Quake Champions Video Explains Special Abilities

In all the sound and fury of E3, I’d missed one big detail about the newly-announced Quake Champions [official site]: its ‘champions’ are actually classes each with a unique ability. Oh! Luckily, id Software studio director Tim Willits is on hand in a new trailer to explain the abilities of the four champions revealed so far. Expect charges, dodges, blinks, and dastardly wallhacks.

Scalebearer (him what’s massive) can charge forwards, Visor (plateface out Quake III) has a wee wallhack, Nyx (her with the blue hair) has a nifty phase-dodge doodad, and Ranger (him out of Quake) can teleport. You remember, just like in Quake?

“Ranger’s special ability is the Dire Orb,” Willits explains. “If you remember from Quake 1, that’s how you killed the boss – you teleported to the Dire Orb – so that’s what his active ability is.” That’s a generously cinematic retelling of Quake’s final boss battle, and one which skips me not realising telefragging was an option and falling in the lava a dozen times before killing Shub-Niggurath through sheer dumb luck. Apparently my ending was not canon.

He talks about id Software recognising different players have different playstyles and designing champion abilities to augment those. Hmm. Part of what I like about Quake is that its movement and weapons already support a load of playstyles, and you can switch in a split-second. Still, I am interested to see how these abilities work out and how they might be used together in teamplay. I’ll wait and see.

Of course, if active abilities are not your bag I suppose you can still play Quake. Or Quake II. Quake III. Quake IV. Quake Live. There are options. And that’s only Quake. You might even find some arena FPSs that aren’t connected to id Software at all.


  1. Holysheep says:

    “Expect charges, dodges, blinks, and dastardly wallhacks.”

    On the positive side, I saved between 40 and 60€ euros in the future.

    • Ham Solo says:

      I completely agree. They took a purely skill based arena shooter and turned it into a team fortress/overwatch clone, thus removing the skill based part and introducing rock paper scissors crap. Not going to buy this mess.

      • sethendal says:

        Well said. 100% agree. Orbb would be rolling in his/her grave.

      • ElkiLG says:

        Yes, because everyone knows playing TF2 and Overwatch requires no skill whatsoever. And everyone knows that having a blink makes you better against people that have some sort of wallhack.
        Seriously though, I don’t know where you taking this from. Maybe it’ll be shit, maybe not, you literally have NO IDEA.

        • zxcasdqwecat says:

          Of course. At least as far as overwatch goes, because of skills and ults wasting enemies’ efforts.

        • Raoul Duke says:

          I think you’re missing the point completely.

          Class/team type games rely very heavily on skill in exploiting differences between the classes in question.

          Quake III and other ‘pure’ arena shooters rely exclusively on skill in actually shooting people with all players having identical characteristics.

          There are many of us who loathe the rock-paper-scissors mechanics of class based games and see games like Quake III as much more fun and interesting. It is not particularly fun losing because you haven’t committed 2000 hours to memorising the quirks of 18 different characters (a la Overwatch).

          • asthasr says:

            As another point, I played Team Fortress at a pretty decent level back in the day, and TF2 and its later descendants left me completely cold. Like plain Jane deathmatch, TF/C focused primarily on skills that had very high ceilings and difficulty. Bunnyhop, conc jumping, (competent) rocket jumping, grenade timings, crowd control, surfing and skimming… there were a ton of techniques that made the skill ceiling insanely high. All of the new clones miss the point: they’re too balanced, too fair, too polished.

            This video kind of shows what I mean.

        • Holysheep says:

          Overwatch is a sub TF2 that is a sub TFC.
          It’s absolutely missing any kind of skill. Between maps with no level designs, the extreme slowness of even the so called “fast” characters, two weapons at max with full auto modes everywhere (that don’t spread, lol), the fact that so called “play of the game”s are essentially people pressing their press to win button in the middle of a pack of enemies, and the general lack of neurons in the community (Play widowmaker, they all keep running in straight lines. You played any FPS before? There. You will stop attackers.) make it all a very bad game. The reason it’s even popular is because whenever blizzard makes jizzes all over the furniture, you got people to come and lick it.

        • Ham Solo says:

          Let me repeat myself and expand on it…
          Quake 3 Arena for example was a PURELY skill based game. It didn’t have CLASSES with DIFFERENT ABILITIES that could beat other characters abilities, thus having luck in choosing the “right” character for the right enemy was NEVER a concern.
          Of course team fortress and overwatch require player skill, but not in the way the quake series did. There was no RNG, there was no “Rock, Paper Scissors”, there were no characters with different abilities. And I am taking this from the developer in the video who talks about those classes. No, I don’t know if it’ll be shit or not, and I never said I did. But the introduction of classes and abilities completely changes the quake formula.

          • treat says:

            Honestly, there are so many great games around now or in the near future – like Reflex – that do Quake way better than iD could hope to do Quake. I’d rather see iD go for something a bit different even if that means turning Quake into a class based team game like TF2 or Overwatch. Team shooters are popular right now, sure, but there aren’t many variations on the concept that lean closer to FPS than MOBA.

          • asthasr says:

            Well, yes. My point in my post (not sure if you’re addressing me) was that the old Team Fortress games for Quake and Half-Life didn’t really involve much in the way of class choices. Almost everyone played one of two classes in QWTF (offense would play medic, defense would play soldier). In TFC it was usually medics on offense and soldiers, one hwguy, and one engineer on defense. The classes didn’t really vary, and their different abilities were just different weapons and grenades. There were no “abilities,” and no randomness.

      • thelastpointer says:

        Did you just use past tense when talking about a game that we haven’t even seen a second of gameplay?

        • Holysheep says:

          do you even know quake?

          • thelastpointer says:

            Okay, that was a useless comment, sorry. I meant to criticize the way you’re judging a game that we know virtually nothing about, just because it’s called Quake. Yes, it will be different from the 20 year old game. Yes, the gameplay is going to be different too. Yes, it will have different features. More importantly: no, it’s not going to be the exact same game with better graphics.

            This happened with Doom recently, and boy it was annoying. You could have learned something from that, regardless if you liked the final game or not.

          • Ham Solo says:

            We know about classes and abilities, don’ we? That’s already quite telling.

          • Razumen says:

            There’s no “classes” everyone can use the same weapons as everyone else. Abilities yes are unique to each character, but that’s not a super terrible thing for a genre that’s been stagnating for so long. Also, Unreal Championship did something similar and it was a really good game.

    • Pizzzahut says:

      Agreed. This is crap. You just know one character will have an auto-aim gun too.

      • Premium User Badge

        Phasma Felis says:

        I don’t know that, actually. In fact it seems pretty unlikely, since abilities appear to be orthogonal to the traditional gun-collecting mechanic.

    • Dave3d says:

      When it goes free to play, I might try it.
      Otherwise, good luck on your ‘quake’ game Tim Willits.

  2. sethendal says:

    I cut my PC gaming teeth on Doom/Quake back in the 90’s (Re: Phones with wires).

    Whilst I won’t fall into whinging about “end of an era” with Bethesda’s ownership of id Software, I do wonder why they simply don’t put their efforts towards a new multiplayer IP. There’s just so much mental-models of what default Quake multiplayer is and I already can feel my sneer spreading reading there’ll be Class based abilities/stats and the hint of weapon limits.

    Quake oddly is defined largely by mods that alter the default game play (CTF, Freeze, Railsonly, Intagib, Team Fortress, Slide, OSP, etc) but at the core, there was the fun in an Arena shooter relying heavily on sheer practice given the level playing field.

    I played Doom and Quake for the multiplayer only so I already skipped this year’s Doom given the perversion that was it’s multiplayer. I had desperately hoped a new Quake would simply build and innovate on Quake as it’s predecessors had without simply jumping on the “Hero-based-MOBA-FPS” bandwagon.

    Hmm, perhaps I am whinging after all..

    /fanboi out

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      > I played Doom and Quake for the multiplayer only

      …Jesus. I mean, to each his own and all, but…missing out on Doom/Quake single-player is a goddamn tragedy.

  3. 2late2die says:

    So to summarize… 4 classes (so far) – soldier, heavy, assassin and rogue… in an MP shooter. Let’s face it, there’s nothing really new here. I hope they’re not just relying on the Quake name for success.

    And while there’s nothing wrong with sometimes just coming out with a standard, but really well polished game. These days, with the many shooters out there, of all shapes and sizes, you really need to do something unique to stand out, and I’m just not seeing anything like that here.

    • Razumen says:

      There are no classes in the traditional sense. Each champion can use any weapon, they just have a special ability that’s unique to them.

  4. Herzog says:

    That wallhack ability sounds terrible. Still looking forward to Quakecon for more info and gameplay footage.

    On another note: PLAY MORE REFLEX!

    • ScubaMonster says:

      ^This. Reflex is about as good as you’re going to get for Arena FPS. And strangely has more people playing it than the UT alpha.

    • immaletufinishbut says:



  5. ResonanceCascade says:

    I feel like there’s a big untapped audience for a classic skill-based arena shooter, and id is completely blowing it so they can get on a bandwagon that’s already oversaturated as it is.

    • Raoul Duke says:

      Maybe check out the new Unreal Tournament? When I last played it it was pretty damn faithful to the original (and best).

    • Holysheep says:

      Like raoul said, UT is the way to go. Unlike horribad games that are made out of old licenses by stupid publishers who want it heavily consolized, the alpha of unreal tournament is the perhaps showing the only way to adapt an old game that’s acceptable.

      It feels like UT. You liked UT, you’ll love it. And unlike all these games… Toxikk, reflex, whatever, etc – they’re not just trying to bring back an HD version of quake. They’re really making an arena shooter. In UT, the parkour moves are really a game changing feature, and the guns changed a lot too. I like it much more than 2k4 (since we will NOT consider UT3 as a real UT.)

      Only sad thing is that Unreal (the first one, the singleplayer game) will prolly not get a sequel. I mean, a real sequel, Unreal 2 being horribad.

      • immaletufinishbut says:

        Reflex is the real deal. Until I get my hands on Midair, it’s literally the only (multiplayer) FPS that feels worth playing currently, IMHO.

        I haven’t played UT(4) in a while, but last I played it felt even slower and weighted than UT3. Which sadly isn’t my cup of flak. If they bring back the Ripper, i might have to check it out again though. ^^

  6. Raoul Duke says:

    How very disappointing. This is the antithesis of what multiplayer Quake is all about.

    The only “class” difference should be when some bastard gets a quad damage and goes on a rampage.

  7. tonicer says:

    Cool another franchise down the drain.

    Duke, Deus Ex, Counter Strike, Doom and now Quake and soon System Shock. WTF is going on?

    I bet it’s the work of those damn consoles again. Imagine a world without consoles … awesome right? I dream that dream almost regularly.

  8. Mikko Eronen says:

    To me quake 1 represents everything I wish I could get back with updated engine. Purely a skill-based FPS game where it is all down to you, your barrel and what is or..will be exactly where your ammo lands. Prediction, knowing the layouts, holding the keyspots, strafing, pinejump, rocketjump, modifying macros, keybinds..customizing…reflexes, reflexes, reflexes… Damn they made good platforms back then. I miss those times…

  9. thelastpointer says:

    All I get from this is that we’re going to get another year-long annoying marketing campaign just like with the new Doom — showing two-second glimpses of gameplay, devs talking about how this is the coolest thing ever, explaining FPS controls in depth (again), people complaining how this isn’t faithful to the old Quake, posting half-assed comparison photos and crudely color-corrected screenshots on Reddit, everyone swearing to never buying anything from the publisher and so on.

    And when it comes out it’s nothing like anyone expected.

  10. Kinsky says:

    Given how tone-deaf DOOM 4 was, somehow I don’t find this surprising at all. At least DOOM 4 was smart enough to be something besides a bog standard Call of Duty clone. This game, on the other hand, confuses me. The Quake enthusiasts are going to be immediately turned off by the DOTA mechanics, and they’ll never be able to compete with Overwatch. It’s pretty much guaranteed to be a forgettable failure. Why did they think it was a good idea?