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In the early days of FPS games id Software games set the bar what would be the first major wave of FPS Games during the 90's. After publishing doom I & II, id software released quake. Similar to the 2 previous games but standing out for its more ethereal quality. Doom had been a camp masterpiece, Where quake was gothic, stark. Trent Reznor, the singer for Nine Inch Nails, had loved doom and was brought on to help with the soundtrack. Quake hasn't stuck around for the last 23 years because of it's presentation or single player campaigns, as great as they are.

The real reason why the quake franchise has stood the test of time is multiplayer.

In less then 7 days quake will be celebrating It's 23th birthday. In that time there have been 5 sequals that have shared the quake name. The most recent game is Quake Champions.

During these 25 years the FPS model has been shifted and pulled in so many differant directions that It's hard to keep up. All the while, Quake, is an Arena Shooter. We've come to a point where a lot younger gamers are too young to have played arena shooters in there hayday and so they've lived through differant styles and trends. While all of the other games were chasing down game design trends and fads, quake stayed true to the formula that originally made it popular.

Quake champions, however, is not a perfect recreation of the olden days by any stretch. It's gimmick is that there is a roster of characters to choose from that all have differant abilities and movement mechanics from previous quake titles. This leading many to criticize it as being Overwatch clone. In game the similarities between the games aren't as apparent. Overwatch is designed around character synergy. The teams that co-operate the best often times are the ones that are the most successful. This is only partially true with Quake Champions. In public TDM games there is very little synergy required for one team to win over the other. The teams and by extension the players that win are the ones with raw mechanical skill and game sense. This includes the movement mechanics that are difficult to learn and downright impossible to master. While corny, the analogy between basketball and football works in this case. Quake champions being more about the individual's skill rather then the collective's ability to execute a strategy.

Currently the game is still in early access and is going through a period of teething where technical and balance problems are ironed out. Old Quake players who have been playing for 20+ years are complaining about some of the modern mechanics. The main complaint is that the game feels to noob friendly. I find that this arguments doesn't hold water simply because of the game's steep learning curve. Your first few games bring you to your knees. After spending a few hours running around empty maps in custom games getting used to the movement mechanics and item placements, then can you jump into real games and feel somewhat confident even though your team will still loose 20 to 60.

New players seem to be enjoying this new/old style of play. the recent balance changes to the movement systems as well as health and armor have come along way in making the game feel tough but fair. There is definitely more room to grow though the character abilities are unbalanced in the current meta so that there is a very small selection of characters that can be played at and medium levels. I'm confident however that these problems will be addressed and fixed.

Is it time for a Quake Revival? Only time will tell.

JUNE 2018