Anyone who knows Shacknews knows we’ve long held a soft spot in our heart for Quake and good arena shooters like it. For years we’ve had to suffer through a lack of any modern option which truly captures that magic of this once-dominant genre. It may not have come up nearly as much as we’d like this year, but Diabotical was the answer to every old-school FPS player’s competitive prayers in 2020.
This game was passionately crafted by an indie studio. It wasn’t one of the big boys or even the supposed masters of the craft at id Software that put this together. It was a grassroots effort by The GD Studio, composed of fans of Quake 3: Arena in particular that had suffered as long as anyone. Enter Diabotical: A multiplayer-only 3D shooter built entirely to capture the full feel of good, well-built Quake-style combat and improve upon it with modern graphics, online lobbies, and more, all while not weighing it down with unnecessary garbage.
There were some pretty decent shooters to come out this year. Valorant is a great adaptation of both hero-based gameplay and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gunplay. Doom Eternal is also quite a game in both visual style, music, and visceral presentation, though we’d argue it falls short of the Doom 2016 masterpiece it followed. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War isn’t bad, but there are some definite hiccups, not the least of which is its ridiculous bugs and filesize.
Diabotical didn’t have much in the way of issues. So confident was the team behind it that they skipped a beta altogether and throw the game right into the fires with a surprise v1.0 launch. And they’ve gone to work since then putting together a grassroots esports scene for the game. All of this and we haven’t even gotten to the wild part. Diabotical is free-to-play.
Diabotical was necessary. The arena shooter community needed this game and thank goodness it feels right. Bunny-hopping, rocket-jumping, lightning gun, rail gun, pivotal overhealth, armor, and power-ups… it’s all here, and it plays great. With that in mind, we have to not only thank The GD Studio for ending the long drought of good arena FPS but also making it so easy to jump on board. Quake Arena can go to sleep. Diabotical is the Shacknews Best FPS of 2020.
Check out the other winners from The Shacknews Awards 2020 in our Year of the Games: 2020 article.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, Shacknews Best FPS Game of 2020 - Diabotical
Doom Eternal didn’t get it, hooray!