Tribes Ascend A Mans Thoughts
I am by no means an authority on FPS (First Person Shooters) but I love and FPS like the next guy and I enjoy playing defensive roles in Capture the Flag (CTF) type games. So when I got a chance about a month ago I loaded up Tribes Ascend. I knew that there was a micro-transaction aspect to the game but I was really interested in the movement in the game because what little I heard made me feel like I wanted to experience something new in FPS and a new form of movement seemed a nice change of pace.
Let me start by giving a tiny bit of background. I said I never played Tribes but I was schooled by someone who broke several keyboards using the then glitch-like capability of skiing. It seems these players learned that if you kept mini-hopping the game engine glitched into thinking there was no friction. So the dedicated game players would wail away on the spacebar keeping this zero friction glitch going so they could haul around the game environment much faster then anyone who was not clued into the glitch. The game embraced the glitch and Skiing was born. Well…not so fast.
Tribes Ascend is a true embrace of skiing where you simply hold the jump button and you are in a frictionless environment. So if you are on a hill you slide down. If you are moving forward on a flat area…you continue to move forward with no effort or use of you very limited Jetpack. At first I could barely get this to work. It was foreign to me and awkward. I was skiing when I just wanted to jump and I kept forgetting jetpack or alternatively forgetting about skiing and using jetpack. Either of these missteps will cause you to be completely useless in game. You absolutely need to be able to do both to play.
Which brings up a very good offering for training and practice. You essentially can test any play map, go through more structured training and there are even bots you can kill endlessly to try every possible weapon and crazy skiing tactic you can think of together before you jump onto a server and get owned.
I warn you…before you jump into a game do all the training and check out all the maps. The games are insanely fast paced. If you do not know how to skii and use your jetpack effectively you will watch as blur-like players pass by you and you cannot hit anything at all.
There are also vehicles in game which I have not mastered at all. There is a shrike (air combat), a motorbike type thing (fast movement), and a tank (for tank…umm stuff). I cannot say that the vehicles are an important part of the game all the time but certainly some rounds of combat seems to use them heavily. As you play in game you earn points for kills, for repairing turrets and generators and those points can be spent on things in that particular round like vehicles, reload stations you call in from the air and two types of air strikes which cost different amounts based on how much damage they do. A well timed “Orbital Strike” rocks!
In the end I really like this game for a quick game fix. I will admit that I spent some real money to grab a few weapons I really wanted but in the end if you can kill people you will earn tons of XP to spend on things. The only time you absolutely need to spend cash is to unlock new weapons. Once they are unlocked leveling them up is more about playing than spending cash. Go try it. The game is free to start and skiing is fun as long as you can laugh at yourself a bit when you ski into some walls or the incoming spinfuser round. Good Luck!