The NDA was lifted earlier this month allowing streamers and reviewers to share Quake Champions Beta with the world, although all of us have been ready I am not sure that Bethesda was. From the first load taking nearly nine minutes, it really set the tone for the rest of the experience.
Being an older gamer I was excited to hear Quake was going back to its roots and reviving one of the most influential arena shooters of my childhood (shout out to UT 2004 as well). It was a happy balance that landed itself between Tribes and Unreal Tournament, which for me was the ideal place to be. Although these games can seem like nothing but mayhem and bullets, there was an elegant balance of pacing and resources that kept the game from spiraling into nonsense.
Unfortunately it looks like Bethesda has lost that touch, as the new Quake tries so hard to find that balance, but falls short resulting in a disaster of a game. Although all the elements of a classic Quake title still fill the map, a combination of pacing issues and terrible matchmaking lead to long waits just to be thrown into a horribly lopsided match, that in the end to a seasoned Quake player it just feels awkward to play.
To make matters worse, the new added heroes or champions as they call them in the game, do little to effect the game with weak passives and underwhelming active abilities their addition feels like an afterthought, more than an innovative feature. Couple that with the insane micro transaction strategy, tiered loot boxes and pay to own champions, pacing may be the least of this titles' worries. As there will be little reason for anyone to buy loot chests or armor shades if we have no reason to ever own another champion.
I am sad to write this review on Quake Champions as I was so excited for a new Quake game, but sadly what Bethesda has given us so far is far from that. I understand this is a beta and a lot of this can change, but I fear with a 2017 release date the issues may be too big of a task to tackle in the next six or so months. Especially since the normal beta issues of random crashes and server optimization also still exist and need to be corrected before launch. At this point I am really hoping to see a delay in launch, as then at least we will know the developers understand there is a lot more work to be done on this game. As it stands it is not at all ready to wear the Quake badge of honor.