It’s been 20 years since Id Software unleashed the gothic Quake on the burgeoning PC gaming world, kicking off what’s become a storied franchise in the now-crowded sphere of competitive first-person shooters. Now, almost 12 years after the release of last addition to the Quake series, Quake 4, and five years after the debut of spin-offs Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and the free-to-play Quake III: Arena, Id is gearing up for the release a new entry. At Bethesda’s E3 press briefing in Los Angeles on Sunday evening, it showed off Quake Champions, a competitive multiplayer title with “classic arena action,” and a “unique” and “bad-ass” cast of playable characters.
Quake Champions will feature the sort of “classic arena action” for which the Quake series has become known, Id Software’s studio director Tim Willits told the crowd at E3. It will also have “heart-stopping action that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat.” The CGI teaser trailer certainly gave that impression — it featured a heated gun-and-superpower battle between a team of humans and the series’ Strogg, a race of violent cyborgs. Each character features unique skills and attributes, Willis said, and true to their Quake roots, they confront each other at mind-numbing paces: Quake Champions matches run 120Hz with “unlocked framerates,” said Willis.
Quake Champions will also feature “world-class esports play at every level,” said Willis — a series hallmark. Furthermore, Bethesda pledged to support the competitive tournaments and leagues that have sprung up around the franchise, and promised additional announcements at its annual QuakeCon conference in Dallas, Texas, in August. “Anyone [will be able] to test their skills in the arena,” Willis said.
The reveal of Quake Champions followed well-sourced Nerd Leaks tweet ahead on Sunday ahead of Bethesday’s press conference. “After Doom, [the] next Id Software game will be Quake,” it read. “Domain updated along with Dishonored 2, presuming a #E32016 preparation. Brace yourself.” In May, Id Software began recruiting art supervisors, audio programmers, and gameplay programmers to work on “legendary game properties” like Doom and Quake.
Id’s Doom, a reboot of the eponymous fast-paced horror/shooter hybrid series, met positive commercial and critical reception when it hit store shelves in May. It currently sits with a “generally favorable” score of 85/100 on Metacritic, and hit sales of 500,000 on PC alone in the first month of availability.