EA SCOUT the last line of defense for buying on Steam's Early Access
by Quinn Levandoski
previewed on PC
I’ve Got the Need. The Need, For Speed.
If developer GameArt Studio is considering any alternate names for their latest game Quantum Rush: Champions, which is now available for purchase on Steam Early Access, I might suggest 'Go Really Fast All the Time'. The game, a failed "Kickstarter-turned Steam EA" success, is a futuristic arcade racer solely concerned with - you guessed it - going really fast. The game seems to be in a fairly completed state, and is a lot of fun to play. With updates and new info still getting churned out, as well as a bare-bones price (at least at this time), this is a game that’ll worth keeping an eye on for fans of the genre.
The gameplay of Quantum Rush: Champions can pretty much be summed up in a single sentence: Keep your finger on the acceleration and launch some pickups once in awhile. A nuanced racing game this is not. Things like shifting, breaking into turns, or jockeying position aren’t even going to enter the equation. The name of the game, through and through, is speed. Hold down the acceleration at all times and watch the tracks race by. Races actually control pretty well and are a lot of fun. I wasn’t exaggerating with how to win. There isn’t really any strategy to learn, but victory is instead dependent on your ability to learn how to control your craft and utilize the weapon pickups on the map - think Mario Kart. It’s simple, but it’s fun. The game does a nice job hitting the balance between a sense of speed and control, making you feel like you really are going 800 mph without the frustration of impairing your turns or vision of the upcoming track.
Depth and Unlocks
Being that this is currently a bargain priced game that’ll only set you back a few bucks, it’s understandable that there isn’t a ton of depth to any kind of story or lore (not that many racing games do), but there is a surprising amount to work through and unlock. You can hop into an individual race if you’d like, but there’s also a three part career mode that lets you pick one of three vehicle manufacturers, each one specializing in speed, armor, weapons, etc., and compete in events with their “cars.” In each section of the mode you’ll have a handful of events thrown at you that you can work through in pretty much any order. Accomplishing the event’s objectives unlocks more races, which are split into modes like standard races, elimination races where the racer in last place gets cut every few seconds, and “races” where you just need to destroy others and stay alive. Eventually you get more difficult “boss fights” with objectives of their own. At this point in the game’s development I don’t think it would take much more than a weekend to work through all of the available races, but a) I don’t know if more might be coming, and b) since it’s not like there’s a story to be ruined, the races are very replayable. By doing these races you also unlock new weapons and parts for your car that can change things up, albeit not really all that much in most cases.
Presentation and Final Thoughts
Presentation in Quantum Rush: Champions is passable. Again, this isn’t a AAA asking full standard retail, and thus the way the game looks and sounds is very, very generic. The visuals look something like a PS2 game, though they service the game well enough. The tracks are, similarly, good enough. They aren’t stunning, but they’re nice. There are enough of them in the game to satisfy, but they include all the things you’d expect a futuristic racer like this to have - huge drops, acceleration-panels, and big jumps - but it’s also got a few unique elements. Think panels that flip you to racing on the wall instead of the ground and tunnels you can utilize all 360 degrees. These don’t really affect gameplay all that much, but mix things up enough to keep it looking interesting, if nothing else.
Overall Quantum Rush: Champions is a fun little game that itches a scratch that not a ton of games have tries to satisfy as of late. For that reason alone it becomes, if not largely by default, a game worth keeping an eye on for fans of arcade racers. While it’s not the most ambitious or technically marvelous game I’ve ever seen, it does what it sets out to do. It’s fast, it’s fun, and it feels fair. I’d still like to see a bit more content added in - especially multiplayer, which seems like a no-brainer for the game - but at such a low asking price there’s still plenty of enjoyment to be had even in its current state.
There are no guarantees - but we'd bet our own money on this one. If you're going to take a chance with yours, odds are good this one will deliver.