Blizzard drew upon a bunch of different sources to get the characters in Overwatch just right. Here are some examples of what Blizzard may have been looking at when thinking up Overwatch's heroes.
Blizzard has undoubtedly hit the mark with Overwatch. It's fun, fast-paced, and has a great amount of depth for a concept that looks somewhat simple at first glance.
One of Overwatch's strongest aspects is its colorful cast of characters, and it is easy to see that Blizzard put a good deal of love into the roster. Blizzard also seems to have drawn inspiration from a bunch of different games and media in order to flesh out the game's characters. Here are four examples of what Blizzard may have been looking at when thinking up Overwatch's heroes.
It's almost impossible to have a gunslinger character in anything without paying homage to Clint Eastwood's character the Man With no Name in Sergio Leone's "Dollars Trilogy".
Introduced in A Fistful of Dollars and fully realized in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the Man With no Name set the standard for what we think about desperados. Mcree is no exception to this rule, and with his seemingly unending cigar and red poncho, Mcree practically oozes spaghetti western. Mcree's ultimate High Noon is also quite similar to the Dead Eye ability in Rockstar's western hit Red Dead Redemption.
With Mei, Blizzard seems to have taken some of the most interesting ice themed abilities from League of Legends and jumbled them into one character. With the exception of Mei's standard and secondary weapon attacks, one can see how Mei's abilities relate to those of multiple champions in League of Legends.
Mei's shift ability Cryo-Freeze is similar to the League's resident frost witch Lissandra's ultimate ability Frozen Tomb, as both characters entomb themselves in ice to avoid damage. Mei's ultimate ability Blizzard creates a large, circular region that is a lot like the yeti Nunu's ultimate Absolute Zero, and Mei's Ice Wall provides similar functionality to League's frozen phoenix Anivia's ice wall ability Crystallize.
A futuristic DJ that skates around on rollerblades and can ride along walls, are we playing SEGA back in the early 2000s? Lucio seems to be heavily influenced by developer Smilebit's two classic games Jet Set Radio and Jet Set Radio Future. JSR and JSRF are known for their quality soundtracks and cell-shaded art style which was quite a new venture when the games came out for the Dreamcast and Xbox.
Roadhog's shift ability Chain Hook continues the trend of adding hooking characters in MOBAs and MOBA-esque games. Much like Blitzcrank and Thresh from League of Legends and Pudge from DOTA, Roadhog has the ability to pull enemy characters closer in order to get them better acquainted with his scrap gun.
Blizzard also seems to have taken characteristics from the Mad Max movies when creating Roadhog. A motorcycle riding maniac covered in scrap parts from post-apocalyptic Australia? Sounds like the perfect chance to yell "Witness Me!" as you pull D.Va's exploding mech into yourself to take one for the team, or just troll them.