Quake Champions was debuted at QuakeCon 2016 this weekend, and its trailer is one of the highlights of the show. If you are a fan of the original first-person shooters that were released in the mid ’90s, you will remember Quake.
Quake is a dark, gothic single-player shooter game that rivaled the likes of Doom in the mid 1990s. The original Quake focused on a character named Ranger who had to fight his way through the 30 levels, or maps as they were called, that had a very Lovecraftian feel to the whole campaign. Some of the major features of the original game were the high-speed movements and the skill-based challenges. As a player, you started with very little or nothing in each level and then collected weapons as you went through the map, defeating monsters at the same time. With Quake 3 Arena, released in the late 1990s, they furthered the game to a multi-player FPS.
The Quake Champions trailer shows that the gameplay is very similar to the original Quake series. Some of the major changes make the game resemble Quake 3, being that it is an arena style game; however, there will be some major changes to Quake Champions.
As reported by Polygon, creative director Tim Willits, during the panel at QuakeCon, explained the opening in the niche of classic arena-styled games.
“There’s an empty spot in the industry for this high-speed, classic, arena-style game, but we know that we cannot just make Quake 3 with better graphics. I believe, like I said, that the Champions, and some other things that we’re doing with the game do make it a little more modern, they give it a little more depth, and even when we play team games up in the office, there’s much more strategy.”
The Champions are individual playable characters. Unlike the large leeway for character modifications on games such as World of Warcraft, Quake Champions is going on the format of strict character choices similar to League of Legends. Each Champion will be created to have natural counters for one another.
Willits mentions it is similar to a rock, paper, scissors approach, where no character is considered to be the best. Instead, they are balanced with different strengths and weaknesses. As recorded by PCGamer, Willits insists that these characters will add a level of complexity and strategy to the core Quake game.
“You can still do everything [as different characters],” he says. “You can still run around and rocket jump and shoot—the champions don’t change how you fundamentally play … people play differently. Some people bunny hop, some people don’t. [When creating champions], we were kind of focused on what people do.”
Unlike other first person shooters (FPS), the combatants of Quake Champions will be similar enough that they will all use the same weapons from the start. Some of the currently released character information shows that the differences will be minor variations. As an example there is a character called Anarchy who is on a hoverboard, allowing them to have greater speed, but from that they have reduced armor and health.
In order to ensure good playability of Quake Champions, and a balanced battlefield, Willits expects there to be a long beta period and plans to only release the game on PC. Beta testing is expected to start in 2017 with no set date for the completion and release of Quake Champions. Currently, they are still deciding whether this will be a free to play game or an up-front retail purchase, but for now all we can do is watch the Quake Champions trailer.
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