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Tribes: Vengeance Preview
publisher: Vivendi Games
developer: Irrational Games
P1000, 256MB RAM, 1GB HDD, 32MB T&L/pixel shader video card
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Oct 05, 04 (released)
|» All About Tribes: Vengeance on ActionTrip|
Several years back, the Tribes series of games was known as one of the best multiplayer FPS's to be found on the market. Created by Sierra and Dynamix, the Tribes brought a very original concept to the gaming scene. Instead of intensifying the essence of deathmatch gameplay in standard multiplayer FPS fashion, Tribes delivered a very interesting and addictive mishmash of various playing styles. Naturally, if players wanted to dip into a Quake-like deathmatch bloodbath, they were more than welcome to do so in Tribes, but that style wasn't exactly the crux of the game. The fun part was playing matches like Defend and Destroy, CTF, Capture and Hold, Find and Retrieve, and others, while perfecting loadouts for the best way you could help your team succeed.
Let's check out who's hiding in that stronghold.
Alrighty, I'm all dressed up and ready to hit the town!
It was one of the first games that decentralized individual gameplay, and focused more on squad and team-based gaming. Anyhow, after a lot of speculation that has been going on throughout the gaming community, Sierra, Vivendi, and Irrational Games have finally lifted the fog by revealing a new Tribes title that is now in the works -Tribes: Vengeance. Game industry newcomers may not be familiar with the development team at Irrational, but the well-informed gamers are no doubt aware of their reputation, which includes excellent titles like Thief: The Dark Project, Ultima Underworld, System Shock, System Shock 2, Freedom Force, and others.
Tribes: Vengeance will be taking players through a story-driven single-player campaign. As described by the developers, the story is based in the Starsiege:Tribes universe and follows an intense galactic saga, a thriller which will be unfolding with a lot of sudden twists and turns. Most of the plot is under wraps at this point, which means we weren't filled in on the complete situation. Recently, though, the creative team at Irrational revealed that players will be taken through two different timelines, one of which occurs exactly twenty years before the other. Also, rather than tying the plot around a single hero, the developers instead tell a more complex tale and allow players to experience the game from different character's perspectives. Although we still don't now exactly which characters and individuals are essential to the plot, we do know that the game may uncover many things; like the mysterious identity of the Children of the Phoenix. And, among other things, the story in Tribes: Vengeance unveils the origins of the Blood Eagle tribe and what links them to the Empire...
FPS games have evolved over the years, particularly those who face the challenging of bringing a fresh spark to the multiplayer aspect of gameplay. One of the most complicated things the designers have had to deal with as they work on the sequel is to maintain the addictive qualities of the previous two incarnations, while conjuring up some elements that might add an innovative flair to the entire game. As one would expect, Tribes: Vengeance will be well-balanced between the single-player campaign and the multiplayer mode. As in any Tribes title, the game will include huge outdoor areas. The game designers are also working on a few ideas to incorporate some mode of transport for players to employ as they move around. Next, the standard variety of land and air vessels (like jeeps and APC's) - the design team wanted to add another more intuitive and practical approach. Each character can snatch items like jet-packs or armors that are boosted with various special features; some of these will allow your character to fly, while others may give you the ability to go faster. It's a throwback to the first Tribes title, since players will be able to cover large distances quickly without needing to hitch a ride constantly.
One of the main characters, Julia, is one hot babe.
Here's a conception of a Tribe stronghold (or base).
To power their new Tribes delight, the crew at Irrational made a decision to rely on the capacity and strength of the next-generation Unreal engine, which was explicitly beefed up for enhancing the in-game visuals. One of the main priorities during the development process was to enrich those huge surroundings and throw in some nice details and a few realistic background details. The ambiance was supplemented with various objects and structures, while the texture patterns are a lot richer and prettier. Speaking about the player models, it was uncovered that they were improved both visually, and in a practical sense. Basically, some of these special jet-packs and armors have multiple side-boosters, which would indeed be an excellent way of broadening the gameplay and giving players more freedom to move about (some of these additional elements on the models can be observed on the concept art images provided).
Another important moment is some of the alterations that were made in the physics engine, which will give players a chance to go around the levels faster and easier - thanks to this new system you can enjoy jet-packing, running, skiing, and piloting. Besides these tweaks and improvements the developers are incorporating in the engine code, it will be a challenge to create a tolerable and convincing AI routine. This is obviously something players may get to rely quite often. So it's safe to assume we'll be experiencing something Similar to the squad-based AI patterns known in games like Medal of Honor and HALO. Well, all in all, the programmers are still facing a lot of work.
From what we have found out about the game so far, this will surely be a must-have for all Tribes fans and it looks like Irrational Games is doing their best to make this game a reality. Building on a successful and mesmerizing multiplayer franchise, Irrational has worked hard to include many reminiscent elements from the old game - there will be some familiar weapons from the previous game and a wide variety of new ones to boot. In addition to that, they have hired Michael "KineticPoet" Johnston, a recognized developer (and hard-core gamer) in the Tribes community. In any case, we also managed to find out that the final product promises to deliver intense multiplayer action with up to 32 players hooked up via LAN or Internet.
Unfortunately folks we weren't able to fetch any additional info on the game at this time. With the E3 looming just around the corner, the developers are still very secretive about the whole project. Tribes: Vengeance is currently scheduled for a release in late 2004 and is in development for the PC only (thank the Lord for that). So, what can we say, keep your pantyhose on, and be on the look out for more info and media in mid-May.
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