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A Quake Con Rundown

Quake and Doom have been games that defined generations, arguably creating the FPS genre that we see today, so when an opportunity to go to an event filled with guns, guts, gore, and goodies appears, you can be darn sure I’m going to go!

Bethesda hosted their first UK Quake Con on the 27th of July in London, and despite a comparatively small showcase compared to the larger showings in Dallas, it showcased a wide range of new offerings, from VR and console titles to tabletop RPG’s and card games.

The first thing to address is the elephant in the room; the numbers weren’t fantastic.

I arrived early to beat the rush, assuming that despite a lack of goodwill felt by consumers recently, (what with Fallout controversies and an underwhelming E3 showcase), that the event would still be full of customers eager to sample the latest games and merchandise.

That wasn’t the case.

Clearly, from staff interaction, the organizers were expecting a better turnout, leading to many more spaces at computers than they would have liked.

However, despite this, I have to say…

Doom Eternal is fantastic.

With so many new features, such as a shoulder-mounted flamethrower and grenade launcher as well as wall climbing, my initial worry was that the title would become far too complex to afford the same frantic and exciting gunplay on display in the last game.

I’m so happy to say I was totally wrong.

Id Software knocks it out of the park with a game that not only provides the same fantastic combat as the previous Doom, but also adds just enough to keep the gameplay feeling fresh and versatile.

Attacks are varied and choosing between different forms of assault enables players to maintain control over their armor, health, and ammo respectively, meaning you can employ your own tactics to dominate the minions of hell in your own personal and gruesome ways.

Mick Gordon again provides a jaw-dropping score of bass-crushing tracks to accompany your journey through the beautiful, yet terrifying, scenery, and both the weapons on offer as well as our protagonist’s interactions with others help to fuel the power fantasy and leave us feeling epic.

Transitions between combat are short but punchy, leaving action in the player’s hands and allowing us to enjoy battles with hordes of demons. Doom chooses to give us control of the exciting bits rather than show them to us via drawn-out cutscenes.

This is one to watch!

Rage, Quake Champions, and Fallout 76 were also on display, to mixed reactions.

It’s interesting to see the real community reaction to titles like Fallout 76 without the flowery words and corporate spin often seen at E3 and other events.

It didn’t look great, with both Rage and Fallout 76’s areas failing to draw the crowds they clearly had expected, especially considering that an in-house Battle Royale competition with Fallout’s new Nuclear Winter expansion had obviously been planned, but was unable to fully get underway due to a lack of players.

I have to admit that I’d avoided playing Fallout 76 until now, so it was finally time to grit my teeth and try my best to enjoy the series, despite my preconceptions.

Within two minutes of playing, my friend’s character was missing their head, due to a bug, and I don’t mean a radroach.

The awkwardness only continued when a Bethesda rep came over to see how we were getting on…just as both of our games froze and refused to respond.

The feeling of exasperation was clearly something felt by the rest of the Fallout community, with the conference halls in Dallas and London quiet and solemn, as well as predominantly empty during the lackluster Fallout 76 showcase event later on that evening.

The one saving grace for the Fallout series, however, was the fantastic addition of Modiphius’ Entertainment’s tabletop RPG.

Modiphius Entertainment have created a Warhammer-like RPG, complete with high-quality figures, that really stands out as a labour of love for the franchise; breathing life into Super Mutants and Wastelanders with intricate scenery and easy-to-understand combat and missions.

It’s a stark contrast to Fallout 76 and was a huge hit with the fans, especially when the team unveiled their colossal Liberty Prime figure, which goes on sale this September for £100.

The team also went on to describe the new and upcoming tabletop game, The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms, a Skyrim-based RPG that can be played both alone and with friends. Displaying high quality figures and a level of passion that really sparks hope in a fragile and beaten-down community.

Is Quake Con going to be a recurring feature in London, and will it return on a larger scale?

One can only hope. With companies and developers such as Modiphius and ID Software leading the charge and innovating community favorites in such positive ways, Bethesda could easily win over their disgruntled fanbase and turn this event into a big hitter in future, as long as they don’t commit another Fallout 76 bungle, that is.