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Tribes Ascend Review

The first thing to note is that this review is coming from a competitive player. My suspition is that if you are playing this game, you might be interested in this Tribes Ascend review for that very reason as well. Tribes Ascend is going to have a community that is heavily pushing towards a competitive scene, versus a game like Battlefield 3 where we are constantly pushing to get the average pubber into the competitive scene. If you are just looking for a fun game, then this may be helpful, but our opinions and final rating may not line up exactly with yours.

Graphics – 6/10

Really, this is honestly a competitive gamers least of concerns. The vast majority of competitive gamers will lower their graphics in order to have their PC perform better. No exception here, the developers knew that. Since the game seems to be tailored for the competitive player primarily, the graphics are not amazing by any stretch of the imagination. Gameplay is definitely overriding the Graphics. I would say back five years ago they may have been pretty good for that time. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare games and Battlefield 3 have set the bar pretty high though. Not to mention some of the single player games like Skyrim. The colors and textures are not varied enough in my opinion. Snow looks like a white blanket with a few rocks sticking out every now and then. The character models seem bulky and not all that creative.

With that said, we aren’t playing PacMan either. You aren’t going to wow’d by the graphics, but if that’s your most important thing, then you probably should look elsewhere. If you aren’t too concerned about Graphics, this may still be a solid choice.

Gameplay – 8/10

Again, my background is realistic FPS’s. The whole movement system in Tribes: Ascend is fairly difficult to get used to. I would compare the pace and style to more of a “fragging game”. By this, I mean if you come from some of the fast paced gaming platforms like Quake, Doom, or Unreal Tournament, then you might like the feel of Tribes Ascend. The vast majority of old school Tribes players seem to enjoy the feel of it for the most part.

I can’t say that it was easy for me to pick up and just play. I think there is a little bit of a learning curve to it. Speed is VERY important in the game. I noticed those that were really good in their movement pretty well dominated everyone else. People like me, who were relatively good shooters, but didn’t quite have the movement down well, were at a severe disadvantage. I gave it an 8/10 because I think if you are looking at this game seriously, then you probably already have a good idea of what the game might feel like. For that reason, I think most people who hop into this game will enjoy it.

Game Progression – 8/10

Unlike Battlefield 3 or some of the other titles, game progression does not seem to get in the way too much. An entry player versus a player who has been playing for a few weeks, while may have a large discrepency in skill because of the time with the game, are not as limited when it comes to weapons, armor, and gadgets you get as you unlock items. You can unlock items quickly, it gives you enough incentive to go ahead and play the game regularly, but you shouldn’t be intimidated by others who have several things unlocked. I found that I was still able to kill people sufficiently with the entry level items given.

Overall, I feel like the weapon/ranking/game progression system they added in Tribes Ascend is overall a good feature. It has a more modern feel to gameplay, but it does not distract or take away from competitive play.

Overall Score: 8/10

Overall Analysis

I think the game is going to be huge from a competitive standpoint. Tribes Ascend is really just now getting a little bit of the publicity it deserves. Upon release, I think we will see some of the old Tribes teams come back to participate. Also, I think we may end up seeing some fast paced gamers come to join the competitive scene. Gamers from the likes of Unreal Tournament, Quake, Doom, and Painkiller may find themselves interested in this gameplay. There’s nothing upon the horizon close to its style so right now Hi-Rez is making the right move and releasing it very soon!

The ability to play Tribes Ascend for free is going to be huge too, only increasing the potential audience more!

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