new Omnic crisis.
Of course, all of these theories could be entirely wrong, we’ve been there before. But then again, it is always fun to play detective with the teases that Jeff and the other members of the Overwatch team occasionally throw at us.
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