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.