Some speak of a black-robed terrorist known only as the Reaper. His identity and motives are a mystery. What is known is that where he appears, death follows.
The Reaper is an extremely volatile mercenary, a ruthless and remorseless killer responsible for terrorist attacks across the world. He has fought in many armed conflicts in the last decades, showing no loyalty to any cause or organization.
Survivors have described a black shadow ghosting unscathed through the most hellish battlefields. The few bodies recovered of those he kills are pale, empty husks drained of life, their cells showing signs of intense degradation. It is possible that he is a byproduct of failed genetic alteration which forces his cells to simultaneously decay and regenerate at a hyper-accelerated rate.
Those attempting to track his movements have begun to see a pattern in his appearances. They believe that Reaper is hunting former Overwatch agents and systematically eliminating them.
Besides these abilities, Reaper can jump, crouch, reload (only when his ammo is not full), and perform Quick Melee.
He can spin 360 degrees when performing his ultimate, causing mass DPS to all enemies near him.
- All seasonal event items, which are marked with special event icons ( • • • • • ), are only available to be unlocked either through their respective Loot Boxes or by Credits within the event's duration. During the event, newly-introduced event items cost three times as much as non-event items of the same rarity, while returning seasonal items are unlocked at the regular price. Items which are obtained from an external source are marked with Blizzard icons () and their requirements are noted below.
- The Blackwatch Reyes skin is obtained by purchasing (or upgrading to) the Overwatch's Origins Edition and/or the Collector's Edition.
- This emote, after activating, will remain in its animation until the player inputs other actions to interrupt it.
- For Reaper-specific sprays, see Reaper/Sprays.
One purchase of an alternate weapon skin will apply to the Hellfire Shotguns of all unlocked skins when equipping it.
Gabriel Reyes was a senior officer in the US military. Born in Los Angeles, Reyes was enlisted into the US's Soldier Enhancement Program as Soldier: 24, and through it formed a close bond with Jack Morrison. When the Omnic Crisis began and the UN began to assemble Overwatch, the two accepted the offer to join alongside Reinhardt Wilhelm, Torbjörn Lindholm, Ana Amari, and Liao. Though Reyes led the strike team, Morrison was recognized as the team's moral fabric. Around this era, the Reaper also began appearing in numerous armed conflicts, with no apparent allegiance.
When Overwatch successfully put down the crisis, Morrison was promoted to Strike Commander while Reyes became head of Blackwatch. He oversaw Overwatch's covert ops missions and trained agents like McCree. Over time, Reyes began to resent Morrison for receiving the public's attention while he received none. He began to organize a rebellion within Overwatch that ultimately led to a conflict at the Swiss Headquarters, resulting in an explosion that supposedly killed both Reyes and Morrison. It was during this rebellion that he had enlisted Moira, who aided him in changing his genetic makeup, giving him new abilities. He had also found his way into Talon before the fall of Overwatch, eventually taking a role of leadership within the organization.
Reaper attempted to invade Watchpoint: Gibraltar to assassinate Winston and hack into his database to find other agents' locations. Though he brought Talon agents as a backup, the operation was not entirely successful, and Reaper only managed to obtain part of the Overwatch database - later taking a few names off its list. Reaper worked with another Talon agent, Widowmaker, to steal Doomfist's gauntlet from a museum. After a fight with Winston and Tracer, this operation also failed; though both escaped intact, the gauntlet was badly damaged and the two lost their upper hand.
Reaper recently came to Egypt and set a trap for Soldier: 76 in one of Talon's bases there. He successfully took down Soldier: 76, whose identity has been known to Reaper as Jack Morrison, and reveal himself as Gabriel Reyes. When he was about to kill Jack Morrison, he was attacked by "Shrike", the one who had been sabotaging Talon's operations recently. Soldier: 76 was able to fight back, but Reaper escaped and headed for Soldier's sudden supporter instead. He recognized the person as Ana Amari, who beat him to the ground and pulled off his mask. In response to her horrified expression, he blamed his appearance on Jack Morrison and another party for his current state, then got away.
In the mission to assassinate Katya Volskaya, Reaper was aided by Sombra and Widowmaker. After breaking in, he nearly succeeds in shooting Katya through the elevator only to be blocked and attacked by a Russian soldier in a mech. Cut off from his target, he instructs Sombra to go after the CEO herself. When later learning from Sombra that Katya had escaped, he grudgingly tells both of them to retreat, tossing his unloaded guns aside while surrounded by the destruction he had created.
Around the time of Christmas, Reaper could be seen silently watching a happy family of three from the shadows. When asked for details about the family, lead writer Michael Chu replied: "It's not a random family."
Reaper later led a Talon mission to break Akande Ogundimu out of a maximum-security Helix prison. Though he was recognized in video surveillance tapes, the mission was successful, and Reaper left over a dozen guards dead and decaying.
Reaper admits to being a high-functioning psychopath, having a passion for murder and vengeance and is willing to kill even without a solid motivation. He's seemingly conceited and sadistic, often toying with his opponents when he has the upper hand in combat, as shown in the Cinematic Trailer where he goes out of his way to step on Winston's glasses before attempting to kill him. Moreover, the gears towards a "mission at all costs" attitude, as evident by his unrestricted activity during his time as the head of Blackwatch and his in-game and cinematic voice lines and interactions.
Reaper also expresses dislike for omnics, insulting Bastion, Zenyatta, or Orisa whenever he defeats any of them in-game. However, in the comics, during the last days of Overwatch, he tells about the Omnic's predicament in the UK of being deprived of their rights. This suggests that Reyes had somewhat of a sympathetic point of view towards them during that time. At this point, his feelings towards Omnics are more ambivalent than previously thought. Additionally, he has a tendency to get annoyed, an example of this being his reaction to Sombra closing a hacked door on him after she had opened it for him.
In the past, Gabriel Reyes had been an understandable person with a headstrong nature, treating the members of his original strike team as close friends. However, as time went by, his attitude became more joking and casual, and he seemed to care less for Overwatch. His nature became more cynical when he said, "I'm not the one with the statue." as he proceeded with a half-hearted smile and shrug. This may have hinted at jealousy towards Jack Morrison. Later, he had grown a hatred for both Jack Morrison and the Overwatch organization as a whole, going as far as planning a coup d'état, and later assassinating retired agents.
Despite how cold-hearted he is, Reaper doesn't seem to mind cracking jokes related to death and The Grim Reaper, showing that even he has the time to display his sense of humour.
- The smaller field of view on console versions makes it easier for Reaper to sneak up on opponents than on PC.
- Both of Reaper's abilities, Shadow Step and Wraith Form, allow him to bypass Zarya's unharmed.
- One of Reaper's weaknesses includes his lack of range.
- Due to the layout of the maps and the nature of the game mode, Reaper performs best in Control maps.
- Reaper is intended to be a flanking sort of character.
- Be aware, Reaper can still be shot, or even killed by enemies in the process of shadow step.
- Hellfire Shotguns
- Reaper is one of the most effective characters in the game at eliminating tanks. Though his shotguns have a large spread and deal pitiful damage at anything past close range, tanks are larger than other enemies and easier to hit. Getting in close and unloading can quickly destroy the strongest of tanks.
- It was thought for a long time that players could reload and fire more quickly when reloading Reaper's shotguns by pressing the Quick Melee key/button at the right time during the animation. This has been disproven though can be a good strategy if in combat with a low health enemy.
- Reaper's shotguns deal massive damage up close; 140 damage per clip, not including extra damage for pellets hitting critical zones such as the head. However, getting up close is the main challenge with him. Reaper is best used to flank enemies and ambush them out of sight.
- Despite Reaper's high damage output, it has a very large spread and can be rendered ineffective if the player lacks aiming/reacting times.
- Wraith Form
- Though Wraith Form will not allow Reaper to escape Junkrat's , it will render him immune to enemy fire for the length of being trapped.
- While in Wraith Form, Reaper cannot attack, which is a great opportunity to reload. However, note that he will have a full clip ready when Wraith Form ends.
- Use Wraith Form to bypass heavy fire from enemies, such as from a Bastion or Torbjorn's turret. Then, sneak up behind your opponents and kill them.
- Torbjorn's turret will still fire at you while in Wraith Form. You can distract the turret and have teammates take it out.
- If low on health and using Wraith Form, it is not a good idea to stay in battle as a ghost. Wraith form allows you to become invincible and move faster, but only for a short time. Do not treat it as a permanent buff. Exit the fray as soon as possible.
- Reaper can heal with Health Packs while in Wraith Form, so it would also be a good idea to retreat and use one when low on health.
- Reaper reloads when entering Wraith Form.
- Wraith Form shrugs off the negative effects of the Biotic Grenade and the Venom Mine.
- Shadow Step
- Reaper's Shadow Step is most effectively used to teleport from one location out of sight to another location. This way he can ambush opponents from unexpected directions.
- A well-timed Shadow Step can not only bring him out of harm's way but can avoid an ultimate attack altogether. If properly timed, Reaper can dodge D.Va's and Tracer's . Shadow Step will not be completed if he takes any damage in the process (Tracer's Pulse Bomb deals no damage when dropped on an enemy until it explodes).
- Shadow Step is also helpful when Mei is about to put up . Shadow Step behind her just before she does it to deliver a surprise attack just when she thinks she is safe. Especially helpful when Death Blossom is ready and her whole team is behind the Ice Wall when using Shadow Step.
- Reaper's Shadow Step triggers select voice lines that can be heard by both teammates and enemies. Both positions (starting and ending) are marked with a circle of shadowy flames that are (again) visible for both teams.
- While using Shadow Step there is a 1.5 second period at the second position where he cannot move but is still vulnerable to attack which makes him an easy target in the middle of combat.
- Death Blossom deals high damage in a circle, making it more suitable for taking out enemies circling a point rather than staying in a single area.
- Despite the description for Death Blossom, Reaper does not have to reload after using Death Blossom. However, his ammo count will pick up from where it was before (i.e. if your ammo counter shows 6/8, it will remain at 6/8 even after using Death Blossom)
- Reaper is vulnerable when performing Death Blossom, like 1), he cannot interrupt his own ultimate, and 2), he obviously cannot use Shadow Step or Wraith Form while in effect. Effective methods of interruption include McCree's Flashbang, Roadhog's Chain Hook, Pharah's Concussive Blast (though this may launch Reaper towards other people), Junkrat's Concussion Mine (which can launch Reaper in the air), Ana's Sleep Dart, and Mei's Ice Wall (though it must be accurately placed), Brigitte's Shield Bash and Whip Shot.
- Reaper's speed is dramatically slowed during Death Blossom, making him an easy target for Widowmaker or Hanzo, as both usually attack from the back, and are usually not in range of Reaper's Death Blossom. However, note that he is slowed for only 3 seconds, so take the shot quick.
- Death Blossom is best to be used when enemies are unaware or trapped without a means to escape. Reaper maximizes Death Blossom damage when enemies are in a group, as he can easily drop in and kill multiple enemies.
- Death Blossom is best combined with Earthshatter, as it stuns enemies but still keeps them spread out. EMP can also help, as it cuts off any ability for them to escape.
- Death Blossom deals some damage to enemies above him. Be wary of this.
- In the Overwatch Cinematic Trailer, Reaper's shotguns were not only able to fire bullets, but also featured grenade launchers which fired from the bottom barrel of the shotguns. This ability has not made an appearance in cinematics or gameplay since then, and it is not known for certain if this was a planned feature for Reaper or not.
- Reaper's shotguns have "RPNT" printed on their sides. This likely means "Repent."
- When Reaper reloads, he throws his guns to the ground and pulls out new ones. This makes him the only one who does this. This action may be a reference to the game The Darkness in which the player character collects weapons instead of ammo, disposing of them when the magazines are empty.
- Reaper's name varies extensively between different localizations of Overwatch, based on the name of the local cultural personification of Death.
- Reaper is voiced by Keith Ferguson, who is mostly known for his talent in animated television productions, such as doing the voice of Bloo from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends as well as Lord Hater from Wander over Yonder and Saladin Forge from the Destiny Series.
- He also voiced Marluxia from the Kingdom Hearts video game series, another antagonist with a Grim Reaper theme.
- Originally, Reaper's line/phrase was "Time to reap..." during the early stages of the game, but has since been changed to "Death walks among you..."
- In the Summer Games, Reaper's signature sport is BMX.
- On the character select screen of the Retribution brawl, he is labelled as Reyes, his last name.
- Reaper seems to be left-handed, or at least ambidextrous, since he shoots firstly with his left hand, and only then with his right.
- When Reaper stands in a pose with his hands crossed, his right arm is in front (which is characteristic for left-handed people).
- However, if the last shoot before recharging was accomplished with his left hand, after recharging Reaper will do his first shoot with his right arm, and then with his left.
- In Christian beliefs, the archangel Gabriel was known as God's left hand and was known as one of the angels of death. Based on Reapers name and his theme of death, this may be intentional.
- According to the Q&A panel at BlizzCon 2016, an early iteration of Reaper included the ability to "steal" souls so that Mercy could not use her ability.
- In Destiny 2, if a player obtains a "We Ran Out of Medals" medal during an Iron Banner match, Lord Saladin will blurt out "Die! Die! Die!"
Other Blizzard games
- Reaper appears in a player portrait of StarCraft II.
- In the "Nevermore" and "Plague Doctor" skins, the side of Reaper's shotguns read "CRW-ND", which likely refers to the Left 4 Dead 2 achievement "cr0wned". The achievement is earned by killing a witch with one shotgun shot.
- Reaper's mask is most commonly thought to be a skull. It also could be based on the barn owl's features, which in Mexican folklore is said to be the messenger from the land of the dead; Reaper's Wraith Form also looks somewhat like an owl in flight.
- One could argue that Reaper's ultimate animation is a reference to "Gun Kata", where a character uses the fictional martial art to clear rooms of enemies. This was made popular by the film Equilibrium.
- It could be a reference to Diablo 3's Demon Hunter skills, Strafe and/or Fan of Knives, which have the same animation as Death Blossom and also deal heavy damage to enemies around when moving slowly.
- It also could be a reference to Enzo from the 3D animated program Reboot. Enzo's gun has a "Death Blossom Mode" that starts it rapidly gyroscope around while hitting everyone in range.
- The name of Reaper's ultimate, Death Blossom, may come from the classic sci-fi film The Last Starfighter. The attack, which involves the ship rotating randomly and firing its weapons in a constant barrage, has the same name.
- The skin "Plague Doctor" is a reference to the plague doctor, who was a medical physician that treated those who had the plague in medieval times. They dress in heavy fabric overcoats and have a beak-shaped nose mask, the same as the skin's mask.
- The skin "Nevermore" is almost certainly a reference to Edgar Allen Poe's poem, The Raven. Ravens are associated with death in the poem, and the most recognizable line in the poem is "Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore'", which is also in the lore note for said skin.
- Both Plague Doctor and Nevermore have glowing green and purple eyes respectively on their masks and shotguns. When Reaper uses Shadow Step, the sound of wings flapping and crows cawing can be heard.
- Reaper's "El Blanco" and "Mariachi" skins could be a reference to Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Calaveras, specifically Jose Guadalupe Posada's famous art interpreting Calaveras as vain skeletons dressed in the clothing of the wealthy
- Additionally, the "Mariachi" skin is a homage to Mariachi uniforms, and possibly a nod to Robert Rodriguez's Mexico Trilogy, composed of the action films El Mariachi, Desperado, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico, all featuring a skilled gunman, the titular Mariachi, out for revenge.
- His quote "I'm back in black" is about the famous, similarly named song ("Back in Black") by heavy rock band AC/DC.
- Another quote "This is my curse" is about the song My Curse by metalcore band Killswitch Engage.
- One of the lines delivered by Reaper upon killing an opponent is "Death comes for all", which is drawn from a character named Malthael from the Blizzard game Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.
- One of the voice lines of Reaper "I'm not a psychopath. I'm a high-functioning psychopath" is likely a reference to the BBC Sherlock series, where a famous Sherlock Holmes' line is "I'm not a psychopath. I'm a high-functioning sociopath."
- Reaper's "Wraith Form" might have been inspired by a character of the same name from the manga and anime Assassination Classroom. This "Reaper" also can turn permeable to avoid damage sporting a dark smokey appearance while in use.
- Reaper's "Pumpkin" skin appears to be based on the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow, which seems further supported in the Halloween Terror version of Hollywood with a movie poster on the theatre entrance showing Reaper in said skin riding on the back of a phantom-like horse on a forest road at night.
- In Masquerade, Reaper wears a costume that looks very similar to Red Death from Phantom of the Opera.
- In the overall, Reaper bears many similarities to Death, from the game franchise Darksiders, by Vigil/THQ. Both wear stylized skull masks, dual wield twin weapons and Death also have some abilities similar to his Wraith Form. Reaper's voice actor also voices a character in Darksiders II, the game where Death is the protagonist.
- Reaper was 50 years old during the event that took place 8 years before the current events in the game.
- Overwatch™ Ready for Action Spring 2016 — Pre-Purchase Now for Console and PC
- Overwatch: Origins Edition | Digital Bonuses Preview
- Reaper Story, PlayOverwatch website
- Michael Chu comment on Reaper
- Moira Origin Story
- Cinematic Trailer
- Old Soldiers
- Talon Involvement Confirmed in Previous Attack on Helix Facility
- PSA: Melee during Reaper Reload
|General||Main • Quotes • Gallery • Skins and Weapons • Sprays|
|Abilities||Hellfire Shotguns • Wraith Form • Shadow Step • The Reaping • Death Blossom|
|Lore||Organizations||Overwatch • Blackwatch • Talon|
|Character relationships||Jack Morrison • Ana Amari • Gérard Lacroix • McCree • Moira • Widowmaker • Sombra • Doomfist|
|Locations||Swiss Headquarters • Route 66 • Rialto|
|Others||Soldier Enhancement Program • Omnic Crisis|
|Media||Articles||Fading Glory • Talon Involvement Confirmed|
|Comic Shorts||Old Soldiers • Junkenstein • Masquerade • Retribution|
|Animated Shorts||Cinematic Trailer • Recall • Infiltration|
|Members||Leaders||Doomfist • Reaper • Moira • Maximilien • Sanjay Korpal|
|Agents||Widowmaker • Sombra • Hakim|
|Former||Akinjide Adeyemi • Vialli • Antonio Bartalotti|
|Media||Shorts||Cinematic Trailer • Recall • Alive • Infiltration|
|Comics||Train Hopper • Legacy • Masquerade • Retribution|
|Articles||Attack On Helix|
|Enemies||Overwatch • Gérard Lacroix • Soldier: 76 • Shrike • Tekhartha Mondatta • Katya Volskaya|
|Members||Founders||Jack Morrison • Gabriel Reyes • Ana Amari • Reinhardt Wilhelm • Torbjörn Lindholm • Mina Liao|
|Agents||Mercy • Winston • Tracer • Gérard Lacroix|
|Blackwatch||McCree • Genji • Moira|
|Other||Mei • Director Petras • Mirembe • Kimiko • Singh • Bayless • Al-Farouk • Soundquake • Fusionator|
|Media||Shorts||Cinematic Trailer • Recall • King's Row Uprising Origin Story • Doomfist Origin Story • Rise and Shine • Honor and Glory|
|Comics||Legacy • Junkenstein • Uprising • Retribution|
|Articles||Fading Glory • Overwatch is Back|
|Lore||Bases||Swiss Headquarters • Watchpoint: Gibraltar • Ecopoint: Antarctica • Watchpoint: Grand Mesa|
|Vehicles||MV-261 Orca • OSS-7 Aurora|
|Enemies||Omnic Rebel Army • Talon • Null Sector • Shimada Clan • Deadlock Gang|
|Missions||Omnic Crisis • Uprising|
|Heroes in Overwatch|