Quake Champions is the biggest arena shooter to come out in the past few years. The Quake franchise has been around since the beginning of the multiplayer shooters, many decades ago. 2005’s Quake 4 was the last title to be released, and now Quake is back after a long hiatus. Published by Bethesda and developed by id Software, this game was originally released on Steam with a $30 price tag, as an early access title. A significant turning point in the game’s popularity was when during E3 2018, Bethesda announced a free to play trial, where anyone that acquired the game during the trial could actually keep the game and have all the champions unlocked for free.
It had reached an all-time high of over 17,000 players in June 2018, and it looked like it had finally come back to the mainstream FPS world. Unfortunately, it had dropped back down in a few months and the hype had faded away. It was met with mixed reviews, and it seems that many people just didn’t get or like the fast paced arena style which was incredibly popular in the 90s. There is still a decent enough player base today to enjoy the game, although it is safe to say that the gaming community is never going to really get into arena shooters and it will remain a niche style for people like me that enjoyed playing Unreal Tournament and Quake back in the day.
There are currently 15 champions available in the game, and all have their own differences in terms of abilities, health, armour and speed. Learning about them all and mastering their play will definitely take time, and although the arena purists don’t particularly like this aspect of the game, the hero shooter fans definitely enjoy this added level of complexity. The usual suspects of guns are back, such as shotguns, rail guns, rockets and the awesome lightning gun. And of course, rocket jumps, bunny hopping, circle and strafe jumping are all back and just as relevant as before. Getting yourself to your favorite gun or the mega armour as quick as possible is going to help you in this highly competitive game.
Bots have been added, so you can play by yourself in a custom match to refine your skills and get used to the mechanics of the game. Of course, once ready there is nothing as exciting as getting into an online deathmatch game. Multiple game modes have been created so far, some have been pulled for refinement, and then re-released. It had gotten to the point that there were so many modes that people were getting unhappy with it. So the studio decided to pull most modes out of rotation (still available with custom matches though) and introduced an Arcade mode which would offer one week of a specific mode or two, such as capture-the-flag or railguns only, and then alternate every week with another mode. Looking at Quake Champions today, you have numerous modes available in quick play including capture the flag, team deathmatch, deathmatch, instagib, unholy trinity and humans vs bots. The arcade mode is currently hot rockets. Ranked is available but only ever in 2 modes, duel (1v1) and 2v2 team deathmatch. Custom games allow you to specific exactly what conditions you like, which is great for playing with a group of friends. Not even joking, there are 24 different game modes available in custom.
Props must be given to id software for being able to create this amazing game and develop it so far to this point. Unfortunately the marketing and management by Bethesda is really letting this game down, and it could be a lot more popular than it currently is it were in the right publishers’ hands. If you were to judge the game purely based on the game itself though, it would rate very highly and it can be fun for both Quake veterans as well as players brand new to the Quake franchise, due to the familiarity with the hero shooter system. If you haven’t tried Quake Champions out yet, I would definitely recommend you give it a try as it can be a lot more fun than you would expect.