Tribes: Ascend- A Preview of the Beta (Windows PC)
Posted by Pat Gibbons (RedCoatGunman), Mar 13, 2012 22:31
I have to admit that I’ve never been a fan of the Tribes series. The only game I ever tried was Tribes: Aerial Assault for the PS2 and I didn’t think much of it at the time. Nevertheless, when I saw a gameplay video for the Tribes: Ascend beta, it looked good enough for me to try it out. I am proud to say that I was not disappointed a second time. In all honesty, I’ve never seen a free-to-play game that looked this good.
High Flying Action
Since the very beginning, the Tribes franchise has always been about high-speed action, and Ascend is no exception. Every class in the game is equipped with a jet pack. Combined with a technique called “skiing”, which negates the force of friction, players can soar across maps with ease. Skiing provides a real adrenaline rush, but as one who is new to Tribes, I found it to be quite challenging. In fact, I doubt anyone without a degree in mechanical physics would be able to master this concept on the fly. There is a short tutorial mode for skiing, but it only explains the basics. Also, the fast paced nature of the game makes hitting a target very difficult. Ultimately, however, I feel that there is little that can be done to the difficulty without ruining the game’s appeal. New players may find Tribes: Ascend to be an unforgiving experience, but continued practice should help to foster the skills necessary to excel. Luckily, the game’s training section does allow the player to freely roam maps and sharpen their skills against A.I. bots.
Free-to-Play Done Right
In my time at GDN, I have reviewed several free-to-play games, and thus far I have found that few have premium systems that are to my liking. Tribes: Ascend is one of the few games I have played where it’s done right. Hi-Rez Studios has recognized the “Free-to Play / Pay to Win” model for the mound of bullocks that it really is. The Tribes micro-transaction system gives paying players their moneys worth without ever giving them an advantage over players who play for free. The primary reason to pay money in Tribes is to save time. Players can use the premium currency to give themselves an experience boost for a set period of time. They can also use gold to unlock new weapons and classes. However, there are no special perks or weapons that are available only those who pay. Furthermore, perks and equipment upgrades can only be purchased using experience. Only by playing the game will people be able to make the most out of their gear. The system has already been integrated, so beta participants can start forking over the cash for the weapons they want. Hi-Rez also promises to include premium weapon and armor skins, though these haven’t been added to the game as of yet.
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