Brigitte Lindholm is Overwatch’s newest support character, with a pretty hefty dose of tank thrown in. Playing her on the PTR is a pretty enlightening experience, and gives us a decent idea of how she will change things once she hits live servers. Of course, it’s worth noting that the PTR isn’t the most competitive and high-level testing environment, and Brigitte may see nerfs or buffs before she goes live. With that in mind, here’s our first impressions of this daughter of the Overwatch old guard.
First of all, Brigitte’s auto attack feels amazing. Her flail is fast, fluid, has decent range, and the AOE means that you’re rarely afraid of a DPS in your face or a chokepoint full of enemies. As always, Blizzard has nailed the animation and voice acting—auto-attacking as Brigitte feels really good, which is necessary for a character who is going to be on the front lines. Add in Whip Shot, and Brigitte’s weapon is strong, versatile, and manages to make the player feel like both a frontline hero and someone capable of dealing with Tracers, Genjis, and McCrees coming to take them down.
Her Repair Pack is the key ability that makes her a support over a healer, but the six second cooldown means that Brigitte can probably never thrive as a sole support. Her flail also deals out healing to nearby allies with the Inspire mechanic, which is helpful, but it’s not enough to keep an entire team up in a firefight. Brigitte is a support’s support—team her up with a Mercy or a Moira and she’ll thrive, but expect her to heal a team and she’ll struggle.
Right now, the numbers on Inspire and Repair Pack seem pretty high. A 150 hp heal that overheals for armor, and Inspire giving 80 hp seems high, and it may be tuned down, but its also worth noting that Brigitte is very vulnerable on the front lines. If you play her as a backline hero, trying to get maximum healing out, you’re missing out on half her kit. If you play her in the front lines, you have to be very careful to ensure you’re not bursted down immediately. After all, death is the best CC—a dead Brigitte puts out zero healing.
Giving armor to a full health ally is incredibly useful; expect her to pair well with her father on Defense Points in solo queue.
Barrier Shield and Shield Bash pair together a very interesting way. Hold down right click and she brings up a shield, just like Reinhardt. Left click then becomes enabled, and Brigitte dashes forward. Requiring both mouse buttons means that Brigitte needs to be dedicated to shielding, maneuvering, and then dashing—it feels slightly clunky, but it may be a necessary bit of flavor. After all, Brigitte isn’t as tanky as Reinhardt, and it takes her more effort to dash and bash.
Finally, Brigitte’s ultimate Rally is fun. Everyone around you gets a surge of armor, you move faster, and your battle banner streams brightly. It feels powerful and it can definitely feels like it can be used for some key moments, like stopping a Pharah ult or Genji Dragonblade. Add in the faster movement and Brigitte can likely use Rally to turn a Defense around or stop a Dive.
It becomes immediately obvious that certain characters are going to eat Brigitte for lunch. The new Sombra, for instance, is a hard counter thanks to her handy dandy Hack. Pharah will also be able to snipe her from afar with little chance for Brigitte to retaliate. Brigitte players will need to be careful with their positioning, staying near their team while protecting key targets.
She’s the most interesting support yet, gameplay-wise, and I’m interested to see what happens when she hits live servers.