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Doomfist

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Doomfist
Overwatch character
Doomfist.png
Voiced by Sahr Ngaujah

Doomfist is a fictional, playable character in the 2016 video game Overwatch. He is an offensive, brawler-style character, and uses close-range attacks: a charged punch, uppercut, and slam. Doomfist was released in July 2017 as the title's 25th hero, and the fourth introduced after the game's launch.

Overwatch's announcement video, in 2014, contained a stray reference to a gauntlet. Blizzard Entertainment later included the gauntlet in the kit of a full-fledged, playable character. In Doomfist's fictional backstory, the playable character became the third generation to wield the gauntlet, and is presented as a villain after killing his predecessor and becoming a leader of Talon, the game's nemesis group. The digital comic Masquerade accompanied the character's release.

Fans were excited by the character's reveal, and professional players praised the balance of his move set. Other critics considered Doomfist too vulnerable to be viable, and insufficiently exciting to rekindle the interest of old players.

Doomfist is voiced by Sahr Ngaujah.

Description[edit]

Doomfist is an offense character built as a brawler, with close-range, melee attacks from his cybernetic gauntlet. His Rocket Punch is a charged attack that launches Doomfist in the direction of the player's aim. It does extra damage if it pummels the enemy into a wall.[1] It is useful for finishing enemies in retreat as well as pushing enemies off edges.[2] The Rising Uppercut punches the enemy with Doomfist into the air, and the Seismic Slam performs a smashing dive to return to the ground. His only non-melee attack is his short-range Hand Cannon, which shoots a shotgun burst of projectiles from the gauntlet's knuckles.[1] Its four shots of ammunition regenerate slowly.[1][2] Doomfist's passive ability regenerates his shields when he deals damage. His ultimate ability, Meteor Strike, launches Doomfist into the air to rain down on a targeted area,[1] and complements other ultimate abilities that pull enemies together.[3][4]

These moves are designed to be used in flurry combinations. For instance, the player can Seismic Slam an opponent, which pulls in enemies, and progress into a Rising Uppercut, which tosses the opponent into the air. During that toss, the player can charge the Rocket Punch and release as the opponent returns to the ground. Alternatively, the player can launch into the air, pick an opponent to slam, and punch them at close range. The character is built for aggressive playstyles and advanced players.[2]

Among his advantages, his move combinations contribute to his high mobility, compared to other Overwatch playable characters. Doomfist can easily reach and neutralize enemies occupying high ground, such as snipers. He is most effective against low-mobility opponents, but susceptible to high-mobility opponents, such as Pharah, Soldier: 76, and Sombra. Among his disadvantages, Doomfist is dependent on his abilities to escape groups of enemies, leaving the player helpless when his abilities are unavailable (on cooldown or hacked by Sombra). Doomfist's large "hitbox", or area for taking damage, disadvantages him to characters such as Reaper, Roadhog, and Ana's sleep dart.[2]

Some of the character's skins relate to his fictional cultural heritage, such as the orisha gods of the Yoruba religion and the African ceremonial mask tradition.[5][6] Doomfist's other aesthetic customization options allude to the boxer Muhammad Ali, the combo sequences of fighting video games, and other pop culture references.[7][8]

Development[edit]

External video
The 2014 cinematic, in which the game was first announced and Doomfist's gauntlet first appeared
Doomfist character preview with developer commentary

Doomfist was a stray reference in Overwatch's original animated short whose obsessive popularity with fans led the development team to expand his lore with in-game references in the game's Numbani map.[9][10] In the cinematic video used to announce the game in 2014, a boy is excited to see Doomfist's gauntlet on display behind glass at the Overwatch museum.[11] Doomfist's gauntlet was a plot device, and the developers had not planned to create a character to wield it. Overwatch Creative Director Chris Metzen played with compound nouns to give the gauntlet a name reminiscent of a shotgun. The developers expanded the gauntlet into a Doomfist character in bits. In particular, they decided to use the gauntlet as the centerpiece for the game's Numbani environment, in which the gauntlet is encased in the map's objective, the payload, to be delivered to a Doomfist exhibit at a museum. By late 2015, the team decided Doomfist would be a generational hero, like that of superhero universes, were he to be a full-fledged playable character,[12] the fourth additional character to be added to game,[13] and 25th on the roster.[14]

In designing the character, Blizzard's Geoff Goodman said they crafted Doomfist as an "ode to the fighting genre", both in his skill kit and in concept art.[15] Though Blizzard tried to keep all of his attacks as melee, they found, as they had with Genji, that Doomfist needed some type of ranged attack to make him playable; an early attack had been a phantom punch that would have been launched from his fist.[16] Doomfist had also be considered as a Tank class, but Blizzard did not want to make the mistake again of having a high-health character with powerful attacks as they had initially with Roadhog at the game's introduction.[16] At one point during development, Doomfist would have been able to pick up enemies and use them as human shields or to throw them, but Blizzard dropped this as he was not supposed to be a wrestler or luchador, according to Goodman.[16] They also dropped an ability for him to grab pieces of the ground and throw them.[16] His ultimate ability was originally designed for Orisa, the character introduced prior to Doomfist.[16]

Doomfist voice actor Sahr Ngaujah, pictured in 2012

Actor and former American football player Terry Crews generated support on social media in his bid to voice the character, which included a mock audition, a visit to the developer's headquarters, an endorsement from fellow actor Dwayne Johnson, and a fan campaign.[17][18][19] The character was ultimately voiced by Sahr Ngaujah, who previously appeared in Money Monster and Stomp the Yard.[20] Blizzard's Michael Chu explained that when they were casting for Doomfist specifically looking for "something very specific given his role in the game", Ngaujah's audition significantly impressed them, along with his ability to deliver many different "flavors" that they needed for the character.[15] Crews ultimately felt that Ngaujah was a better fit for Doomfist, and was pleased to have been included, instead, in Microsoft's Crackdown 3.[21] Chu did not rule out using Crews elsewhere within Overwatch.[15]

In the lead-up to Blizzard's official announcement of the playable character, the developers teased his release by modifying the Doomfist gauntlet in Numbani to appear to be stolen from its glass case.[22][18] Blizzard finally confirmed the Doomfist's development with a teaser trailer in early July 2017, a week after news of the release leaked through the game's crash logs.[9] The reveal cinematic was drawn in an anime-style by Wolf Smoke Studio, based in Shanghai, who had previously expressed and rallied interest in developing an anime in the game's fictional universe.[23] Blizzard also sent an official Doomfist cosplayer to the San Diego Comic-Con and Overwatch World Cup Sydney qualifier.[24][25] Soon after the reveal, Doomfist became playable on the game's test servers,[20] where some of the character's powers were rebalanced to reduce punch distance and vertical mobility.[26] The character was released for all platforms on July 27, 2017.[27]

Lore[edit]

External video
Doomfist origin story, an official, animated short

Doomfist is presented as a "generational" character who, like The Green Lantern or The Flash, has passed through two generational eras in which he was known to the fictional world as "The Savior" and "The Scourge".[10] The playable Doomfist is the character's third incarnation, labeled "The Successor" as the third person to be called "Doomfist".[28]

Doomfist is one of the villains of the Overwatch fictional universe.[28] In the backstory of the third Doomfist, Akande Ogundimu is presented as the villainous heir to a prosthetics company in Nigeria who splits his time between expanding the company and martial arts training. During the game's "Omnic War" between humans and rogue Omnic robots, Ogundimu lost his right arm. His prosthetic replacement impressed the second Doomfist (Akinjide Adeyemi), who then trained Ogundimu as his successor, but the student later killed his teacher to claim the gauntlet for himself. Ogundimu became a leader of the Talon group, the nemesis organization to Overwatch, and advocates for his belief that forces of conflict will strengthen humanity. At some point prior to the game's present, Overwatch's Winston, a playable character from the game, defeats Doomfist and puts the titular gauntlet behind glass in the Overwatch museum, as referenced in the original Overwatch announcement video.[11] Blizzard's first teaser for Doomfist's release shows a fictional news report about Talon freeing Doomfist from prison to steal the gauntlet.[20][14] Blizzard had modified the Numbani level during its release of Orisa, the previous playable character released for the game, to imply that Doomfist had attacked the city and stolen the gauntlet; notably, the payload casing had been broken open and the gauntlet missing.[29]

A digital comic accompanied the playable character's release, featuring Doomfist in a James Bond-esque casino setting. Masquerade establishes the character's motivations and competition following his release from prison.[30][31]

Reception[edit]

Upon Doomfist's official announcement, Kotaku reported the fan reaction as "beyond excited".[32] Fan anticipation for the character rivaled that for Sombra, a character released the previous year[28] with a prolonged reveal period.[33] Players had hoped for the release of Doomfist each time Blizzard had revealed an additional character for the game.[32] Polygon wrote that Doomfist's announcement cinematic, drawn in an anime style, was the best in the series to date.[23] Fans who had lobbied for Terry Crews to play Doomfist's voice were disappointed to discover his absence, but Sahr Ngaujah's performance was praised at the time of Doomfist's formal unveiling,[17] and fans received the character positively anyway.[32] Blizzard's choice of Ngaujah over the higher profile Crews also meant that the voice actor would be more available to reappear for additional recording and other game community events.[34] Doomfist also fulfilled Overwatch's sore lack of a supervillain, according to IGN, in a cast of other morally ambiguous but tragic and redeemable characters. The critic anticipated Doomfist as the start of Blizzard making Talon into a villainous organization à la Legion of Doom (Justice League) or Masters of Evil (Avengers).[28]

Heroes Never Die, an Overwatch-specific news spinoff site by Polygon, wrote that Doomfist's style was wholly unlike that of the other characters, and created a "feast or famine" scenario in which the character is only helpful when engaged in risky, aggressive play.[35] The site expected Doomfist's release to affect team character selections to maximize Doomfist's strengths, weaknesses, and synergies.[36] PC Gamer praised Doomfist's balance against the other characters just prior to his launch. Professional players complimented the addition of a strong, counterable character to disrupt the common, uncounterable characters normally played in the professional circuit. Another commended the idea of fighting game-style combos in a first-person shooter for adding an additional skill ceiling for players to pursue.[2] Kotaku, however, considered Doomfist a better fit for a Marvel vs. Capcom fighting game than Overwatch, and bemoaned the character's vulnerability to snipers, low health, and lack of escape options, which made him less threatening or even unrewarding.[3] Even as Doomfist's design was neat, Waypoint's critic thought, the character was not exciting or enough of an extrinsic motivator to reclaim players who had dropped out from its player base.[37] Other reviewers, however, found simple joy in pulling off punches and combos.[38][3]

At the time of Doomfist's release, the Overwatch meta-game was favoring "dive" compositions, using a character that can jump over a great distance like Winston or D.Va. Players using these characters would self-sacrifice themselves by jumping into or behind an enemy front-line, and do as much damage as possible, distracting that team from a major push. About a month after Doomfist's addition, the "dive" strategy had become readily countered as Doomfist can quickly eliminate either the singular threat or the oncoming group particularly when coupled with crowd-control skills like Zarya's or Reinhardt's ultimates.[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Gilliam, Ryan (July 6, 2017). "Doomfist's newly announced kit gives Overwatch a big brawler". Heroes Never Die. Archived from the original on August 22, 2017. Retrieved July 13, 2017.  Also see Moore, Bo (July 7, 2017). "Doomfist abilities list: here's everything Overwatch's new melee hero can do". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on July 8, 2017. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Horti, Sam (July 13, 2017). "Overwatch pros analyze Doomfist's strengths, weaknesses, and combos". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on July 15, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d D'Anastasio, Cecilia (July 7, 2017). "Some Early Thoughts On Overwatch's Doomfist: Fun, Fresh, Flawed". Kotaku. Archived from the original on July 9, 2017. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
  4. ^ Examples of characters with ultimate abilities that pull enemies together (also known as "crowd-control" ultimates) include Zarya, Mei, and Reinhardt.[3]
  5. ^ Frank, Allegra (July 13, 2017). "Overwatch is embracing Doomfist's Nigerian origins in the coolest way". Polygon. Archived from the original on July 13, 2017. Retrieved July 13, 2017. 
  6. ^ Kim, Matt (July 13, 2017). "Doomfist's First Legendary Skins are Live on the Overwatch PTR". USgamer. Retrieved July 13, 2017. 
  7. ^ Frank, Allegra (July 13, 2017). "Doomfist's sprays make 'the greatest' references". Polygon. Archived from the original on July 14, 2017. Retrieved July 13, 2017. 
  8. ^ Marshall, Cass (July 13, 2017). "The highlights of Doomfist's POTG intros, sprays, and other PTR goodies". Heroes Never Die. Retrieved July 16, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Skrebels, Joe (July 5, 2017). "Overwatch Officially Teases Long-Rumored Character, Doomfist". IGN. Archived from the original on July 5, 2017. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
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  12. ^ Marks, Tom (December 10, 2015). "How Blizzard is making up Overwatch's story as it goes". PC Gamer. p. 2. Archived from the original on July 6, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
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  15. ^ a b c Haywald, Justin (July 23, 2017). "Overwatch Devs Explain Why Terry Crews Isn't Doomfist's Voice (And Other Inside Stories)". GameSpot. Archived from the original on July 24, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017. 
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  19. ^ Delahunty-Light, Zoe (January 5, 2017). "Terry Crews wants to voice Overwatch's Doomfist and Twitter has said YES, PLEASE GOD YES". GamesRadar. Archived from the original on January 12, 2017. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
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  21. ^ Donnelly, Joe (July 18, 2017). "'People were upset but I'm notI think there will be something coming,' says Terry Crews on Doomfist and Blizzard". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on July 23, 2017. Retrieved July 18, 2017. 
  22. ^ Skrebels, Joe (February 8, 2017). "More Evidence of New Hero Doomfist Emerges in Latest Overwatch Update". IGN. Archived from the original on March 18, 2017. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
  23. ^ a b Frank, Allegra (July 6, 2017). "You have this studio to thank for Overwatchs best origin video ever". Polygon. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
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  25. ^ Plunkett, Luke (July 20, 2017). "Blizzard's Official Doomfist Cosplay Is Incredible". Kotaku. Archived from the original on August 21, 2017. Retrieved August 20, 2017. 
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  30. ^ Marshall, Cass (July 19, 2017). "Doomfist's new comic, Masquerade, gives Talon a ton of spotlight". Heroes Never Die. Archived from the original on August 22, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2017. 
  31. ^ Marshall, Cass (July 19, 2017). "Ranking the incredible costumes in Overwatch's Masquerade comic". Heroes Never Die. Archived from the original on July 23, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2017. 
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  33. ^ Chalk, Andy (July 6, 2017). "Doomfist, the legendary Overwatch bad guy, is now live on the PTR". PC Gamer. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
  34. ^ Gilliam, Ryan (August 2, 2017). "You don't want famous people in your Overwatch". Heroes Never Die. Archived from the original on August 5, 2017. Retrieved August 3, 2017. 
  35. ^ Gilliam, Ryan (July 27, 2017). "Doomfist guide: How to dominate with Overwatch's newest brawler". Heroes Never Die. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017. Retrieved July 28, 2017. 
  36. ^ Marshall, Cass (July 20, 2017). "Here are the heroes you should play when a Doomfist enters your game". Heroes Never Die. Archived from the original on July 23, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2017. 
  37. ^ Kunzelman, Cameron (July 6, 2017). "Why Doomfist Won't Bring Me Back to 'Overwatch'". Waypoint. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
  38. ^ Conditt, Jessica (July 27, 2017). "This is how Doomfist invades 'Overwatch'". Engadget. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017. Retrieved July 28, 2017. 
  39. ^ Alanzo, Damien (September 13, 2017). "Thanks to Doomfist, the Overwatch meta is finally exciting again". PC Gamer. Retrieved September 13, 2017. 

External links[edit]