Is Overwatch’s new hero Orisa an omnic or a robot?

You could say she's either, really.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Some folks say Overwatch’s new hero Orisa is an omnic. Others consider her a robot. Blizzard’s called her both. So who’s right?

Both omnic and robot are correct terms for Orisa, actually. Overwatch lead writer Michael Chu chimed in on the Blizzard forum to set the record straight. “In Overwatch, omnic and robot are just about as interchangeable as colloquial terms,” Chu wrote. “It’s the equivalent of Kleenex versus tissue paper.”

Sentient robots endowed with free will, omnics often face discrimination in Overwatch’s world. Omnics rose up during the Omnic Crisis to attack human cities with militarized robots, and that wound has still not healed. Though generations have passed since the event, omnics are denied rights in much of Overwatch’s world. Numbani, however, is one place where humans and omnics live side by side, in peace.

Like both Bastion and Zenyatta, Orisa would likely be called an omnic by everyday people in Overwatch’s world, especially given that 11-year-old Numbani inventor Efi Oladele created her from a design originally used during the Omnic Crisis. Orisa’s model is based on the OR15 units scavenged from the scraps of Doomfist’s Numbani International Airport attack. The OR15 units themselves were created based off designs used during the Crisis that were called OR14s.

Chu clarified that Orisa is definitely not a drone: She actually has a complex artificial intelligence system installed. It’s unclear whether she’s as self-aware as Bastion or Zenyatta, given her newness on the Overwatch scene.

“At this point in her career, she’s still starting out, so she has a long way to grow as she learns more about herself and the world around her,” Chu added. And that’s a particularly interesting idea for Overwatch. Orisa has the potential to evolve as the game’s lore grows.

A full range of voice lines will expand Orisa’s lore when she goes live in Overwatch. “She should also have a number of interactions with other heroes in the future, but due to scheduling and other issues, they might trickle in a bit later,” Chu said.