On the 22nd August 2017, id Software launched the latest Quake game into early access at a reduced cost of $29,99 for the Quake Champions Pack, which will carry over to the full version when released. It’s a bit of an awkward one for fans since the basic version of the game is said to be free-to-play when released and the Champions Pack carries the full price of $39,99.
Should I Fork Out the $30 Now or Wait for the FTP Option?
This really depends on whether you’re a fan of the franchise or just a casual player at heart. As stated previously, the early access version of Quake Champions is available at a reduced cost of $29,99, while the full game will release at a price of $39,99 when it reaches its final build in 2018. There will also be a free-to-play option, although you’ll only be able to play a single character, Ranger, and none of the additional extras the full game carries. I go back to my original comment, then, if you’re a fan of the game, it’s best to buy it now, even if you don’t intend to play through the bugs and the likes, otherwise, it may be best to wait for the FTP version for a few casual experiences.
Brush Up on Your Key Stroke and Mouse Speeds
Undoubtedly one of the most fast-paced first-person shooters. One of the key aspects of the Quake series has been its fast action. You die often, you die fast. And that’s good. In no time you’ll be back at it whether you’re in single combat or team duals, there’s not often you have to wait long before respawning. For most beginners, it’s this fast-paced nature of the game that catches you out, but allow you to try over and over again without being frustrated by long waiting periods or loading times in between as you may find in other titles.
I tend to use a gaming mouse on all of my laptops and PCs I use, with settings on highest DPI, which now feels smooth and natural. I find it amusing watching others attempt to take control of my mouse to “show me” something on my laptop, the mouse flying from side to side and expressions of anxiety, them looking like drunks behind the steering wheel. But it’s these types of settings that ultimately win out on such super-fast games. There is no doubt about it, you have to have your wits about you in Quake Champions, as with all other Quake games, to last even a few seconds, and long enough to find some joy in it. Without that, you’ll be lost in the blur of bullets, frags, explosions and the likes.
Interface and Options
One of the big drawcards in the Quake Champions Pack is the amount of options from the menu, customising your characters look and feel, right down to their faces. Most of the gear and other customizations offered are merely cosmetic, but it’s the actual characters that have the varying capabilities and traits to enjoy. There are unique capabilities each has other than simply being faster, stronger and the typical characteristics of traditional FPS titles, but offer some strange, yet fun features. For example, one character, Slash, has laser skates. This is just her standard capability. Another character, Sorlag, seems pretty straight forward in comparison, but he gets quicker and quicker the more he continuously hops across the screen. I would say that not all character traits have been fine-tuned as yet, with some of these not offering as great features as others, meaning that more often than not players will tend to a more specific set of characters to choose from.
Apart from the visual customisations, there’s also a lot going on in terms of guns, power-ups and the likes. With about 7 or 8 different guns to choose from, most of which yield maximum damage based on the type of player against that gun, it makes for a bit of a steep learning curve for newcomers, along with the crazy speeds of the actual gameplay.
Being in early access release, I didn’t expect it to be the complete product, which is fine. That said, there’s still a lot of work to be done for Quake Champions. For those moments when I managed to find a suitable game on the server, things ran relatively smooth. The biggest frustration I had, however, was the crazy periods in the waiting room looking for a match. On more than one occasion, I selected all possible options to try find a game, and still ended up 10 minutes in the waiting room without it picking up anything on the server. It was also strange that at the same time of waiting, I was able to use the spectator mode, which has built in live streaming from within the interface, and watched other players enjoy their live-broadcast games, all the while still watching the clock tick past the 15-minute mark still waiting. This, more than any bugs in-game, is the most frustrating aspect, and may, in these early days, annoy almost all players.
Additionally, the long waiting periods meant that to find a ‘match’ the search criteria was expanded to include a broader range of options, and found myself playing against much stronger opposition than I was hoping. Longer waiting times are indications that my initial match-ups won’t be met, and I’d find myself a lamb amongst lions.
One of the more notable aspects of the game is that it isn’t subject to high-end gaming rigs, with minimum requirements for some of the more basic rigs. While this may be the case on paper, it isn’t quite carried through in the real world, with frame drops and jitters aplenty. Moreover, there’s quite a lot going on in each frame, as the amount of SFX and visual noise are extreme in some cases, and you’re not able to see much of what’s going on.
A few months back I had the opportunity to test Quake Champions in its beta stage, which delivered quite reasonable results, although, admittedly, still had a number of bugs to contend with. Even while I still haven’t fully come to grip with challenging some of the world’s best Quake players, I enjoyed my time playing the early release than I did the Beta. I’m not a big fan on all the variations and customisations available, just as much as I don’t enjoy that type of other titles, like DotA 2. The variation of characters is something I find has more value, although I would suggest more time spent to create an equal balance between all the characters, with some notably much stronger and dynamic than others. At the end of the day, Quake Champions still has its underlying characteristics of being a fast-paced, all-out action FPS. [http://store.steampowered.com/app/611500/Quake_Champions/]