During Bethesda’s E3 showcase, a CG trailer for the latest iteration of id Software’s classic arena shooter, Quake, debuted. It’s called Quake Champions (opens in new tab), and we have no clue what it’ll play like beyond what we’ve scraped from the trailer and a few choice quotes. The choicest of these quotes marks a fundamental change for the series, because instead of placing everyone in the same dopey space shooter body, Quake Champions “features a diverse cast of warriors, each with different attributes and unique abilities.”
What this means for competitive play is uncertain, but by examining the trailer, we can infer a few things about the new and returning weapons, characters, and their specific traits. Rocket jump with us to the next slide.
In the post-show stream, id Software’s Tim Willits dropped the names of the four characters in the trailer, and first up is Ranger (opens in new tab), the main character from the original Quake. Whether or not he’s still voiced by Trent Reznor is up in the air. Here, we see him going up against a new character, ScaleBear (if I heard Willits correctly) who we’ll get to in a minute.
Reassuringly, the very first encounter knocks the gun out of one character’s hands, and the other picks them up. It seems weapons won’t be tied to characters—maybe they’ll have a default starting arsenal—but if anyone can pick up any weapon, then Quake Champions still sounds like an arena shooter to me.
Weapon-watch: Looks like Ranger has a shotgun of some kind and ScaleBear is wielding the Lightning Gun (opens in new tab).
God, I hope his name is ScaleBear.
Willits said that Ranger’s Dire Orb movement ability is an homage to the Telefrag (opens in new tab) from the original Quake. He tosses the orb, and teleports to its location. Those are some good armor abs.
Here, we reunite with Visor (opens in new tab) from Quake 3, wielding a weapon we can’t quite identify. It might be an updated Railgun (opens in new tab), since it fires what look like thin hitscan shots at a steady firerate. And really, it wouldn’t be Quake without the railgun anyway. I just hope to see the Plasma Gun (opens in new tab). I want to ride that thing (opens in new tab) up every wall.
Based on this grab, Visor might not have a movement ability, but one that lets him peek at foes through the environment. A wallhack, if you will.
What we have here seems to be Quake 3’s gauntlet (opens in new tab). It’s a circular saw on your arm, basically, and at least in Q3, it was one of the default weapons you spawned with. Haven’t confirmed yet if the announcer will say ‘humiliation’ when you rip someone up.
I’m likely screwing up the name, but Willits mentioned a character named ScaleBear (or something similar) in the post show, and while he doesn’t look like a bear exactly, the dude has the stature of one. And those might be scales. Probably.
Here, he’s wielding the classic Quake rocket launcher (opens in new tab). In the post-show stream, Willits emphasized that all of the classic Quake maneuvers would make a return, including rocket jumping, strafe jumping—everything a longtime Quake player would expect. It’s safe to assume that new character movement abilities means there will be a few more advanced maneuvers for high level players to discover. We hope so, at least.
ScaleBear can perform a bull rush, in which he sprints at a high speed, crushing whatever is in his path with his great scaley bear-like pecs. It screams Reinhardt to me, but we all have Overwatch on the brain. It does make me wonder how character-specific abilities will work: whether or not they’ll be on a cool down, associated with a power meter you need to build up, or maybe you can just use them willy-nilly. Who knows?
Meet Nyx (Nix?), another character Willits mentioned on the post-show stream. It’s entirely possible that I’m getting her and ScaleBear mixed up, but that doesn’t seem likely. She’s a brand new character, wielding a classic Machine Gun (opens in new tab) in this shot.
Nyx can perform what Willits calls Phase Out, in which she turns into a bright blue (probably invincible) vapor. Think Reaper from Overwatch, but with a bit less angst. I’m not sure if it’ll provide much mobility, but if Nyx is a more fragile, agile character, short term invincibility could come in handy.
Keep in mind, these are the only four announced champions and we’re not sure how many more to expect.
Finally, what the heck is this dang thing? It’s some kind of symbol, we get that, but what does it mean? Is that a railroad spike? Weird.