Sometimes to find something fresh, you have to go back. DICE did it with great effect with Battlefield 1. Id Software blew DOOM fans (the singleplayer, at least) away last year. They are hoping to tap into that same nostalgia with the old-school arena shooter known as Quake.

A short while ago, id Software gave us another small look at Quake Champions with a closed beta announcement trailer. The fast, frenetic arena shooter early shooter fans fell in love with appears to be in good hands in 2017. Let’s take a look.

Did anyone else see anything besides that freaky eye at the beginning?

Sign-ups are live over at Quake.com, but the website has been struggling since the closed beta trailer went live. I guess a lot of people (including me) are itching for some old-school arena shooting fun.

The Quake gunplay we love returns

New games often mean new mechanics. But those worried about how that might affect gunplay shouldn’t be.

There’s only one way to get weapons in Quake Champions. Either learn the timing of weapon pickups, or kill your opponents wielding them. No pre-set loadouts. No limits to how many you can carry. Your pockets are limitless.

That’s not to say there haven’t been some influences from modern game design. Name me a popular shooter in recent years that didn’t include some form of special ability. Games like Overwatch are built on this premise. Besides changing things up from a gameplay perspective, they are an intricate part of a hero’s (or in this case, champion) identity.

While the gunplay mechanics are being left largely untouched, special abilities will change up the Quake formula.

Take the Ranger. His special ability is the Dire Orb, a glowing throwable ball that you can immediately teleport to.

Or, Visor. His Piercing Eye ability is basically x-ray vision that allows him to see through walls.

Nyx moves quicker than other champions and can phase to nearby locations.

Scale Bearer can charge and ram into opponents. This is the one we can easily see in action in the trailer above.

It’s easy to sit here and criticize the inclusion of abilities, but I’m going to hold off until we see them in action. What kind of cooldowns are they on? What’s the range of Visor’s Piercing Eye ability? How do the champions counter one another? These are all questions we will get answers to when we get our hands on the game. And id Software will gain the feedback they need to balance or change abilities before the final release hits.

The important thing here is the devs seems to be leaving Quake’s timeless gunplay alone. I’m all for experimenting with new games in old franchises, but some things should be left untouched. Soon, we’ll see if the new changes coming in Quake Champions are for the better.

We’ll be getting a better look at each new champion starting Wednesday with a trailer for Nyx. Here are the dates for the rest.

Scalebearer – March 15
Anarki – March 29
Clutch – April 12
Galena – April 19
Ranger – May 3
Visor – May 10
Sorlag – May 24

If you can make it out to PAX East this weekend, head over to to the Bethesda booth (#18007 and 20007) to go hands-on with the game before everyone else.

When I’m not playing Rocket League (best game ever), you can find me writing about all things games, space and more. You can reach me at alex@newsledge.com

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