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Quake Champions’ tank favors the direct approach

Look out below ... and in front

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

The team at id Software is drip-feeding fans of Quake Champions a series of teaser trailers. The latest profiles a character called Scalebearer, and from the looks of things he really likes to throw his weight around.

A press release explains that Scalebearer is a “relentless warlord, determined to lead you to victory.” He’s the perfect example of id’s new approach to the classic franchise, as he fights very differently from the other Champions in the game.

Scalebearer has an active ability called Bull Rush. At the tap of a button, he charges head on into enemies, reducing them to a gibbous cloud. His passive ability, called Heavyweight, means that a well-timed rocket jump can lead to a similar result, this time coming from above.

Compared that skillset to Nyx, a Champion unveiled during PAX East in Boston. Her Ghost Walk allows her to pass undetected, or phase into an enemy and kill them instantly. She can also double-jump, giving her much more maneuverability than other Champions on the game.

It’s all part of id’s new approach, which casts Quake Champions as a free-to-play game with a for-pay option. Players can start with one Champion — a character named Ranger who shares most of the skills found in the default character in Quake 3 — for free and then use digital currency to gain access to others. Or, they can pay for a Champions Pack and get access to every character available at launch.

Quake Champions has a closed beta on the horizon. Sign-ups are open now.

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