The Tribes series was heralded for the fast-paced multiplayer action and expansive maps, but a lot of the Tribes fans thought that Tribes 2 was lacking some key components. Although weapons and vehicles were plentiful, it still didn't have that same action-feel as the original Tribes.
Tribes Vengeance was developed by Australian company Irrational Games, who acquired the license and are hoping to expand upon the Tribes experience and bring it back to its former glory. PC World looked at a multiplayer beta release of this title, which should be available at all good games stores by the time you read this. We didn't get a chance to look at the single-player campaign and are hoping it still holds the same action appeal as its predecessors.
However, it is reported that the single-player campaign will feature a story format that spans 15 different levels, in which you are able to choose between six different characters.
During gameplay, the graphics showcased very fine detail, with excellent textures on the surrounding environments and individual characters. It is not hard to notice the direct comparisons between Tribes Vengeance and the last instalment of the Unreal Tournament (UT) series; considering that this title is built upon the Unreal engine. This gave Irrational the chance to build upon a proven platform and focus their time and energy on the gameplay instead of having to deal with buggy code, as was the case with Tribes' predecessors.
The multiplayer campaign featured five different game modes, such as Arena, Capture The Flag, Ball, Fuel, and Rabbit. There a small adjustment period when using the jetpacks to manoeuvre around, but once you have mastered the skill it offers a nice tactical advantage when moving across great distances. It was also very easy to get distracted from the main task, suggesting that engrossing firefights with other enemies is on the cards.
New weapons and vehicles are also noteworthy, with the ability to upgrade classes for vehicles. You can mix and match armour and weapons packs to customise your troops for any type of mission or task.
Although the title we previewed is yet to be completed, we are hoping to get hold of the final release version to see if there are any major updates or tweaks. But going by this beta version, we are already salivating in anticipation of some late night LAN action in the Test Centre. UT fans will ultimately love this title for the similarity, but for other FPS fans the strong gameplay and vast maps alone should make it worth a look.
SCORE CARDDeveloper: Irrational Games
Publisher: Vivendi Universal