I’m eagerly following the progress of free-to-play shooter Quake Champions [official site]. I spent a good year of my life in the browser-based Quake Live bunny hopping, insta-gibbing and failing to rocket jump over the smallest of obstacles (seriously, I can’t rocket jump in any game), and had a blast. I haven’t had the chance to play the beta yet but I’ve watched a few streams and the feedback seems to be positive, including from Rick Lane, who was pleasantly surprised with it.
Currently the beta is only available through the Bethesda.net launcher, but Bethesda have now confirmed that it will come to Steam too when it launches properly later this year.
Here’s senior producer Jason Bergman writing in a developer Q&A (which, if you’re interested in the game, is worth a browse because it includes an in-depth discussion of upcoming character and weapon balances):
“Quake Champions will indeed be released on Steam. You will still be required to have a linked Bethesda.net account, but users playing the game from Steam will not go through the Bethesda.net launcher. During the current beta period the game will only be available through the Bethesda.net launcher.”
At the very least, the Steam release should open it up to a wider player base and ensure that there’s enough people in the servers to get a decent game whenever you want.
As a reminder, the game will give you one Quaker for free then charges you virtual cash to rent a bunch of other characters, each of whom plays differently with different stats and abilities. You’ll be able to pay real money to unlock them all at once if you’re so inclined.
Here’s some more of Rick’s thoughts:
“When it all comes together, Quake Champions is an absolute blast, especially in standard deathmatch. It’s a constant, breathless rush of semi-conscious decisions that have an unseen yet vital impact upon your success or failure. That moment when you drop down an elevator shaft and notice an opponent coming the other way, and launch a rocket to greet them. Or when you weave through a storm of machinegun fire to empty both barrels of your shotgun into your opponent at point blank range. Or when you’re attacked from behind and spin around, launching a rail-shot out of pure reflex, and it connects in a shower of beautiful, rapturous gore. All of this, Quake Champions provides in a way that clearly harks back to Quake III, but feels fresh and new and modern.”
You can sign up for a key for the closed beta here. If you’ve played it already, how did you find it?