There weren’t many maps available in the Beta, and I often found myself outvoted and doomed to visit the same map again and again and again in play, but each map I experienced had a good flow to it, with each path leading me to someone else quickly enough that I never got a chance to calm down, fingers mashing the keyboard to respawn as quickly as possible with each death, eager to get back into the action and try to claim victory.
It’s the game you wanted when you heard Quake was coming back, and even when you’re getting stomped you’re mere seconds away from the life that sees you knee-deep in dead opponents, rocketing back to victory. This is less prevalent in the team-based modes designed for competitive play, but I find myself mostly in solo mode, trying to kill and not be killed by seven trigger-happy enemies.
This part of the game is excellent, even at this early stage. Quake Champions is, even now, a good game. However, it’s clad in so much bullshit that it’s nearly impossible to enjoy it. Between each game, there’s a terrible menu screen offering you customisation options, loot boxes (hi, 2017!), new champions, ample ways to spend money, and a variety of stuff you really just can’t care about.
Quake Champions' greatest strength is its lightning fast gunplay, and it’s almost confusing that the game puts so much effort into hiding that away. It’s the main event, but the beta’s biggest problem is its set of modern trappings: No one plays Quake for the cosmetic items, and it’d be good to see more of a focus on the actual business of playing the game and less on trying to nickel and dime you. This is more heinous, as the game actually won’t let you spend real money right now, or at least the option was greyed out and I wasn’t so keen to get spendy that I looked further into it, so it’s all just there to taunt you: 'Look at our incredible, fast-paced, multiplayer arena shooter!
', Bethesda coos. 'But wouldn't you rather be fiddling around with this lootbox to get a new skin for a character you can only rent for 24 hours instead?
No, Bethesda. That is not what I would rather.