The second installment of the game slowed things down in order to try and force more teamwork among players in public servers - by making the classes reliant on each other in order to effectively mount an assault - but this wasn't exactly a success and met with protests from the old Tribes community.
So Tribes: Vengeance returns to the original style of play with, well, a vengeance (pardon the pun). It's almost a shock to think how fast the game is now. Skiing is fast and vehicles, while no longer being the screaming jets of Tribes 1 and 2, tend to be more useful and rugged. For example, the fighter aircraft isn't like a fighter plane - more like an assault helicopter. It fires slightly explosive shells from two guns while being able to hover in place, go side to side, fly forward and reverse. It's great at destroying turrets, suppressing exits and entrances from bases and especially in dealing with those pesky heavies.
In fact, while heavy armor is more mobile than it used to be, its survivability seems significantly diminished. Personally I blame it on the lack of a graphical shockwave effect on the mortar - since it's a far less imposing-looking explosion nowadays - but it may be that they have less health than they used to. Whatever it is, light armors seem to have an easier time with the heavies than previous.
Favorite tactics like spamming grenades during a duel and the air disc are still possible - in fact, more so. The four grenades fly out in rapid succession and hitting your enemies at short range with the disc is easier than ever. When we first suspected changes to the disc, an email was sent to Vivendi, and Michael Johnston explained that models were bigger than in previous games but the disc was slightly slower than the Tribes 1 model, which was significantly slower than the one in T2. This should explain why it's more difficult to hit enemies at a distance but comparatively easy up close, including in mid-air.
Also present is the venerable chaingun, virtually unchanged. The spread increases with use, however, and while it's still a good weapon to chip away at a foe at long range, it's not a sniper rifle substitute any longer. The "ping" effect which sounds a hit with any weapon is particularly useful with the chaingun, leaving the player reassured that he's not using up his ammo for no good reason.
All classes are now limited to three weapons in addition to the stabbing energy sword and a deployable. Deployables are no longer acquired at inventory stations, but at their own specific station. There's a limited number of them - typically 3 mines and 3 turrets - and the deployable's stations are subject to destruction as is any other equipment in the base. It should be interesting to note that repair packs now repair everything within a certain radius of the player, speeding the re-establishment of base functions significantly.
This is a particularly welcome change because Tribes: Vengeance is all about offense. Not even in Tribes 1 public servers have I seen two teams exchange flag captures so quickly, nor bases be so vulnerable. Part of the reason is that turrets need to be deployed on flat, secure surfaces, but the bases are also much more accessible, Tribes 1 style. There are no longer the endless maze corridors so characteristic of Tribes 2.
The dev team has really done everything right. All the important tweaks and optimizations from the second game have been combined with the fast pace and flow of the first. It seems like a simple accomplishment when put on paper, but we all know of those many sequels that never quite get the formula right. In addition, this third installment of the franchise adds its own unique flavor with not only the obvious artistic and styling changes, but gameplay tweaks. The grappler is a great tool for the interiors and the plasma burner gives lighter armors a chance of interdicting the heavy offense without needing to stay close.
All in all, Tribes: Vengeance looks not only like the best Tribes game ever, but the best multiplayer shooter we've seen. There's an absolutely incredible dynamic to it, a flow of glorious, violent action that not only meets the lofty standards of the original, but exceeds them.
Stay tuned for our upcoming coverage of the singleplayer component.
Have questions or comments on this review? Share them with the author and friendly FS community in this thread on our forums!
Elemental: Fallen Enchantress Preview Elemental: Fallen Enchantress is a standalone expansion pack and follow-up to developer Stardock's previous game in the series, subtitled War of Magic. That 4X strategy game was highly-anticipated and slated to compete with games such as Sid Meier's Civilization V for your turn-based strategy play-time, but was released in an incredibly broken and unfinished state that it never fully recovered from. Lead designer Brad Wardell apologized profusely to fans and set out with his team to go back to the drawing board and try again.
Almost two years later, the result of that proverbial mulligan is currently undergoing closed beta testing. In today's article, Will reports his thoughts on how Fallen Enchantress is shaping up, and will tell you whether or not you should be keeping an eye on it as it nears release later this year.
The Elder Scrolls Online Details Leak - Should Fans Be Excited? The Elder Scrolls Online, long rumored to be in development, was officially announced yesterday. Still in development at Zenimax Online Studios, this MMO aims to combine traditional genre mechanics with the spirit and sensibilities, not to mention setting and lore, of the immensely popular series of single-player RPGs. Though the game is set for a full unveiling in the next issue of Game Informer magazine, what appears to be the entire cover story article has been leaked to the interwebs already. In today's article, you'll find summary and analysis of all the alleged details, as well as feast your eyes on the very first screenshots and concept art from the game. Of course, the burning question now is, should you be excited?
ANNO 2070 Review
The year is 2070. The majority of life on Earth was devastated when global sea levels surged after the melting of the polar ice caps. Swaths of previously habitable land are now deep underwater, and sovereign nations are a relic of the past. But there is still hope...
This city-building RTS/simulation game from Ubisoft tasks you with re-colonizing what little land areas are left on the planet following a global warming apocalypse. Does it have what it takes to be worthy of your time and money, or should it be cast out to sea with the rest of civilization? Find out in today's review!
Mass Effect 3 PC Review
This latest release from EA/BioWare is the final entry in their trilogy of sci-fi action RPGs, putting you in a dire situation: rally the troops to save Earth at all costs. There was a lot of hype surrounding the final act of what has been a vast and highly-customizable story-telling experience, and the reception among many hardcore fans has been less than stellar. Even people that haven't played the game have probably heard about all the nerd rage going on over Mass Effect 3's ending...
If you want to cut through all the crap and find out whether or not the rest of ME3 is worth playing, come check out Will's spoiler-free take on the first blockbuster game release of 2012.
Batman: Arkham City PC Review Batman: Arkham City is the sequel to 2009’s smash-hit action game Batman: Arkham Asylum. As the name suggests, you will be reprising your role as the Caped Crusader and going against an even larger 'prison' filled with Gotham's criminals and villains. A textbook example on how to do a proper sequel, Arkham City takes what worked in the original, excised or improved upon what didn’t, and elevated everything to an even greater scope. The PC version suffered from a few months of delay, but in that time, Rocksteady worked closely to NVIDIA to implement some familiar technologies from the last game, such as PhysX and 3D Vision, along with new DirectX 11 optimizations. But how well was the whole package executed? Read on to find out!
Saints Row: The Third PC Review Saints Row is one of most unique series of games to build upon the open-world action template forged by Grand Theft Auto, and has met with plenty of critical and commercial success since it began on consoles back in 2006. This latest iteration, titled Saints Row: The Third promises the most outlandish fun and freedom of customization of them all, and in a much more PC-friendly package than its predecessor. Does it live up to those expectations and, more importantly, is it worth the price of admission? Find out in Will's latest review!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim PC Review The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is Bethesda Softworks’ latest offering in their series of epic fantasy RPGs, as well as one of the most highly-anticipated PC titles of 2011. As the Dovahkiin, or Dragonborn, prepare to take the fight to the mythical beasts that have returned to the realm after centuries of slumber, all the while exploring a huge and highly-detailed open world.
The PC version of the game promises enhanced graphical fidelity, standard RPG trimmings such as hotkeys and quick-save, as well as unbridled mod support, something we’ll all be thankful for once they release that SDK. Skyrim has already sold millions of copies and set records for play-time on Steam... Find out why in today's review, which happens to be one of the biggest and most in-depth articles on the subject out there!
L.A. Noire Complete Edition PC Review L.A. Noire, as the name clearly states, is a video game built on the tropes of one of the greatest periods of American cinema: film noir. Developed by the now defunct Australian developer Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games, this title has been out on consoles for a full six months before finally making its way to the PC. This “Complete Edition” of the game features improved graphics, keyboard/mouse controls, and every bit of previously-released DLC for free. But was it truly worth the wait? Read on and find out!
Mass Effect 3 PC Demo Impressions Mass Effect 3, EA/BioWare's third iteration in their series of sci-fi action RPGs and one of the most anticipated titles of the year, is fast approaching its March 6th release. This week, though, they released a playable demo on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 that offers a glimpse into both the single-player and multi-player portions of the full game.
Whether you're waiting impatiently for your download to finish or don't have the time to check it out yourself, go ahead and read some impressions of the demo from resident FSers Synch and Vandy in today's article!
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Xbox 360 Review
The self-appointed "most anticipated game in history" launched worldwide this past Tuesday. Why, it's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, of course (of course), what else? Unsurprisingly, the military FPS debate between this and Battlefield 3 rages on, but now that both have been released, surely we can take a look and objectively evaluate them both? Luke's taken the Xbox version of MW3 for a spin this week, so to find out what he thinks of it in today's review!