|“||Live with honor, die with glory!||„|
|~ The Crusaders' motto|
The Crusaders are a paramilitary located in Germany to defend the country from the Omnics. Their efficiency is produced by their peak physical shape and health, which allowed them to wear massive suits of armor with equally massive cold, blunt weapons such as maces and hammers. Reinhardt's abilities all come from his time as a Crusader before its disbandment. It was led by Balderich von Adler.
Little is known about the Crusaders prior to their time in the Omnic Crisis which took place within the 2040s. In the Overwatch animated short "Honor and Glory", they are shown defending Eichenwalde from an Omnium army-- primarily composed of Bastions. Their huge firepower and sinister programming led to almost all of the Crusaders being annihilated, but due to their valiant efforts as well as support from the German military, the Omnics failed to invade Eichenwalde and other parts of Germany. Reinhardt was the only known survivor of the battle, who would go on to join Overwatch.
Following the defeat of the Bastion B73s, the Omnics produced OR14s, so that they would no longer deploy enemies the heroes were used to combating. The OR14 units not only had immense firepower via rotary energy cannons, but they had the ability to deploy shields similarly to the Crusaders. This proved how dangerous the Omnium army was, but Overwatch would eventually end the Omnic Crisis.
Their symbol is the griffin, a symbol of courage and camaraderie, which in turn produces honor, an important part of their beliefs. Their motto is "Live with honor, die with glory!". However, they also have another motto which translates to "The Crusaders stand guard!". Their code suggests that they must always stand up and never falter, and not die a meaningless death, avoiding so by dying in battle or as a martyr. As a result, they have high morale, which was part of the reason why they were able to stand up against the Bastion units.
The Crusaders' choice of weapons easily draws attention, because of how large and blunt and powerful they are. However, a good defense also gives them even greater attack power. They used large barrier shields to block bullets and save comrades and members of the German military who assisted them. This, paired with the rockets installed on much of their crafts made their blunt weapons lethal and destructive. Reinhardt's Charge ability in gameplay comes from the rocket thrusters installed in everyone's bulky armor, as well as their hammers. The heat formed in the hammer can be launched to form Fire Strikes. And other attacks are only limited to the Crusaders' creativity, such as Balderich's charge that destroyed multiple Bastions while dual wielding hammers, and Reinhardt's Earthshatter.