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Transhuman elite infantry
The Overwatch Elite is a specialized, higher-ranking Overwatch Soldier. Sporting a distinctive white uniform and helmet with a single red ocular lens, the Elite is the deadliest of the Combine Overwatch infantry.
Overwatch Elites are equipped with improved body armor, made apparent by the larger neck guard and the increased protection it offers. Their helmets are also drastically different from those of regular soldiers, which possibly improve senses, indicated by the two miniature domes located where the ears of the soldier would be. Given its helmet, the Elite may only have one eye left, making it an artificial cyclops, and it may also have no ears at all. All of this seems to imply that the Elite has suffered massive anatomical alterations, although the extent of these changes is unknown, as an unmasked Elite is never seen in-game.
Elites are tougher, achieve better accuracy with their weapons, and inflict more overall damage than regular soldiers do. They typically carry Overwatch Standard Issue Pulse Rifles, and are able to use the weapon's secondary fire Energy Ball. They use this advantage without hesitation and with deadly accuracy.
Elites typically fight in squads of their own kind, but will occasionally operate with regular Overwatch Soldiers or, in rare cases, Hunters. They are generally reserved for more critical combat missions, where their deadly skills and efficiency are required. They also serve as Wallace Breen's personal guards in the Citadel. One of them takes the Gravity Gun from Freeman when the latter arrives at Breen's office in the Citadel.
Elites are first seen in the ninth chapter of Half-Life 2 at Nova Prospekt on a security monitor. They are encountered for the first time in person in the following chapter, Entanglement, assaulting the teleport chamber only seconds before Gordon and Alyx teleport out.
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Behind the scenes
- The Overwatch Elite has had several predecessors during the development of Half-Life 2, such as the Combine Synth Elite Soldier and the Combine Super Soldier, both early elite Combine units dropped in favor to a more humanoid model. It also inherited its helmet from the Combine Assassin. When viewing the Overwatch Elite model in the Source SDK model viewer, its preview image is an image of the Combine Super Soldier. The model and its related files are also named "Combine_Super_Soldier".
- The insignia featured on the Elite's left arm, chest (in a grey variant, with a campaign ribbon under it) and neck guard (inside it) is the only Combine imagery that indicates hostility or threat, displaying a cracked human skull within a straightened up standard Combine "claw" symbol, as well as a "C17", probably different for each Combine-controlled city. While the original symbol does not portray the Combine as horrific, the Elite symbol is a deliberate attempt to show the Elites as brutal and deadly. It was possibly influenced by the Totenkopf symbol used most prominently by the Schutzstaffel (or SS), an organization in Nazi Germany which served as both political police and an elite military formation.
- This insignia is also featured on the Shotgun Soldier's left arm, suggesting that it may be a branch of the Overwatch Elite or possibly a higher ranked soldier variant, or a squad leader.
- While all Overwatch units have been transfigured by Combine technology, it is possible that Overwatch Elites have been altered even further than standard soldiers.
- On Hard mode, Overwatch Elites can withstand a direct hit from a Submachine Gun grenade.
- At the end of the Half-Life 2 chapter "Follow Freeman!", an ordinary Overwatch Elite equipped with a Submachine Gun can be seen. It is a developer's oversight, since the soldier will occasionally attempt to use OSIPR's secondary attack.
- Like Stalkers and other soldiers, Overwatch Elites appear to be resistant or immune to radiation, as they are seemingly unaffected even when entering the room containing the extremely radioactive Citadel Core.
List of appearances
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar
- Half-Life 2: Deathmatch (Non-canonical appearance)
- Half-Life 2: Lost Coast (Non-canonical appearance)