Yesterday, Bethesda held its BE3 Showcase. The press conference gave the company a chance to drop some more information about some unreleased titles as well as announce a couple of new ones. Before the conference began, there was a lot of speculation that a revitalized and reimagined DOOM would eventually be followed by a similarly redesigned, renovated Quake. However, nothing was obvious that the game studio was actively pursuing development of this revered IP.
It turns out that speculation was wrong. Bethesda began its presentation with the reveal of Quake Champions.
It looks like the edgier, modern take on Quake that resembles how the original public-facing media framed the DOOM remake. It also seems a little darker than what I can immediately recall about Quake 3: Arena. Everything was bright. Or at least it didn’t seem like dim lighting was the mainstay of those maps.
As far as opening salvos go, there’s really not a lot that competes with reviving a classic PC gaming legacy as your first reveal at E3. And then, during the presentation given by–what I can only assume, in hindsight–the Bethesda hate bait, I hear something about “character abilities.”
I think to myself, “well, I suppose they’re keen to turn Quake into Overwatch.”
I checked the press release issued at the conclusion of the press conference to make sure I wasn’t simply hearing things and drawing baseless conclusions, but lo-and-behold, the confirmation was sitting there on my screen. I wasn’t making anything that I had heard up.
Quake Champions features a roster of unique characters, each with their own distinctive abilities, giving every player a chance to play to their strengths.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s not as if the DOOM multiplayer system felt like it harkened back to the classic deathmatch of old, but you have to give id Software some sort of credit–they at least gave it a multiplayer mode that was unique, if not a bit dull and generic.
I’m not quite sure why I (and a lot of other people, but let’s get real: I can only explain myself, here) expected for DOOM’s multiplayer to take after the Quake series, when it never really had a multiplayer mode that wasn’t influenced by Quake in the first place.
Sure, 1.0 was a thing that existed in an era where the connections were either local networks or dial-up modem access, but Quake took the baton from the early Doom games and upped the ante with all of the potential that the new engine allowed. Quake drove arena multiplayer forward during that time, not Doom or Doom 2, because the love of design combined with the direction of those in charge of the design took a huge step towards the gothic and industrial compared to Doom’s pixelized sci-fi hellscapes.
Here’s hoping that Bethesda can explain a little more when they show the game off at Quakecon 2016, later this August.