ByMichael Mitchell, writer at
Former Staff Writer for Now Loading. Currently tweeting things here:
Michael Mitchell

Blizzard has had Sombra in the works as an Overwatch hero for a while now, and they've been teasing us for just about forever. We had several different moments where it seemed like she'd be released, only to have it turn out we had a little more ARG to slog through before finding out more.

But all the waiting is finally over.

BlizzCon is in full swing and Sombra made her appearance during the opening ceremony. Not only did she surprise everyone with her hilarious booping, but she also surprised everyone in her premiere video by making her exact allegiances... totally unclear.

It was great, and naturally, I couldn't wait to try her in-game – so that's exactly what I did. And I'm happy to say, my first impression of Sombra is a very, very good one.

(Also, if you want a rundown of her abilities, we've got your back.)

Using Her Translocator Is So. Much. Fun.

If you haven't had a chance to be take a look at Sombra's abilities, we have a nice breakdown of them that'll help give you a better idea of her as a character. My personal favorite of her abilities is the translocator. I honestly did not expect it to be as fun or useful when I first read its description, but it's a total blast.

Because Sombra throws it in an arc, you're able to aim it horizontally and vertically. Doing so allows you to teleport yourself to higher ground if you need to gain the height advantage over your enemies. But, that's not the only use for the translocator! In my brief time playing, I was able to use it for a number of surprisingly useful plays:

  • When a Pharah knocked me off the edge of the map, I quickly threw a translocator up and teleported to it before I would have otherwise fallen to my death.
  • The enemy Reinhardt was shielding his team and blocking our attacks, so I threw it behind him and forced him to choose between taking damage from me or dropping his shield and making himself vulnerable to my team.
  • A number of times, I planned my teleport ahead of time and used it as a quick escape if things got dicey — essentially, it became Sombra's very own version of Tracer's Recall.

I'm sure players will find several other crazy ways to use Sombra's translocator, but even the few ways I found to use it during my brief playtime sold me on the new hero. But of course, she has more than one ability.

Her Overall Toolkit Has Wonderful Synergy

The thing that I began to realize after a little bit of playtime was that Sombra's abilities are strong on their own but also have the potential for some really great synergy. For example, I ran up to a Mercy and hacked her to prevent her from healing her allies. After that, I took her out quickly with her machine pistol.

It wasn't until after that play that I thought about what I could have done to take it a step further. Case in point: I could have easily placed my translocator down, activated my stealth to sneak up on Mercy, hacked her, taken her out, then teleported back to safety. Of course, this didn't occur to me until later on, but it made me realize the sort of potential Sombra has as a sort-of infiltrator hero.

I can easily imagine a world in which Sombra becomes the ideal hero for taking out key enemies — a defending Reinhardt, an annoying Bastion, a strong healer — and ultimately turning the tide of battle in favor of her team.

She's Good For Beginners And Advanced Players Alike

I hinted at this above, but Sombra really feels like a character that anyone can jump into and do a decent job with. The reason for this is that all of her abilities are pretty strong in their own right. Her fun doesn't work from a huge range, but up close and aimed correctly, it can deal some major damage.

Simply using a translocator to get the jump on an enemy will be enough to kill that enemy; using her abilities together like I described above will ensure maximum damage to the other team. Likewise, using her ultimate with at least one enemy nearby will guarantee someone on the other team is affected, while using it in the middle of the entire team will be the best approach for competitive play.

Overall, Sombra is a great addition to the Overwatch roster. Her gun and translocator feel a bit like Tracer but are different enough that playing Sombra won't feel redundant for Tracer mains. Meanwhile, her stealth ability feels like Reaper's defensive escape, but is actually much better used offensively, since it can be broken if hit.

I didn't have very long to play Sombra, but I have already fallen in love with her. She's not overpowered, but she's not weak. She's fun and changes the gameplay for her particular role the way Ana did, but is a character that more players will likely utilize. She is definitely going to change the way the game is played, and I can't wait until she's officially in the hands of players.

Is Sombra everything you had hoped for?


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