As always, the reveal of the newest Overwatch hero has caused quite the conversation. The most recent character is Sigma, a gravity-defying hero who went mad after an experiment gone wrong. While some were excited to see his gravity-based powers in action, many noticed one detail in particular: his noticeable lack of shoes. With many wondering why an Overwatch hero, especially one who is covered in armor like Sigma, would be barefoot on the battlefield, a Blizzard character artist revealed the intentions behind the very specific choice.
Qiu Fang recently uploaded Sigma’s concept art to their ArtStation page, with the artist expressing excitement over their first Overwatch hero concept. Naturally, though, a lot of the conversation in the comments gravitated towards Sigma’s shoes, or lack thereof. When one commenter (inevitably) asked whether any future skins would include shoes, Fang explained why he has no footwear to being with.
For starters, and perhaps more obvious, is the fact that Sigma never touches the ground. While I think we can all agree walking around the various Overwatch maps barefoot is probably all kinds of gross, I suppose if you never touch the ground, it really doesn’t matter. However, there’s also a deeper significance to the choice, as well.
Sigma’s origin story showcased the former scientist being institutionalized. As you may (or may not) know, those who are checked into asylums are often not provided footwear, mostly as a safety precaution. “We decided to keep the feet bare to sell the ‘asylum’ look a bit more,” Fang explains. The lack of footwear also draws more attention to Sigma’s gravity shackles, which also evokes the image of a prisoner.
Of course, Sigma’s origin has already generated some controversy. Some have wondered whether Blizzard using the “mental illness as an excuse for villainy” trope was wise. While using it in his backstory is already questionable, having it baked into the character’s design may reinforce the cliche. Hopefully we’ll learn more about what makes Sigma tick in the future.
For now though, we’ll just have to accept Sigma in all his barefooted glory. That is, of course, until he gets the inevitable footed skin. Gameplay-wise, Sigma will operate as a Tank hero, and will come just as a new role queue system was announced.