Developer: Hi-Rez Studios
Release Date: 4/12/2012
For Fans Of: Tribes, Jetpacks, Flying
Available Exclusively On
The Good: Exciting gameplay mechanics, lots of class variation, many varied game modes
The Bad: The vehicles are sluggish and drag down gameplay, can get slow at times
One of my favorite iPhone games of all time would have to be Tiny Wings. The concept is quite simple, make a little flightless bird slide down hills and then gain speed and air, then you see how far you can get the bird before nightfall. Well, simply put, Tribes: Ascend is a more 3D, shooter version of this fun little iPhone game. The first thing that is noteworthy is the server support, there are servers pretty much everywhere in the world, which something you don’t get often from free to play games. This is almost unheard of, and Hi-Rez Studios should be congratulated because of it.
The game play is fun and fast and it really brings you back to a time where first person shooters were all about being the fastest to aim and shoot the longest at your enemy. When you spawn in team deathmatch, you are 99% of the time placed on top of a large hill, and in most games, this would be annoying, but not in Tribes. In Tribes players are given a jetpack and ski’s (yes it is as awesome as it sounds) to get around a large battlefield, trying to frag as many enemies as possible. Practice makes perfect in Tribes and after a while of playing you find yourself becoming more accustom to how the varied weapons fire and it is always satisfying getting a kill or even an assist, which something that is almost unheard of in modern day shooters.
In my experience with Tribes: Ascend, I found that the main game mode, capture the flag, too hectic, and lost pace fairly quickly in comparison to other game modes. However, this game mode is definitely more about scale with there only being 2 spawn points and the ability to purchase vehicles, but these vehicles don’t feel like an upgrade. In the effort to balance that game they made the vehicles feel sluggish and under powered and just generally not fun to use, which is a real shame when they could have been a very fun aspect of the game.
Like in most new Free 2 Play games almost everything is purchasable without needing to whip out the ol’ wallet and fork over your hard earned cash, and the only thing that is exempt is the skins, which must be noted are very highly detailed and just plain awesome. When you buy your first item in Tribes you become a VIP, and this allows you to have bonuses like extra XP from every match among other things. It appears to have mixed the goodness of League of Legends with that of Team Fortress 2 to make a very complete F2P experience.
The classes within Tribes are highly varied and allow for a lot of tweaking and upgrading. You are able to select different skins, buy new weapons, new perks, and new belt equipment (often mines or frag grenades) and even class specific abilities like invisibility for the infiltrator. Overall, Tribes: Ascend offers a fun and unique F2P model that is fun which is rare for F2P shooters. Tribes is a completely off the rails shooter that will keep you coming back time and time again.