Quake Champions hits Steam Early Access next week

Id Software's arena FPS Quake Champions will wrap up its closed beta and move into Steam Early Access on August 22, Bethesda announced today, a move that will see the addition of new maps, features, and a familiar face—or helmet, anyway: The great, green Doom Slayer is joining the fight. 

"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," studio director Tim Willits said. "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." 

Quake Champions will be free to play, but the Early Access release will not: To jump into the action you'll need to spring for the Champions Pack, which unlocks all current and future Champions (there are currently 11 characters to choose from, and Bethesda said that at least six more are expected to be added to the mix by the end of 2018) as well as an Early Access-exclusive "diehard Ranger" skin, and three Reliquaries, the Quake Champions version of loot chests. The Champions Pack will go for $30 during Early Access and climb to $40 at launch; players who took part in the closed beta will continue to have access to the game in "free-to-play mode." 

As for the Doom Slayer, it sounds like he'll operate much as he did in his own game. His active ability, Berserk, enables him to rip and tear enemies with his bare hands (he'll punch them, actually, but you know what I mean), while his passive ability is the thrust boots-enabled Double Jump.   

The Early Access release of Quake Champions will also feature the new Church of Azathoth and Tempest Shrine maps, Rune Challenges, a new Lore System that will unlock "high-end Lore Skins," in-game voice chat, new customization options, and features like a movement tutorial and shooting gallery that will help get new players up to speed.