Quake Champions enters early access arena next week

Something about putting the words ‘Quake’ and ‘early access’ into the same sentence makes me dizzy. We’re in another world these days, but back in the day Quakes were games that arrived so fully-formed, so absolute and monumental, that the idea of being able to buy an unfinished one makes the damn fool old man who sits at the back of my head wave his walking stick around furiously.

But there it is: id Software’s multiplayer-only shooter Quake Champions [official site] is strafing into the rough’n’readier part of Steam in just five days.

The thunking behind the early access boogaloo is so they can test out, balance and refine multiplayer before they start advertising it on the side of buses. Multiplayer’s a different state of affairs from singleplayer in that regard for sure; it just feels like they’ve been running closed betas for ages now, so adding another link in the chain is vaguely confusing.

Sez current id boss Tim Willits:

“With a fast, skill-based game like Quake Champions, nothing is more important than continual testing and refining, based on player feedback, to ensure the game is balanced, optimized, and fun for all levels of players, from pro to new.

“The Early Access version of Quake Champions is, obviously, a work-in-progress, but represents a solid and robust version of the game, with four modes, 11 Champions, a variety of maps, and a thriving community of fans. Early Access will allow us to work closely with players to improve the game and add additional features before the official launch of Quake Champions in the coming months.”

“Coming months” arguably suggests the full release will be this year, but that’s just a guess from a guesser whose guesses should never be used as proof of anything. In the meantime: next Tuesday, August 22 is the early access date.

Quampions will eventually be free-to-play, letting players pay to rent or unlock more characters. You will be able to pay a lump sum to unlock everyone, though, and that ‘Champions Pack’ is what’ll initially hit early access at £20/$30. That will rise to £30/$40 come the full release.

The early access version brings with it a bunch of stuff that hasn’t been in the betas, including a playable recreation of 2016 Doom’s Doom Slayer character, two new maps, something called Rune Challenges, unlockable skins for the Champions, improved tutorials and difficulty options and in-game voice chat. In total, there’ll be 11 playable characters, with six more promised before the end of 2018.

So there you are. A new Quake, for everyone: but is it the Quake you’re looking for? We quite liked it, back in the closed beta days.

14 Comments

  1. spacein_vader says:

    Meh, Unreal Tournament was better anyway.

    *Ducks*

    • His Dudeness says:

      [Some traditional quake-fan-in-years comment with neglect of UT]

      • Flopper says:

        I’ve played the new UT, Quake and Lawbreakers. LB is easily my favorite of the 3 fast paced twitch shooters right now. It’s a shame the player base is so low. Going the way of Titanfall 2 it seems. Gem of a game completely overlooked.

        • PiiSmith says:

          I don’t like the balancing of characters in Law Breakers. Those light characters are so much more useful in all of the “CTF” variants. Also it is not as pick up based as Quake (Champions), which I also dislike.

    • GomezTheChimp says:

      …And still is. Plus, it`s free :)

      • UmungoBungo says:

        What’s the player base like for Unreal Tournament currently? Is it friendly to new players, and are there enough people online to regularly get matches?

  2. coldvvvave says:

    Wasn’t quake a shareware game?

    • Quadruplesword says:

      I know the original was. Not sure if the sequels were shareware as well.

  3. Pizzzahut says:

    I’ll avoid this Pay 2 Win fiasco.

    • Quadruplesword says:

      Except it isn’t pay to win. At all.

    • PiiSmith says:

      Pay to Win for Quake Champions. You could not be further from the truth in this very skill based game.

  4. mardu says:

    Wasn’t Q3test sort of early access?
    Anyway QC is pretty awesome. Most fun in a multiplayer I’ve had in years. Really hits the spot for a fast-paced game I’ve been needing. QC and Devil Daggers. Oh yeah Reflex is good too, but the playerbase is so small.

    • Quadruplesword says:

      I gave the beta a try at the beginning of the summer. Needless to say, I got my rear end served to me pretty handily, so I went back to Q3A to practice.

      I was originally going to wait until full release to play QC since it was going to be free to play, but last week when I was playing Q3A on nightmare, I had one of the most intense and fun deathmatches I’ve ever had in an FPS. Ever since then, I’ve had an itch to play more and more, so I may end up buying into early access.

  5. Quadruplesword says:

    When I start playing Quake Champions, I’m going to main Doom Slayer no question. I really hope they make him exactly like his Doom 2016 counterpart, with double jump, ledge climbing, and possibly strafe running, though having all 3 might be a bit OP.