Quake: Champions #1 Review

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Posted August 9, 2017 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written By: Ram V

Art By: Alan Quah

Published By: Titan

I have to wonder what an arena shooter with no real lore is doing with a comic book tie in, but for all I know, Quake does come with lore. I’ve never played the games. I was always more of an Unreal Tournament kind of guy, and come the 8th it’ll be Lawbreakers; however, lore and arena shooters aren’t exactly necessary.

Just give me fast-paced gameplay and big guns. I don’t need anything else. (Well, I’ll take some vehicles and a flag to capture if that’s not asking too much….)

I’m not really sure what Quake: Champions #1 aims to do, but it’s bloody gorgeous. This seems to be common with video game tie ins—Dark Souls and Assassin’s Creed were also stunning comics to look at. What Quake: Champions does better is visual storytelling. The panel layout is actually pretty interesting, and there are nice details thrown around to sell the characters, the arena, and give off creepy vibes.

The blood and monsters are damn nice, and the backstory stuff at least looks really pretty despite being desaturated of all life.

However, much like the other aforementioned video-game time ins, the problems here are with the writing. Quake: Champions wants to tell a story about a man stuck in an arena, which is admittedly a really cool idea, but it fails to make me care. Perhaps its that it does too much, forgoing nonstop violence with big flashbacks of family, friends, and being a soldier, but none of it really lands. At its best it’s obligatory and mundane; and its worse it’s just poorly written.

A light touch would have gone much further in selling this scenario than a man monologuing to himself. Were half the dialogue just gone, with the visuals on full front, this would have been a really rad start to a story. There are certainly cool elements here, but I don’t need words to sell them. Mystery is nice.

So is dialogue that sounds natural.

At the end of the day, Quake: Champions isn’t a bad story, and the art is monstrous in its execution. I had some fun. But like with all video game tie ins, it falls short on the writing front, with some poor choices, poor dialogue, and simply too many words per page. A little less talking and a little more violence, please. This is supposed to be an arena shooter. The most we say is “GG” at the end.

Quake: Champions #1

Quake: Champions #1

6

Final Score

6/10

    Pros

    • Amazing artwork
    • Some really nice visual storytelling
    • Some neat narrative ideas

    Cons

    • Too much writing
    • Dialogue falls flat
    • Character beats feel done-to-death



    About the Author

    Chad Waller

    Chad Waller is the cofounder of Dual Wield Software, a two-man video game company working on their first game, The Regret of Vitrerran. He also likes to write, preferring fiction and poetry, but also the occasional book review or video game essay. You can follow him on Twitter @DualWieldSoft and find his company page on Facebook with a quick search.