Tribes, ya know, like in Africa or something

Tribes VengeanceSo I finally got a chance to fire up Tribes Vengeance. So far I’m pleased. The game obviously draws from the other games. There is something very familiar about the game and that is a good thing. Howevere there are some very out in the open differences about that game.

First off the games familiarity comes in a few different forms. I guess the look and style of the equipment and uniforms is the primary thing. All your characters get the familiar jet pack as well as the tried and true ‘spinfusor’ weapon. Throw in the game play style and you have the core of the Tribes games. Everything from the slightly lite physics to the skiing functionality it all feels nice and cozy.

The first major difference comes in the single player/story mode. This is new for a Tribes game. The two previous Tribes games had single player consisting of a single warmup game/map to get you familiar with the controls and thats all there was. Come to think of it the second game might not have even had that much. So far the exercise/training missions have also intertwined with the story line of the game. This story line addition is kind of nice because it gives some meaning to why things are the way they are. I had no idea why the tribes were exactly at war but now I do! The story sounds almost a little Firefly/Serenity-ish.

The second thing I noticed was the LOD(level of detail). This game has a much higher LOD than the previous games. Things like characters with actual faces instead of nothing but lower detail helmets. Things like fingers on the characters/units. Animals inhabiting the vast expanses of wilderness you tend to find your self duking it out in/over. Grass and trees are another nice addition to this. And of course the thing making all this possible is a new game engine. The whole experience has definately been elevated by these enhancements.

The last thing I noticed was that the game play seems tighter. Sharper some how. I can’t really put my finger on the details that make it seem this way. I’m not sure if thats intentional to make the game feel faster or if it just has something to do with the new game engine. I’m sure in time I’ll be able to narrow down what it is that makes this feel that way. Not that the games situations are all that realistic to begin with but the sharpness could detract from the game in some cases. Only time will tell.
All in all my play experience has been great. I think I like it better than Tribes 2 which I will no doubt revisit just for the compare/contrast experience. It seems to handle nicely on my mid-range hardware. Definately the best $6 video game I’ve ever puchased. A quick recheck of gogamer.com shows that they no longer are running that deal and you’ll have to pay $17.90 for the game now. Would I pay the $17.90 for the game. Yes I think I would.

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