Favoritism: Tribes 2

While I do enjoy the Halos and the Call of Dutys of the gaming world, I can certainly agree that, in the current gaming climate, they aren’t the most original shooters, but they’re fun to play and I can always find people to play with.

However, as much fun as I have playing Reach of Black Ops, I look to a past game whenever I desire a truly unique FPS experience.

That game is Tribes 2.

My very first taste of the Tribes franchise was with Tribes: Aerial Assault for the PS2. Even though I had only played the game split-screen with a friend for a single afternoon, it was enough to make an impact on me. Years later, I found out about Tribes 2’s free release, as well as TribesNext’s patch, and snapped both right up.

In today’s gaming world, class-based FPS are fairly common, but even today, Tribes’ class and armor customization remains a very unique implementation. It’s less about choosing what class works best for the situation, and more about customizing the player’s weapons and equipment to the player’s individual playstyle and role in the team.

Speaking of teams, Tribes 2 brought in the team dynamic in a really big way. Many team games in modern FPS multiplayer feel more like a collection of individual efforts that a real team effort. Tribes 2 managed to fix that. Tribes 2, even with its 32-on-32 player capture-the-flag, gave everyone a job to do, be it flag defender, repairman, flag runner, bomber pilot, sniper, or tailgunner. It became necessary to have different playstyles represented on a team in order to win. A team made up exclusively of people who want to tote the biggest guns around would quickly get demolished by a properly-formed and diverse team.

Tribes 2 also brought along a fantastic map and maneuvering philosophy, with massive open maps, seamless, sprawling bases, vehicle action, and the franchise’s chief mechanic, the jetpack. The game perfectly combined fast-paced FPS gameplay and those philosophies with class-based team dynamics. Super-speedy flag runners fly by with their jetpacks as light-armored scout-snipers laze the enemy turrets for heavies back at base, firing their fusion mortars clear across the map. Tribes 2 had a constant intensity. There was always something going on somewhere, and it’s always epic. It might be a dropship loaded with heavies on a suicide mission into the enemy base, or it might be a sniper duel happening over hills halfway across the map from each other, but it’s always intense and always fun to do.

If you’re into team-based FPS and you haven’t played Tribes 2, you are doing yourself a disservice. Bottom line. This is, no doubt, one of the best games to come out of the FPS genre since the genre’s beginnings, and it’s certainly not one to be overlooked.

‘Till next time!



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