Review by Ice Wind

"Starsiege: Tribes with a coat of gloss and a 2 tacked on the end for good measure"

Starsiege: Tribes 2 (or simply tribes2) is a mainly online game based around it's prequal, Tribes. Tribes2 is actually Tribes with new maps, a couple of new vehicles, and revamped graphics, although the guns were ripped straight out of tribes, given a facelift, and put into the game. No variety there. There is no core gameplay changes between the two, and the only obvious change is the maps and graphics. The game is best played online, for no monthly fee (except your ISP charges), as the single player bots (Computer opponents) are sheer idiots and can't even use half the games features properly. Of course, the game requires broadband for something getting close to halfway smooth, although two hours and a crowded game will tell you that no server on the planet can handle 80 people firing all at once. The game does go out of it's way to incorporate teamplay elements, with a ton of voice clippings and a radio tree that can only be properly expressed in a graph (sierra got that part right, at least). Base defense is now no longer the annoying hellish punishment, as defensive players can be useful in repairing and defending your objective with heat seeking missiles.

Gameplay - 8/10

The game contains fully remappable keys, so controls are no problem. The games physics are on the screwy side, and people who've been playing first person shooters since DOOM will find themselves out of their league because everyone and everything can fly using jetpacks, and survive 90 foot falls while a normal human would pancake into soil at those speeds. Tribes2 requires a wholy different mastery then your typical FPS, which is refreshing, as long as you don't mind getting blown up 200 times before you pick up the nuances of aerial combat. Speaking of aerial combat, Tribes2 is one of the first games (Tribes, it's clone, beat it to this) to include usable vehicles that are actually fun to drive. You have 3 air vehicles (fighter, bomber and transport) and 3 ground vehicles (gravcycle scout, tank and mobile base) to play with. They're really fun to crash too.

Graphics - 7/10

The graphics are typical of this day and age, with nothing looking exceptionally detailed or shockingly realistic, although watching six heavily armored juggernauts tanking towards a base while shelling it with mortars can look cool, and all the vehicles you can pilot are awesome to both fly and use.

Sound - 5/10

The radio system, while on paper is a good thing, opens up a world of hellish radio spam as people shriek the same sentences in your ears until you scream at them to be quiet, kick them off with the voting system, or rip out your speakers in rage and destroy them. The game includes it's own background music, which I turned off in favor of my own personal selections. Weapon sounds are nothing unusual unless you want to hear a mortar crack your houses foundation with full volume. This game includes full voice chat via a microphone, which I have yet to test.

Story - N/A

This is a FPS. Stories aren't even distantly related to them. There is a vague plot if you decide to go through the training missions, but those will just bug the crap out of you after your first one.

Replayability - 10/10

Online games have always had almost unlimited replayability, because the human opponent factor adds innumerable possibilities to how to play the game. The only thing that can go wrong with this game being replayable is the pre-teen people who type like they used their keyboards as chewing devices. The community is most likely the most annoying thing of the game, so if your a newbie to the game, then expect to get screamed at, flamed, taunted, and repeatedly fragged by both sides until you can play decently well.

Pluses

+ Online play allows nearly unlimited replayability
+ Includes real time voice chat, so you can communicate without typing lengthy messages, and instead screaming at your computer while your family/roommates stare at you wierdly
+ Vehicles are the funnest thing to hit an FPS. EVER

Minuses

- Online play means you have to suffer through hordes of 6th grade illiterates
- Real Time voice chats lets you hear people scream at you for screwing up in real time
- When people crash vehicles into your carefully planned network of turrets and defenses

Note: Overall score is not an average


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 08/07/01, Updated 08/07/01


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