Bethesda recently unveiled that Quake Champions would be running an open tech test from May 12 to May 21. I played the Beta most of yesterday and all of today, and my impressions so far are vastly positive.
Understand before playing Quake Champions that this game, for all its polished new graphics, maps and addition of hero classes, is essentially a modernized version of the classic PC game. Personally, that’s what I have enjoyed most about it, as I – along with many other terrible children – played the original over and over in computer class, instead of paying attention, because of it’s simple gameplay.
To their credit, Bethesda has done nothing but market it that way as well, with railguns and rocket jumps at the forefront of their trailers.
It took a bit to get back into the swing of things, as just like its predecessor, Quake Champions has specific methods of play compared to other shooters. Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch are both hectic, with body parts and rockets flying everywhere.
Understanding the map layouts, were weapon spawns are most importantly, became the deciding factor in improving my k/d in the game. As it sits, Quake Champions does seem a little unbalanced when it comes to damage output, as there are many situations where an opponent gets hit point blank with a rocket (no modifiers) yet still is able to outgun me with a ray gun. For the most part, there is a bit of luck still in regards to succeeding in killing your opponent, but that is somewhat similar to the original.
Like everything else, the weapons take getting used to. Even though I still haven’t mastered my previous Quake aim with the railgun, shotgunning and rocket shooting feels like riding a bike. The addition of class oriented attacks is also interesting, but I found myself sticking to the ranger and his Dire Orb – an homage to Quake’s final boss battle, where players have to perform a telefrag to slay Shub-Niggurath – more than any of the other characters.
Classes, so far, don’t really seem to provide much of an advantage per se, as the difference in health, armor, and speed aren’t entirely too drastic for most characters, but they do provide an interesting change of pace. Currently, the only character I’ve been able to feel comfortable with is the default Ranger, but I look forward to trying Nyx’s ghost walk abilities to sneak up on enemies in modes like Sacrifice.
I found myself playing Sacrifice more as the time when on, as it’s an interesting combination of capture the flag and king of the hill. One the soul is captured in the middle of the map, it must be returned to base and defended until it can reach 100 percent. Characters like Nyx are great for this game type because of her ability to disappear. But the lack of tracking on the soul can add some confusion as to just where the possessor is on the map, outside of seeing them running by glowing.
One major flaw that is hopefully fixed upon its release is the matchmaking lack of adding characters to a game when a player quits. If it’s a 4 v 4 deathmatch and a player on your team or the opposing team leaves, there is no replacement, resulting in a balancing issue for the rest of the match. I found myself in a couple situations of 2 v 4 and for 4 v 2 that just didn’t seem fair, and usually ended in a slaughter.
I have high hopes for Quake Champions after the first few hours and look forward to playing more in the coming weeks, as well as possibly purchasing the full game – even though it will be free-to-play as well – upon its release.
If you are interested in playing the Quake Champions Beta yourself, head over to https://quake.bethesda.net/ and sign up. Be forewarned that it takes up a hefty amount of hard drive space (50gb).