Tribes: Ascend Will Be Free, Certainly Tribal

Now I thought we had already posted about Tribes: Ascend being free-to-play. Perhaps it was simply in one of my prophetic game-news dreams, because I can’t find it. BUT ANYWAY, it is going to be free-to-play, and to celebrate that Hi-Rez have revealed the game in action. You can check it out below. It certainly looks like a new Tribes game to me, which is promising! Looking forward to playing this. I will be the dude at 0:26. (Although the wider picture makes Firefall look a lot more interesting.)

Tribes: Ascend is apparently out later this year at some point.


  1. Antsy says:

    Does it come double packed with free Starsiege? A man can dream!

    • Xocrates says:

      Starsiege is freeware nowadays anyway.

    • Antsy says:

      I was alluding to an update bundled in the same way the original was…..

      Urgh, I feel ancient now.

    • Xocrates says:

      I was about 14 when the original was released. This is not a matter of you being ancient so much as my own ignorance about whatever you were talking about.

      As far as I can tell, you seem to be referring either to the 2004 freeware release, but that makes the “a man can dream” a little odd, or to some quirk of the original release that I can not find.

    • Antsy says:

      I got Starsiege at release (I thought) and it came with Tribes in the other half of the jewel case. I thought that was the original release of Tribes but maybe it was also released seperately. Memory fail! :)

    • CriminalJustice says:

      CriminalJustice is glad you solved things without needing CriminalJustice to butt in.

    • Chaz says:

      You’re not wrong. I also bought Starsiege on release and yes Tribes came with it free on a seperate CD. I think it may have got a seperate release later, but as the Tribes disk never had any copy protection and you didn’t need the CD to run it, you could just share it with all your mates anyway, and I sort of thought that was the idea at the time.

      I can’t remember getting even half way through Starsiege, as Tribes kind of took over from it as the main game in my play time as it were. Really should give it another go as I still have the disks.

  2. Anthile says:

    Looking good – but F2P? No.

    • 12kill4 says:

      here’s hoping they take the Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory F2P path… Somehow I doubt it though

    • jeremypeel says:

      Mmm lovely as that would be, W:ET doesn’t have so much a business
      model as a shareware hangover. And as I recall, it wasn’t the original plan.

      Incidentally, Tribes 2 is properly free to play now, isn’t it?

    • radomaj says:

      They are going down the LoL path. Weekly rotation of free loadouts. They are counting on you buying the loadouts (also probably cosmetic items). link to

    • pepper says:

      From what I could find yes: link to

  3. CaspianRoach says:

    If someone played this Tribes and Sector8 Prejudice together on two screens without UI I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

  4. Tom De Roeck says:

    Im still sticking with Brink. To all of those F2P things coming out, Brink seems like a game for connaisseurs. I just hope they bring some story content out as DLC, because THAT would make the game rock even harder

    • HolyLiaison says:

      Tribes is nothing like Brink.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Brink didn’t add anything to the genre as far as I could tell. Other than perhaps even more numbers exploding on screen when you do anything :p

    • Phyla says:

      Your missing Tom’s point. He mentions that Brink is a game for connaisseurs, meaning that the players probably are more experienced and team-orientated. This on the contrary to F2P games, which tend to lure inexperienced players to their servers, as there is no financial barrier. I sincerely hope this won’t be the case with Tribal, but I fear it’ll happen in some degree.

    • killmachine says:

      well, yea. aside that brink is in no way compareble to tribes it sadly is full of little bugs and suffers from major balancing issues that can not be fixed that easiely, except they rebuild most of the maps.

      i am a splash damage fan, but if there wont happen a wonder, brink will die a terrible death. and this gamehad so much potential. i just love the parkour stuff. but it gets more frustrating every day.

      funny that i get more and more interested in tribes and that just that year is going to be a new part of it released. im currently playing global agenda and i recognized that it made some nice improvements from when i played it once on a free weekend. its actually prettey fun. third person though.

      and that firefall looks pretty neat too, but i am no fan of 3rd 1st person hybrids. its either 1st or 3rd person for me.

  5. OrgunDonor says:

    hmm looks really good, be interesting to see the F2P twist and if it will hurt the game or not. Global Agenda’s F2P model seems to be pretty good so fingers crossed they don’t ruin it.

  6. dalziel86 says:

    Cue predictable grognardy bitching about F2P from RPS commenters.

    • poop says:

      its cool how rps commenters are so defensive that they defend things before anyone says anything

    • stahlwerk says:

      It’s because we grinded DEX and INT, leading to game-breakingly high defense stats.

    • subedii says:

      It wasn’t exactly hard to predict. Comments both below and above his are doing precisely that.

    • A-Scale says:

      “its cool how rps commenters are so defensive that they defend things before anyone says anything”

      “Looking good – but F2P? No.” :06/28/2011 at 08:00


    • Vinraith says:

      “Grognard” used as though it were a bad thing? What is this site coming to?

  7. Pobblepop says:

    Looks like a snipers paradise. It’s all very well having these big open worlds with beautiful vistas, but if it ends up with dudes on the hill with a 5km zoom on his rifle, tediousness ensues rapidly.

    • enobayram says:

      It has to become a snipers paradise, because there is a logical error. Infantry never fights in the open, we have vehicles for that. If you create an unrealistic tactical situation, it will play out unrealistically.

    • Capon says:

      Tribes has handled snipers differently then most other man shoots. I explain:

      Every person has energy. Energy powers a number of items, most importantly your jet pack. A person with no energy is a dead man, since the only thing keeping you alive is the ability to move. This goes double for the light armor users, as it only takes 2-3 hits from the disc-launcher (the primary weapon) or about a 3 second bead from the chaingun to kill you.

      The sniper rifle in Tribes is a laser gun, and every shot drains your energy completely. Once you shoot you rifle, you’re unable to fly. Now you’re thinking that, ‘Yeah, not too much of a problem if I’m 5 km away’. But Tribes has everyone with jet packs who are able to ski in under 10 seconds to your location, and your sniper rifle IS A BIG GIANT LASER POINTER: your location is immediately given away every time you shoot. Oh, and that light armor thing I pointed out earlier? Yeah, you have to wear that to use the sniper rifle.

      So if you’re starting to become an annoying pest to the enemy, you’ll become the loving receiver of the following gifts: other sniper’s laser fire, a hail of green mortar spam, grenade launchers, vengeful duelers who’ll want to greif your ass for the entire round/game/eternity. This is, of course, if you can become a pest with your rifle. A lot of maps have natural cover like mountains to block line of sight, and volumetric fog to limit viewing distance.

    • dsi1 says:

      That won’t matter when you’ll be able to buy an Energy Pack and a sniper rifle that uses less energy.

    • subedii says:

      Yeah Tribes is all about movement. If you’re not moving, you’re typically dead.

    • Capon says:


      Before I go off, can I ask you: have you even played Tribes? As a bitter 30-year old man who played Tribes in grade 9, in a hyper competitive state, I tend to get all sensitive and nostalgic over this stuff. Anyhow…

      First, the energy pack thing means nothing. Tribes has always forced all snipers to use an energy pack when sniping.

      Second, I’ve read the IGN previews. No where have I seen the developer man say anything about laser rifles using less energy. But even if the laser rifle were to only half-drain your energy, there is still the one problem of being a sniper in Tribes: you’re sitting still, no skiing, not moving.

      But of course, this all hinges on my zealot-like hope that Tribes:Ascend will be somewhat like Tribes was in my day. As a guy with a full-time career and about 30 minutes of times to play games a week, I don’t mind a Tribes 2 doppelganger that at least has the spirit of the Tribes of yore.

    • Reivles says:


      You missed the punchline, I’m afraid. The implication was that, as is the way with so many F2P games, you’d be able to *buy* a shiny backpack that charges faster, or laser that uses less.

    • Strangineer says:

      Capon: I believe he was referring to the F2P structure, and an in-game store probably(in his mind) supplying a more powerful energy pack, and a nicer less draining laser rifle. Hopefully balance won’t be broken, but who knows. It’s all speculation at this point.

    • Chaz says:

      @ Capon

      That and even a fully powered sniper shot to the head couldn’t kill even a light armoured guy in a single shot. There were no one hit sniper kills in Tribes, unless you hit someone who already had reduced health.

      Aside from that the action generally moved to fast to make sniping an issue, and also the wealth of equipment and options meant that there was a counter for just about every tactic.

  8. negativedge says:

    probably not a good idea to have it come out at the same time as Battlefield and Modern Warfare. and I think Fire Fall also comes out at the end of the year, so they don’t even have the free-to-play-sci-fi-large-areas-and-pretty-colors-FPS-that-acknowledges-and-echoes-Tribes niche to themselves.

  9. Player1 says:

    Is this Halo for PC? M2G = much 2 generic

    • Azradesh says:

      Bloody hell some people are young. Google Starsiege/Tribes. NOTHING like Halo and FAR older.

    • subedii says:

      Yeah that’s been a lot of the comments like that elsewhere as well.

      Then again, those same Halo fans were getting angsty at James Cameron for so blatantly ripping off Halo’s style in the film Avatar as well, so maybe it’s just them.

      Halo was basically a watershed game for them (possibly because it was the first decent console FPS since Goldeneye). So they tend to think EVERYONE ELSE is ripping off Halo.

    • The Sentinel says:

      Bloody hell. Kids these days, eh? I wish it didn’t irritate me so much but Halo wasn’t even that good a game.

    • subedii says:

      It really wasn’t. It just got hyped to heck because of being a decent console FPS.

      The copy-paste ‘Library’ alone was a crime against level design.

      That said, I thought the later games were good.

    • Rii says:


      Three years isn’t really “far older” these days. Far Cry 2 was released three years ago.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Anyone else remember when Halo came out on the PC?

    • subedii says:

      Actually yes. I think I’ve even got my copy of Halo 2 kicking around here somewhere.

      It was Vista only and was supposed to herald Microsoft’s “re-affirmation” of their commitment to PC gaming or something.

      Of course, we all know how THAT turned out. The tray and play idea was nice though, but IIRC a bit broken now because of the need to update GFWL.

    • Hedgeson says:

      @Rii Tribes came out in 1998. That’s not 4 years ago.

  10. Jerykk says:

    IGN has a preview of the game. It is not good. You no longer get to customize your loadout. Instead, you have to buy predefined loadouts. And by “buy,” I mean with real money. You can also buy them in-game with points that take a really long time to accrue. Also, every loadout is limited to two weapons. And the sniper rifle no longer consumes energy. And tanks can’t be damaged with regular weapons.
    Unless they make some major changes before release, this one is off my radar.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      will articulate better reply later can’t stop screaming and crying

  11. rocketman71 says:

    Oh, god, no.

    This game just took the road to hell.

  12. OJSlaughter says:

    Oh great… Tribes

    Man of all the FPS games I care about: Tribes is not very high…

    Still F2P is awesome: TF2 has new life!!!!!

  13. dsi1 says:


    Game is dead on arrival, sad.

  14. rareh says:

    Just cause a game is free to play, doesn’t mean its bad or anything, don’t get the hate…

    Its a model that can be done right or wrong, same goes to pay-to-play.

    • dsi1 says:

      99% of all F2P FPSes are bad. (If there are 100 F2P FPSes, and TF2 is one of them)

    • rareh says:

      99.9% of pay-to-play fps are bad.
      So i really don’t get your point.

    • Dawngreeter says:


      I don’t know why, I get the urge to say that when TF2 is mentioned.

  15. Rond says:

    Judging from the footage, it looks like a crappy free version of UT2004. I’ll be glad if I’m wrong though.

  16. Howard says:

    The fact that this is being shipped on PC and 360 should tell you all you need to know. Tribes on a joypad? If such a nightmare has come to pass, there is no way this is the Tribes we all know and love. Dumbed down wont even begin to describe how pathetic this is going to be, and that is before we ever broach the F2P and micro-payments.

    Another franchise dies…

    • BathroomCitizen says:

      The Xbox360 is in the backburner right now. HiRez wants to concentrate on the PC version for now.

    • Howard says:

      Doesn’t really matter. There is simply no way a game with the complexity of Tribes can be played on a joy pad The reactions you need just for skiing are higher than in just about every other FPS. The reactions and skills you need to fight while skiing are the highest I have ever seen in an online game. It simply *cannot* be put onto a 360 controller without turning it into a complete mockery of itself (and this isn’t elitist PC talk: its just common sense)

    • Chaz says:

      It’s what you’re used to though isn’t it. I don’t think Tribes was that much more sophisticated to play in terms of a control scheme than say Halo Reach or a dozen other console games are now. There’s plenty of folks that have grown up with the console being their main platform for gaming and FPS’s, and believe me they’re more than proficient to handle a game like Tribes on a pad. Just because “you” couldn’t play it on a pad, doesn’t mean there are others that can’t. Case in point, Section 8 works just fine on the consoles, and I don’t think the PC version is any different because of them, so whats the problem?

  17. mike_c says:

    am I the only one that sees an uncanny similarity to Section 8: Prejudice in that vid?

    • Azradesh says:

      Sigh. Section 8 is inspired Tribes. Get off my lawn! etc etc

  18. Serious J says:

    I was interested in this as I had missed out on Tribes years ago (was busy with Quake) But my interest died with the free to play stuff. I want to log on, kill some people and then log off. I do not want to log on, think about how my micro purchases is affecting my gameplay or how I look. I want to buy the game, enjoy it, and then move on to the next thing.

    I’m bloody sick of the industry abandoning the purchase methods that worked fine for many years during the explosion of growth within the industry.

  19. EvanPoland says:

    What is with games and HUIUGe screen covering guns these days. GIve me turn offable guns and customisable FOV anyday.

    • subedii says:

      I think we both know the answer to that one.

      It’s the same reason for when games have ultra-huge font sizes and other stupidly big HUD elements that look out of place on a monitor you’re sitting a short distance from.

    • negativedge says:

      it’s because gamers are getting older and we have bad eyes. that is what you were talking about right. that is the thing.

    • The Hammer says:

      Heh. :)

      Not sure Tribes is one of those games, though?

      EDIT: oh wait, it is? Woops.

    • Essobie says:

      Yeah, it looks just as narrow as Section 8: Prejudice was at launch (and even after they patched it to allow more sane FOVs for wide screen gaming, it still isn’t quite wide enough).

      Who knows though… maybe it’ll be customizable out of the “box”? I doubt it, however… it has the same problem as Section 8 and every other FPS released recently in that it isn’t PC only, and thus, will suffer the same hardware-wise lowest common denominator performance tweaks… which includes a teensy, tiny field of vision at all times.

  20. skyturnedred says:

    Looks like one of those games where I won’t be able to hit anyone with my bullets.

  21. Cross says:

    Made by Hi-Rez, creators of the thoroughly arse Global Agenda. My money’s on that other jetpack-powered F2UP shooter made by actually competent people.

  22. BathroomCitizen says:

    I’m just hoping that they’ll ditch this F2P stuff. I love Tribes, and I don’t want it ruined by having to buy loadouts to stay competitive.

    Anyway, HiRez changed Global Agenda’s payment model a lot of times, so ‘never say never’.

  23. Jacques says:

    Tribes gameplay always made me feel completely inadequate. Could never get the hang of shooting slow travelling discs at very fast moving targets.

  24. Towercap says:

    Does this mean that jet packs will be fueled by microtransactions?

  25. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Oh dear.

    I was exited, then I read the details.

  26. Eukatheude says:

    Now that’s interesting. Always wanted to try out Tribes.

  27. TsunamiWombat says:

    I was excited, then I read the details about loadouts. And tanks. And all the very dumb comments by people who’ve never jetpack skii’d.

    I’m going to go listen to the cure and throw a blanket over my head for a while now.

  28. svge says:

    F2P makes me feel like I’m being tricked by the devoloper/publisher. I play it, I enjoy it, maybe even buy a few things that look interesting and oh no! now I’m sucked into paying out my arse everytime something is released because otherwise it feels as though the game is incomplete and I have already invested in money in the previous stuff so that money feels wasted unless I keep paying.

    Singleplayer DLC is fine.

  29. Arachnyd says:

    Tribes 2 is what got me into multiplayer gaming, and I don’t see why anyone is writing this off because of f2p. So long as the combined price of all “upgrades” is not higher than that of a traditional FPS, who gives a shit? I’d argue that it is a good thing: this type of gameplay hasn’t been seen since Tribes 2 for the most part, and the f2p model will open it up to a much larger potential player base.

    Long story short: this looks like a looks like a legit Tribes game, and kids nowadays don’t know what that is. Free-To-Play might be the way to bring it back.

  30. DOLBYdigital says:

    Well I will stay slightly excited because I absolutely adore Tribes and even Tribes 2. If this turns out bad we still have TribesNext. I would also like to point out Legions:Overdrive which is a decent game that is pretty close to the Tribes gameplay…… Tis ashame we don’t have more games like that anymore….