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Tribes Ascend: My new addiction

Posted 04-20-2012 at 09:48 PM by Spacebear

I go out of my way to try and play as many different First Person Shooters as I can. For all that can be similar with them, its exciting to find the unique twists that every game usually has. And when you really look at it, it is an incredibly diverse genre.

I've gotten into learning a bit of game design, after reading a ton of Mark Rosewater's articles and nearly all of David Sirlin's blog. I love to learn the hidden systems in games, the components that make up a game. And I've come to learn about a lot of them in various games. I like to think about how Call of Duty values totally different things than Halo does. In Halo, battle rifle fights are a dance to try and make your opponent miss a shot. Melee and grenades play a drastically different role than they do in Call of Duty. Things like this I like to think about.

Then Tribes Ascend sorta turned my world upside down.

It seems that every shooter I have played up to this point has nearly nothing identical to this game, besides the whole shooting part. The guns are way more difficult to shoot, which makes each kill that much more satisfying, because you know how hard it can be, and how hard it was for you at the beginning. The movement mechanic is something I haven't really seen outside of the CounterStrike Surf maps of yore, but I would have never thought that could be part of a serious game.

But the most interesting part for me is how differently I look at a map in Tribes Ascend compared to other shooters. I'm not looking for choke points (not right now at least), I'm not looking for power positions or lines of sight. I just want to know, how fast can I go down this hill? And as it turns out, the sheer size of the maps, combined with the joy of the seemingly infinite possible speeds. There is so much you can learn by just wandering the maps in the training mode, finding how fast you take the flag.

I remember my first mid air spinfusor kill. It was probably one of 3 kills for me that game, but I just got crazy chills. I don't think I was ever so giddy about a kill than at that moment. And that moment keeps happening. Seeing them explode in midair is insanely satisfying every single time.

Tribes Ascend is such a breath of fresh air for me. I don't think I have ever played a game more challenging, but I also don't think I've played one that felt so rewarding at the same time.

Tribes also made me rethink how I felt about Free 2 Play games. I used to be 100% against it, because it sounded like a terrible rip off scam. I probably had a bad first impression. I don't remember the game I looked at, but you would have to "rent" guns, but it was hard for me to tell if you could actually just straight up buy them. And it was not cheap! But Tribes Ascend offers a pretty solid package with the free version. You have 3 of the 9 classes, including Pathfinder, which is probably the most important class, being that it is the fastest. But you also get Soldier and Juggernaut, which aren't as fast, but more bulky with more health. There is something for everyone here, for no money at all.

If you do want to spend money, it is really up to you how much you spend. I found that the amount I wanted to pay was 10 dollars, just enough to buy a rifle for the Pathfinder, but also to gain VIP status and get extra XP. I'm nowhere close to having everything unlocked, but I don't feel that I am at a disadvantage. The weapons mostly come down to personal preference, and the upgrades to the different pieces of the class (weapons, armor, perks) aren't ever a drastic change. Sure, its better to have the upgrades than not to, but they are so marginal, someone who just logs on will have game against someone who has all the upgrades. Except for the whole aiming part...

Bottom line, Tribes Ascend is something I don't think I'm putting down any time soon. The community is one of the more pleasant ones I've been around, the competitive community isfucking awesome, and the game itself is super deep. There is so much for me to learn.

If you like shooters, give Tribes Ascend a chance. Its free, and if you didn't play the old ones, like me, you probably haven't played anything like it.



This link is my referral link. If you use it to make an account and play Tribes, once you get to rank 6, I get a small referral bonus. You might get something as well, but I don't know for sure. BUT BIG WHOOP. THE GAME IS SICK.

Go play it.
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