|First appearance||Dragon Slayer (2016)|
|First game||Overwatch (2018)|
|Created by||Blizzard Entertainment|
|Voiced by||Matilda Smedius (English)|
Brigitte Lindholm // is a fictional player character who appears in the 2016 video game Overwatch—a first-person shooter developed by Blizzard Entertainment—and related animations and literary media. Although Overwatch was released in 2016, Brigitte was introduced as a playable support character in a March 2018 update for the game. Prior to her video game debut, she first appeared in Dragon Slayer, an issue of the Overwatch digital comic series.
Brigitte is classified as a support character and is listed as a one-star (low) difficulty character for players. Although she is listed as a support character, Blizzard developed her a support–tank hybrid, as she both carries a barrier shield and is able to heal teammates.
Video game outlets Gamespot, USgamer, and Engadget described Brigitte's move set as an apt blending of Torbjörn and Reinhardt's abilities. Her move set includes her Rocket Flail melee attack, which has an extended range and allows her to strike multiple enemies in one swing. Brigitte's flail is also augmented with the Whip Shot ability, allowing her to throw her flail a long distance, dealing damage and knocking an enemy back in the process. Her Inspire ability allows her to passively heal nearby teammates over time when she hits enemies with her flail. Brigitte can also actively heal allies with her Repair Pack ability; any healing over an ally's maximum health pool will provide that ally with additional armor instead. Brigitte additionally comes equipped with a Barrier Shield, which is a "frontal energy barrier that can absorb a limited amount of damage," while also protecting allies behind it. While the shield is activated, players can use Brigitte's Shield Bash ability to dash forward, stunning an enemy hit by the dash. Brigitte's "Ultimate ability" is Rally, which allows her to move faster and provide all nearby allies with a temporary armor.
Matilda Smedius provides the voice for Brigitte.
Development and design
Brigitte as a character had already been introduced within the lore of Overwatch as Torbjörn's daughter and friend to Reinhardt, through the Dragon Slayer digital comic released in 2016. Brigitte was developed alongside the character of Moira, who was the game's 26th hero. Originally named Pally, Blizzard had originally given her an ability to send out a healing orb to other teammates which had a long cooldown time. As they fleshed out both characters, they opted to push the tank-hybrid more for Pally, and transferred the healing orb to Moira, which would become part of her Biotic Orb abilities. As they worked more on Pally's character, they recognized her skill set integrated well with Brigitte's own story, and thus established the hero to the established lore.
Overwatch's developers designed Brigitte as a support–tank hybrid intended to counter the "dive" strategy that was dominating the current Overwatch metagame. With the dive strategy, a team would have a mobile character (such as Winston or Tracer race into the back lines of a defending team while the defenders main tanks were elsewhere and unable to protect the weaker characters. This would be a sacrificial move by attacking teams, using the disruption to deal with the other remaining team. With Brigitte on defense, she would be able to stun and delay the diving character long enough to allow the defending team to react and close ranks, nullifying the dive strategy. Jeff Kaplan called the character, prior to her formal reveal, as "very needed" in the game.
In late February 2018, Brigitte was officially announced to be the 27th playable character in Overwatch. In a developer update video introducing Brigitte, Overwatch developer Jeff Kaplan described Brigitte's gameplay abilities, detailing her design as a support–tank hybrid. Brigitte's "hybrid" description stems from the game incorporating both abilities seen in the tank role—like a barrier shield—as well as healing abilities in her skill set. Although referring to Brigitte as a "hybrid" character, Kaplan maintained that she is a primarily support character.
The character spent a few weeks playable only on Blizzard's "Public Test Realm" (PTR) server, before she was made fully available to players on March 20. After Brigitte was initially made available on Blizzard's PTR server, PCGamesN noted her ability to disrupt "dive comp", a team composition featuring tank character Winston and offense character Tracer. The outlet explained dive comps are "defined by mobile characters able to pounce on key enemy characters - typically their supports - before they can react, then mopping up the rest of the team once an advantage has been won." PCGamesN connected Brigitte's ability to disrupt this aspect of the game's meta to Kaplan's statements about how she would "shake up the meta."
Fictional character biography
Brigitte's character backstory is tied into that of her father Torbjörn's and her godfather Reinhardt's. Outside of the game, Blizzard's fictional biography for Brigitte lists her full real name as Brigitte Lindholm, her age as 23, and her former base of operations as Gothenberg, Sweden.
In-universe, Brigitte is an adventurer and a mechanical engineer, following in the footsteps of her father, Torbjörn. Torbjörn, in Overwatch's lore, is the Chief Engineer for the Overwatch organization. One teaser for the Brigitte's character reveal described Reinhardt saving Torbjörn, after the latter gets severely injured on "Operation: White Dome", an Overwatch mission. In a letter to his pregnant wife, Torbjörn expresses that he will be allowing Reinhardt to name his daughter as a thankful gesture. After the dissolution of the Overwatch organization, Reinhardt chose to continue to fight for justice as a knight-errant. Brigitte requested to join him as his squire, and Reinhardt accepted and would train her in combat. Her responsibilities initially included maintaining Reinhardt's armor, but she increasingly began to have to heal Reinhardt's wounds. Brigitte began to believe her role was insufficient, and developed her own armor in secret to fight alongside Reinhardt. Brigitte also designed Reinhardt's shield.
Coinciding with the announcement of Brigitte being included in Overwatch's playable character roster, Blizzard released a short animated origin story about her, focusing on her relationships with Torbjörn and Reinhardt.
Brigitte made her first official appearance in any form of media in Dragon Slayer, the second issue of Overwatch's digital comic series. Dragon Slayer, released in April 2016, features Brigitte throughout, but focuses on Reinhardt defeating local thugs. She later appeared in the December 2016 issue Reflections in a panel featuring her family and Reinhardt.
Brigitte's reveal led to Stewart Chisam—a game developer on Hi-Rez Studios' Paladins—posting a tweet, comparing Brigitte to Ash, a character from Paladins. When reached for comment by Kotaku, Chisam expressed that the tweet was a light-hearted joke and an "a bit of an homage to tons of 'Overwatch Clone' comments Paladins received when it first came to market."
While Brigitte was added to Overwatch on March 20, 2018, she was not added to the servers for the 2018 Overwatch League season until the start of Stage 4, commencing in May 2018. To that point, many teams in the League had excelled on the dive composition, particularly the New York Excelsior, which had nearly secured their spot in the season finals. With Brigitte was added, other teams adapted her into their team compositions and were able to effectively counter the Excelsior's dive strategies, while Excelsior had not adapted to Brigitte's abilities during season play. Though Excelsior still was the League's top seed leading into the finals, they lost their semi-final round to the Philadelphia Fusion, in part because the Fusion had used Brigitte in their compositions to challenge Excelsior's dive approach.
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