Quake Champions is trying to revive the classic arena shooter, but how far has it strayed from the path? I played the recent beta and while I loved some parts, others felt that they could be a problem in the final release.
With everything good in the game, there were moments of sadness. Quake’s free-to-play model might be a let down for some who want to get the most out of their game, and it could end up being a bit pricey in the long run.
Microtransactions feel like an afterthought and the ability to “rent” champions s kind of a waste. Let’s look at the good, the bad and the ugly of Quake Champions.
From the start one thing was clear, the game was a stunning example of PC gaming quality. The visuals make for a great experience. Characters models and maps are beautiful, no matter how dark and uneasy they might come across.
Quake Champions is an extremely fast arena shooter, and right now the only thing I can compare its speed to is 2016’s DOOM multiplayer.
However, there were moments where the classic Quake III Arena came through. We all remember playing Quake III, with our Dragon Ball Z mods and our tweaks to the console that made us fly and jump with supergravity.
Quake Champions pays homage to the classic in so many ways, while at the same time moving it into a different light with these “Champions”. Instead of making a bunch of characters playable with the same balance, each Champion is different in their own way.
Speed, skills and abilities all vary across each of them, and this is how the game will, in theory, make up its revenue. Champions are creative and their skills will make them stand out from the rest.
The Champions have their own stats and skills. Slash for example is faster, but she has much less health than say, Ranger. Her special ability is pretty cool. It sees her dashing across the map and leaving a trail of plasma behind her that deals damage to opponents.
The trail can then explode if you press “F”. So it is kind of like a line of explosives. The best way to make use of this skill was to run away from opponents and activate it in tight corridors.
They either had to come and chase me, with a chance of me activating the explosives, or leave me alone.
The maps are just what we think they would be, and they all have this Quake III Arena feel to them. Each one of them plays into the arena shooter that Champions is trying to be, and they are all refreshingly different from the last.
I am not sure what the plan will be here on new maps to come, given that it is a free to play title, but I hope the release all maps for free to all players, as I would hate to miss out on new maps.
Guns feel great too, as the pickup and shoot mechanics work flawlessly. You start off with one gun and can pick up more across the map.
The classic return like the plasma rifle, and rocket launcher, and while these are great to use, some balancing will hopefully take place over the game’s development to assure that every gun has a fair amount of skill and power trade off.
In the end, there is much good to be said about Quake Champions. Its fast pace shooting mechanics, and casual yet hardcore gameplay is addictive.
It feels new and fresh but at the same time gives off a sense of classic shooters like Quake III Arena and the old-school DOOM games.
As much as there is good to the game, there is also a fair amount of bad. The Champions for one need a rework, while I understand where the developers are going with this, the lack of Champion diversity is clear from the start.
Do not expect the same amount of detail as say Overwatch heroes, as the Champions feel the same and apart from their special ability, their stats make very little difference in the long run. You can still kill even the most defensive character with a shotgun, and the combat is not as precise as to say that every bullet counts.
Often the showdown is just a bunch of players in a room spraying and praying as much as they can to kill everyone, and given that the combat is so fast-paced, everyone seems to be the same speed too.
Skills are also useful only at times, and often I would be playing and would not even make use of them. I am sure I just need some more time to practice with them, but for me, it was kind of like something extra that I did not use at all.
Maybe I just play too much Overwatch.
I am in a strange spot when it comes to Quake Champions, as in a way I want to say that it is great because it is, but then again it feels like it is stuck between being an old-school shooter, without moving too much into a modern game.
Last year’s DOOM is a perfect example of how to do old-school but at the same time keeping things true to the classic style, but I feel that the only modern take on Quake Champions is the microtransactions, and that is not a good thing.
The gunplay is fun, but knowing you would have to spend money to rent and unlock Champions is a major let down, especially when they have so very little diversity among them.
Microtransactions like different cosmetic items, and needing to buy heroes is just pushing it. Let me fork out R700 for the game and have all the heroes available, with the option to buy new item sets as an add-on
. I also feel that because it is a free to play the game, I will not give it as much attention as I should be. I always spend more time on games I pay for, as wasting money is my biggest fear after the No Man’s Sky debacle.
The game is still in development, so things might change. Quake Champions is an awesome arena shooter, but how its free-to-play model will work, and how long it will live for is still unknown.
Have you played the game? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments and forum.
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