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“You need more sonics so you don’t llama grab like a slow noob.”
Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Hi-Rez Studio’s Free-to-Play first person shooter - Tribes Ascend. What we have here is the future of online PC shooters pulled-off masterfully and artistically so satisfyingly that people just keep coming back for more day after day. You need to frag your opponents, you need to jet pack to safety, you need to scope sick headshots, but most importantly you need to go fast.
The gameplay of Tribes Ascend is centered around its most popular game type: Capture the Flag (CTF). Sure there are other choices such as Team Deathmatch but if you really want the full Tribes experience then queue up for a CTF match. As the game loads up for the first time you’ll notice the classic archetypes of class-based FPS games such as the quick moving Pathfinder or the balanced Soldier; there’s an option to fit anyone’s play style. This is where the familiarity ends, however, and where the fun begins. You spawn on your team of choice between Blood Eagles and Diamond Swords. You look around for a few seconds with your trusty Spin Fuzor in hand and notice a few dots streaking through the air. You walk towards them and see that these aren’t projectiles or vehicles but players jetpacking through the air at insane velocities only while gliding along the ground as if they were watching an Olympic slalom event.
This is the true heart of Tribes. It offers truly unique gameplay through the vehicle of untraditional movement. Any player can hold the spacebar to make themselves frictionless and “ski” down hills gaining speed (measured in sonics) and then jetpack up the hill on the other side to maintain their speed while approaching their destination. Meaning, throw some sci-fi, anti-gravity super skies with some Halo gunplay into a margarita mixer and shake it up with some Capture the Flag, the result is incredibly delicious. Made especially tasty when characters staying to defend the flag as flag-cappers keep making passes at 200 mph speeds while attempting to slide through their defenses and abscond with their colors.
While all of this is fresh, cool, and exciting, even supersonic speed flag capturing can get boring after a while. There are plenty of other options to choose from such as defensive classes, snipers, and repairing your turrets for base protection. All this variety is amazing in a free-to-play game but what’s even better is that it doesn’t stop there. You can customize your class loadouts through unlocks that can be purchased by in-game currency or gold you can buy from the Studio. If you want that sweet jetpack upgrade you can work for it or you can buy it, which ever you have the patiences or funds for first. The freedom of choice is what makes this game wonderful and the free-to-play model is truly the future of gaming, this one doesn't exploit the game model.
Anyone who has played this game can tell you that its gorgeous. Take a look at some screenshots or the one above and take in the detailed architecture and high detail textures. If you have a slow or older computer dont fret however because you can lower the graphics to a level that your machine can handle so you can join in the fun no matter how processor challenged your battle station may be.
Tribes Ascend has it made for a while. Between a dedicated fan base, a strong internet following, and a subculture all its own you can expect to see the Tribes IP alive and in this format for a while now. So, what are you waiting for? Go grab this free and awesome game. You honestly have nothing to lose and plenty to gain.