The game has hit some bumps along the way, but arena shooter revival Quake Champions has made steady, sure steps towards its goal to revitalise the genre over the past few months. Today's update brings the game just that little bit closer to the ideal, introducing bots for practice play (and to fill empty slots if someone bails from your team), and a gratuitously detailed gore system worthy of Doom 4. Rockets, chainsaws, machineguns and more will have visibly different effects on your now-mechanically-separated opponent's body. Squishy.
Right now the bots are apparently in 'Phase 1' (with little indication of what Phase 2 will entail) , and are used in training mode, which has been bulked out somewhat in this patch. They also fill empty slots in over-long match queues, and hold spaces when a player drops out of a team match. The new gib system is entirely cosmetic, and comically over-detailed, with each character model having their own set of body part chunks that can be removed in a variety of ways once their health hits zero.
While there's no new trailer to accompany this particular update (odd, considering how momentous it is), here's the remarkably upbeat one that was posted back in March. Can't say the music fits the visuals, but I can dig it. It has energy.
Beyond bots and gore, there's the usual slew of balance tweaks - too many to list here, though you can see the full patch notes for this update here. The Tri-Bolt weapon's behaviour has been changed so that you can detonate its shots in mid-air, the amount of time it takes to level up and earn more loot boxes has been decreased overall, and the drop rate of duplicate items has been reduced. For those who got a more limited version of the game in a key giveaway, you can now also purchase new characters using Favor, the standard in-game currency.
While there are plans for the game to be free-to-play a League of Legends-esque business model (free heroes on rotation, or buy to keep), those who want in on the early access/public beta can buy in for £20/$30 on Steam or the Bethesda store. This pack follows the Overwatch model of giving you all gameplay content present and future, while loot boxes and currency are used purely to get dress-up items for your space-gladiator of choice. Probably a better option for the arena shooter old-guard.
Apparently the servers are quite full today. I might be stopping by for a quick frag later. Come on in; the lava's great!