After several days of teasing, Blizzard has confirmed that Overwatch's next and 27th hero will be - as pretty much everyone had already assumed - "engineer turned valiant squire", and Torbjörn's daughter, Brigitte Lindholm.
Brigitte, of course, made her public debut in the Reinhardt-themed animated short Honor and Glory last year. According to her backstory, Brigitte grew up learning her craft from master weaponsmith Torbjörn, before leaving home to serve as her godfather Reinhardt's squire. You'll get a small glimpse of Brigitte's origin story in Blizzard's introductory trailer below.
That flavourful cinematic endeavour is accompanied by a rather more detailed, informative look at Brigitte, courtesy of Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan. According to Kaplan, Brigitte is a support character first and foremost, but, uniquely, shares a lot of traits more closely associated with the tank role, making for an "interesting hybrid character".
Brigitte's weapon of choice is the Rocket Flail (similar in concept at least to Reinhardt's Rocket Hammer), which has great range - capable of extending out to hit characters from far away - despite being a melee weapon. Its basic attack is augmented by an ability known as Whip Shot, which can send the Rocket Flail out even further, doing considerable damage and knocking enemies back at the same time.
Additionally, Brigitte carries a Barrier shield. Brigitte's shield is smaller than Reinhardt's and can only protect herself - and, at a pinch, a teammate standing immediately behind her. However, it can also perform a Shield Bash when deployed, enabling Brigitte to very quickly lunge forward a short distance, doing damage and stunning whoever it connects with.
On the support side, Brigitte wields a targeted heal ability called Repair Pack, which uses a similar soft-targeting reticule to that seen with Zenyatta. Once the Repair Pack is applied to an ally, the target will receive a large health boost and the ability's cool-down will begin. Notably however, if a target is at full-health or if a Brigitte player chooses to over-heal a teammate, additional armour will be applied to that target for a very short space of time.
Kaplan notes that this might come in handy as a last minute defensive boost when a Brigitte player spots an ally that's just about to receive major damage.
Brigitte also comes equipped with the Inspire passive ability. Whenever she uses the Rocket Flail or Whip Shot, any ally stood within a large radius around her will heal over time - making Brigitte an extremely powerful asset whenever a team builds around her position.
Lastly, Brigitte's Ultimate ability is called Rally. Once initiated, horns will sound and teammates within a wide radius around Brigitte will gain armour that persists over time. Brigitte will also be able to move faster. This, says Kaplan, is extremely useful when a team is held up at a choke point or ready to capture a control point and wants to push forward in unison.
Kaplan calls Brigitte a "tonne of fun", noting that she's able to counter a lot of Overwatch's more powerful heroes. "We think she'll really mix up the way the game is being played both casually and competitively at the highest levels", he says.
Brigitte has yet to receive a formal arrival date in Overwatch, but she's currently available for testing on Blizzard's PTR servers.