BOSTON — Whatever happened to the competitive shooter? You can build up your character slowly over time in Call of Duty, or work out the perfect balance for your team in Overwatch, or survive against 99 other players in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but none of these games can offer the simple, fast-paced, cathartic fun of fragging people, again and again, until one player accumulates more frags than the rest.

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Enter Quake Champions, which is currently in early access on Steam. I had a chance to check out the game at PAX East 2018, and the game’s deliberately retro design seems like a breath of fresh air in the current FPS landscape. I competed with seven other players in a free-for-all rail gun match, where “one shot, one kill” was the order of the day.

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