Quake Champions entered a closed beta session in March, and after five months, id Software is ready to move forward to another stage in development. Next week, the game will enter Early Access on Steam and the Bethesda.net launcher, and you’ll have to fork over money if you want to try it out prior to its final release.
The original retail price for Quake Champions was $40, but the company is offering a 25% discount, so $30 will get you into the Early Access phase. The purchase also includes the Champions Pack, which gives you the current roster of Champions plus all future characters, an exclusive skin for Ranger, and three Reliquaries (in-game chests that contain cosmetic items for weapons, characters, or your profile).
The shift to Early Access also means that the developers added new content to the game. There are two new maps--Church of Azathoth and Tempest Shrine--and an additional champion. That champion is the so-called “Doom Slayer,” aka the main character from Doom. He can run around the map and crush enemies with his bare hands thanks to the Berserk attack. He also utilizes the double jump, which acts as a passive ability.
In terms of gameplay, you can take on Rune Challenges for additional rewards or find hidden Lore items in each stage. If you’re a newcomer to the franchise, you can run through a movement tutorial to get the mechanics down or hit the shooting range to test out different weapons. There are also new character skins and weapon shaders you can use to further customize your Champions, and the game will finally have its own voice chat system.
If you played the closed beta, you can still participate in the Early Access phase for free through the Bethesda.net launcher. You also have the option to purchase the Champions Pack or future individual characters at any time.
There’s no word from the studio on the duration of the Early Access period. Despite the $30 entry fee, the final version of Quake Champions will be free-to-play, so you’ll have to wait a bit longer if you want to join the fragging action without having to pay a single cent.
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