Though upcoming PC-exclusive arena shooter Quake Champions retains many of the series’ defining aspects–including hyper-fast movement speeds, open battle arenas littered with guns, and skill-based techniques like rocket-jumping–it also adds unique characters with their own distinct abilities, a first for the franchise.
Quake Champions project lead Tim Willits has downplayed the overall significance of the Champions–calling them “an additive thing” during a recent interview with GameSpot–but many fans have expressed concern over this new feature nonetheless, labeling Quake Champions a “hero shooter” in the same vein as games like Overwatch.
When asked if the studio would consider including an option that would allow players to turn off Champions’ unique abilities and compete using mechanically identical characters a la classic Quake, Willits responded: “Yeah, in custom game mode.”
“We want to make sure we give people what they want,” said Willits. “If you create custom game mode, you should be able to set the game up the way you want. If you need to turn off Champions, we’ll let you turn off Champions. That won’t be a problem.”
Though Quake Champions’ competitive modes will still utilize the titular heroes’ full ability sets, custom matches will at least provide Quake purists a means to enjoy the game on their own terms. But Willits still thinks everyone should give the Champions a shot.
“I really do believe it adds to the experience, because you don’t fundamentally change the way you play based on the Champion you have,” said Willits. “You still run and shoot and pick up all the weapons. But the subtle variations add that level of strategy and depth that I think is the next step we need to take.”
Quake Champions was announced during Bethesda’s E3 2016 briefing in June. The first gameplay footage was released during Bethesda’s recent QuakeCon event in Texas (watch it above), containing the kind of fast-paced gameplay fans may be familiar with from past entries in the series.