Despite Quake having been a franchise that’s been around for years it’s not a game I can really remember ever playing, despite having seen it many times and being passingly familiar with the franchise. As such, I was excited to learn more about the universe and their characters.
Instead of dropping the reader into a complex story set within the pre-established lore of Quake, Quake Champions takes the time to look at the characters in small, yet intimate backstories, tales that take the time to shed some light onto who the Quake competitors are and their motivations. This makes the book instantly accessible, as you can go into it knowing absolutely nothing.
Yes, there are some things that are only vaguely explained, such as the dimension that all of the characters are in, and the fact that they keep coming back to life after being killed in brutal combat, but these are things that don’t really matter for this book. Quake Champions is about characters before anything else.
There is a vague narrative to the book, however, as we move from one character to another as they work their way through the battleground killing each other. The handover of focus from character to character as one kills the other is a fun conceit, and you begin to actively look forward to how it will happen; especially when you find out that they can still come back from being killed so they’re not gone once they’re killed.
Between these moments of violence we get to see how these characters ended up in this strange dimension. Whilst not incredibly in-depth, it does give a good feel for each individual character, their motivations, and how varied they all are. The script helps with this backstory a lot, providing more narration boxes and insight into the characters thoughts than actual dialogue. These give each of the chapters a very different feel, as they’re essentially all told from a different point of view rather than one singular outside observer.
The art within the book by Alan Quah is gorgeous, and doesn’t feel like traditional comic book art, having traded in the harsh lines that some artists use, instead embracing a much softer art style. This art style works well, and the characters never feel too far removed from their environments, even when there’s nothing in the background of their panel. The tones used throughout make the universe feel more alive and natural, and creates some very stunning pages.
The artwork works wonderfully during the action sequences too, with gunfire, flames, and smoke all looking amazing. They give these sequences much more energy than you’d expect, and helps the panels feel like there’s real movement within them, rather than being static and rigid.
Whilst there’s not a whole lot of story within the pages of Quake Champions it’s a great jumping on point for people who may not know much about the franchise, as it gives some great insight into the universe; and I’m sure that it would appeal well to those who know the source material well too, giving those readers more depth into the inner workings of characters that they’ll be familiar with.
If this book is anything to go by more comics set within the Quake universe would work extremely well, and I look forward to seeing what could happen next.
Quake Champions is now available from Titan Comics.