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Quake Champions – Our First Impressions

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ID have come under constant fire by the veteran community about the new direction in which they have decided to take Quake with their new new iteration in Quake Champions. Many describe it as devolving in to a class shooter some what akin to that of Overwatch or Team Fortress 2. We disagree with this premise completely however. As the generations role on so do brand new Multiplayer-Shooter games sporting new features, realistic graphical presentation and addictive progression systems. Quake and other arena shooters are a dying breed and something drastic needs to change to keep them alive.

completely debunk everyone else’s “Quake is now dead” statements, if you’ve played it, you should know that this isn’t the case. Thankfully at its heart, it’s still Quake and it’s still badass. Strafe jumping, rocket jumping, precision aim, spawn timers and strategy are all still essential to Quake’s gameplay and has only change some what slightly. For example, there are now speed caps on certain champions so you can no longer gain an infinite amount of speed (apart from Visor who’s passive ability lets you do just that). There are also different stats on the different Champions, some may have more HP but have bigger hit boxes while being slower thus being easier to hit. Many may  believe that this will cause balance issues within the game and although I don’t disagree, to combat this the faster Champions also have smaller hit boxes but a smaller HP pool thus easier to kill (if you can hit them). Both types of champions possess both passive and active abilities to suit these themes with some Champions fitting somewhere in the middle.

Visually the game looks and feels great, being co-developed with Russian studio Saber Interactive is certainly paying off as the game uses a hybrid engine between ID Tech 5 and Saber’s own engine. Many of the old maps are actually being remade to be ported in to the new game which is fantastic news for veterans of the franchise. All sounds are impactful and full of fidelity with emphasis on being able to use sound as a responsive system for players to improve their game. The only minor grumbling about the sound is that the announcer is pretty weak. In fact he sounds pretty bored and I hope they do re record him to sound a little bit more excited when you get a sick 3k.

One of the main worries that players have today is that the abilities will be overpowered or that the game will revolve around them too much just like Overwatch. Now I kind of get where that opinion spawns from and it’s not unjustified. Certain situations some abilities are a lot more powerful than others but speed, precision and skill are still the main important factors when it comes to deciding victories. The only time I can see it becoming an issue is within Quake’s duel mode. The problem I faced here was that some of the abilities (like Scalebearer’s charge) have the ability to practically one shot an opponent. In a 1v1 environment I can see that being a big problem. But, as previously stated in all other modes where the chaos is at the forefront, these abilities to little more than add an extra layer of strategy to gameplay and all can be countered in some shape or form. The comparison just can’t be made however as my main issue with Overwatch’s esport scene is that one player can’t make a massive impact unlike other competitive games. That’s not a worry I have with Quake. One person can completely destroy another four and make as much as an impact as their skill level allows them too. So for those with worries, this statement is for you: The skill ceiling for this game is still incredibly high. Do not fear, ID look like they’re on top of this.

So what mode will become the main competitive go-to? I can’t see it being Duel unfortunately, the game just won’t be as exhilarating when compared up against team games like League of Legends and CSGO. A personal opinion and one that will surely be unpopular but I just can’t envision Duel being it. ID have announced that in the next Beta they’ll be releasing their next mode Sacrifice. As well as a tournament streamed on Twitch coming soon. Both Duel and Sacrifice will be used as the modes in the tournament and serve as a good test for which one the community would prefer to watch. You never know we might just get both if the scene explodes.

In the next few days ID will be holding an extended Closed Beta for nine days. If you’ve signed up for a key and haven’t received one yet you’ll be able to play as Bethesda announced a few days ago that everyone will be receiving keys. So go do that, in our opinion, it’s worth it.  See you in the arena suckers.

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A slave to masochistic games like Dark Souls and Binding of Isaac, Joe "Wacka" Roach likes to challenge himself by running games on the hardest difficulty with the worst weapon. A CSGO enthusiast and your all around average Legendary Eagle Master. Twitter: @PraiseItJoe Email: josephianroach@gmail.com

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