Blizzard have officially announced that the hamster teased in an animation earlier today is in fact playable as Hero 28 in Overwatch.  The origin trailer for ‘Wrecking Ball’, also known as Hammond, has now been officially released along with a Developer’s Update from Jeff Kaplan. Both go into a little more detail about Hammond’s origin, giving us the answers to hints teased at earlier in the week.

Developer’s Update

Hero 28’s Lore

Jeff opens the Developer’s Update video with a brief introduction to the lore behind Hammond, explaining to fans exactly how an intelligent hamster came to be and where his place is in the vast world of Overwatch. Fans might remember the lore about Specimen 8 from Horizon Lunar Colony, and how the same experimentation that was applied to Winston was also applied to other specimens like number 8. However, what Jeff confirms for us is that Hammond is not a small chimp like we thought he might be, but he is in fact a hamster.

Having been a part of the same program as Winston, Hero 28 (Or Specimen 8, or Hammond, or Wrecking Ball if you prefer) grew to be larger than the average hamster and has a similar level of intelligence to Winston. He uses this intelligence to escape alongside his friend but the two are separated, and Hammond lands on the outskirts of Junkertown.

It’s here that Hammond becomes Wrecking Ball, having modified the wreck of his escape pod into a terrifying mech to compete in the Junkertown scrapyard. After becoming the champion, he leaves Australia to travel the world and continues to adapt his mech.

Jeff points out a few distinctions regarding lore once his origin is explained. Wrecking Ball is not, in fact, affiliated with the Junkers. He leaves Junkertown after having some fun, but the development team wanted to give him some of the Junkertown aesthetic that so many fans love.  Hammond also cannot speak, and instead communicates via his Mech. The Mech itself has a simple AI that he uses to communicate with those around him, though as Jeff is very quick to point out, is nowhere near the level of Omnics.

New Abilities

Kaplan knows that Overwatch fans are keen to hear about the class and abilities of Wrecking Ball and he does not disappoint in the Developer’s Update. During the video, Jeff dives into explaining just how the new hero can be played. Wrecking Ball is a Tank, though one designed with high mobility and to disrupt the enemy team.

His primary skill is that just like Bastion, he can switch modes. His first mode allows for firing of his quad canons and deal fairly widespread damage. Instead of shifting into a stationary turret however, his second mode is to be able to turn into a ball and roll onto enemies for high damage output.

While in his balled mode he gains access to extra abilities, such as a pile driver attack that sends him crashing into the ground and the ability to use a grapple hook and swing for extra mobility.

As a tank, Wrecking Ball does have some defensive abilities too. He has a manually activated shield that surrounds his mech, though the amount of shielding the hero receives depends on how many enemy heroes are in close proximity to him.

His ultimate ability is a highly dangerous minefield that is set up in a defined radius around the hero. According to Kaplan, each mine does an incredibly large amount of damage when stepped on by a member of the enemy team but to counter that, the ultimate takes a short time to set up and each mine is highly visible.

Hammond is now available to play on the PTR, so if you’d like to give him a try and have access to the PC version of Overwatch, start downloading the patch now and give him a test run.