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Quake Champions preview

On May 16, 2017 by Aaron Meehan

Id Software’s Quake Champions marks a return to the arena shooter subgenre the company helped define with its Quake series. For those unaware of arena shooters, they are primarily multiplayer focused game in which players take part in a deathmatch or objective game mode with weapons, armour and power-ups scattered throughout a map.

Quake Champions is your textbook arena shooter as it hosts the above-mentioned items scattered throughout a map, which makes for exciting gameplay as picking up the right weapon or damage buff can help you dominate your opponents. The arena shooter mentality continues with its three maps, which allow for close combat with the maps various corridors leading to open spaces. Quake Champions four modes focus on deathmatch style play, with only one mode centred on an objective.

In terms of gameplay, Quake Champions has players take on the role of one of nine champions; each champion comes with a special ability as well as different base stats (health, armour and speed). At the start of each game, players choose your champion and starting weapon, which is limited to a machine gun, shotgun or nailgun. Although, your spawning weapon choice isn’t make or break as you can pick any of the weapons strewing across the map.

When it comes to how champions play, each special ability feels unique but doesn’t offer any advantage over the other, and most special abilities aren’t as effective as one might think. For example, Scalebearer’s special ability increase his speed and if you run into an enemy you can kill them, but given Quake Champions emphasis on movement it is easy to dodge. However, there is one issue regarding champions that caught my eye, and it is how some champions have higher base stats than other champions. This is an issue as Champions are unlocked via real-world money, which means that if you are using the game’s one free Champion, Ranger, you are objectively weaker than the Scalebearer champion, who has 50HP more than the Ranger, with both characters having the same armour score and the Ranger having a slightly higher speed stat. This means in a straight fight, the Scalebearer has the advantage.

Quake champions-comparison

Going back to gameplay, Quake Champions is a very different beast when compared to the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield games as apart from item pickups Quake Champions offers no regenerating health or reloading. Quake Champions is also built around speed and the fine twitchy movement that only a keyboard and mouse can offer. In Quake Champions stopping for moments can prove fatal, so make sure to keep moving.

However, it is worth noting that this style of play can get tedious, especially with potential balance issues, but if you enjoy the shooters of the late 90s and early 00s you will have no problem being sucked into Quake Champions.

Now, I think it is important to talk about Quake Champions in-game store. As I mentioned earlier you can only unlock new Champions with real-world money, known as Platinum, although if you do play enough you can rent a champion for 24 hours with in-game money, known as favour (5,000 favour for 24 hours). Apart from purchasing champions, you can buy loot boxes. Loot boxes come in three types – backpack, chest and reliquary. Backpacks are gained with favour, and the chest and reliquary require platinum. Although it is worth noting that, you can gain all three loot box types for free by levelling up or completing certain challenges. Inside the boxes, you can receive armour shaders and outfit pieces, which are broken down into set, headgear, torso, legs and vanity. In addition, if you receive a duplicate item you can dismantle it for shards, which is a currency used for crafting new weapon and armour skins.

Finally, in terms of performance, Quake Champions was generally a smooth experience with some minor server hiccups. The framerate was also steady for a game that pushes unlocked framerate as a feature, in my time playing I never dropped below 120fps (graphics card is a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070) when played on high settings.

Quake champions

Conclusion

Quake Champions is a fun and fast-paced arena shooter reminiscent of late 90s and early 00s games. However, there is the potential for balance issues with Champions being locked behind a pay wall.

To learn more about Quake Champions, or to take part in the beta, visit https://quake.bethesda.net.


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