|First Person Shooter|
by Vivendi UIP
Designed by Dynamix
Platform: PC CD/ROM
Price £29.99 Released: Out Now
Pentium 2 400
64MB of RAM
12MB graphics/video card Direct 3D or Open GL compatible
games are well established. Unreal Tournament, Quake 3 and the rest are very
popular amongst the online community. However with the exception of the exceptional
Counter-Strike add-on for Half-Life the games concentrate on individuals and
the basic idea is to be in it for yourself. The original Tribes attempted to
change all that with it's team based nature that encouraged players to group
themselves into well organized teams that communicated well and complemented
each other. The tried and trusted method of going it alone did not cut any ice
in Tribes and for the large part this is certainly true in Tribes 2.
Unlike Tribes, Tribes 2 has a structured 5 stage tutorial mode that lets you become fairly comfortable with the game before venturing online. There is even the option to play all the different game variations against the AI bots and they are quite challenging on the higher levels. The game variations are Bounty, Capture and Hold, Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, Hunters, Team Hunters, Rabbit and Siege. As you can see the variety is astounding and there are sure to be at least 3 of these games that you really like.
The graphics have been greatly improved upon from the original and the game now looks fantastic and yet still flies even on an average PC. One comment I would make here though is that when played on a Voodoo card the game seems stupidly slow. Even on a Athlon 900 a Voodoo 3 was practically unplayable on anything over 640x480. However the game flew on a Celeron 466 with a Radeon card. This could be down to the hardware support for transform and lighting that's on the Radeon card but if you have a Voodoo graphics card in your system then be prepared for a slow experience.
As we've already mentioned teamplay is all important. You can elect a leader, organize operations from the Command Circuit and drive your team mates from one location to another. You can even specify what role you will take in the team with the idea being that you compliment your team rather than being another solitary grunt. All manner of vehicles such as the Grav Cycle are available and they really give Tribes 2 its unique feel. Armor Packs, Belt Gear and Deployable packs can all serve to give you the edge on your rival team. Communicating with your team mates is done via a series of hotkeys. Most of these hotkeys involve three keys. An example of this V+A+A = Attack. All of the hotkeys are listed on the reference card that comes with the game.
Click the thumbnails to see the big picture.
The interface is clear and easy to learn. Although at a glance of the screenshots you may think it looks complicated; it is very clear and the tutorial does do a good job of familiarizing you with it. The only moan I have regarding the tutorial is that some comments are not represented in text. This doesn't spoil the tutorial but it is a little bit sloppy as generally speaking the game has very good text feedback. Pressing F1 in the game also brings up an interface description which is very good as well as the ability to scroll back and forth through the chat messages using the Page Up and Page Down keys.
All in all Tribes 2 is an excellent online experience that could only be spoiled by two things. The first of these is the lack of cooperation from your team mates and secondly it could be spoiled by a poor Internet connection and both of these faults are nothing to do with game itself. The action is fast, frantic and epic and if you have a graphics card that is not a Voodoo card and a decent Internet connection then Tribes 2 will keep you busy for months.
Overall Game Rating: 8.5/10 A wonderful team based experience.
Quality of text: 8/10 A couple of omissions but everything else is spot on.
Graphics: 9/10 Very nice indeed.
Interface: 8/10 A good interface and the F1 key tells you instantly what everything is.
Gameplay: 9/10 Can be wonderful if the teamwork is there.