Today I take a look at the history of the Tribes franchise then go on to preview its future with a series of videos from Tribes Ascend. Read on for this exciting preview.

Tribes and its long history.

It’s been about 13 years since the original Starsiege Tribes hit the shelves. Back when the game first came out the developers knew they had something special but what they didn’t know was what kind of impact the players would have on the game. One of the biggest surprises was the introductory to skiing which started out as a player invention. This phenomenon quickly spread and changed the very core concept of what the game was and how it was played.

Once skiing became standard lots of players we’re forming teams to compete against one another on OGL which was the gaming ladder of choice in the early days of mass multiplayer FPS games. A few solid teams emerged from the fray including Run and Gun, NuTz, S3 and the undefeated Imperial Elite to name a few. Later another team would emerge which played through all 3 games and dominated them all, Team 5150.

I mention this specific point because even with the inclusion of various mods which were popular Tribes’ competitive side spawned lots of early ideas which carried over to other games. I’m not saying Roger Wilco or Team Sportscasting was solely invented for or because of Tribes but it found an early base within the game.

Fast forward a couple of years to 2001 when the next installment to the franchise was about to be unleashed upon the world. Tribes 2 was met with some heavy criticism from a lot of veteran players because of the slow engine speed of skiing. Despite that Tribes 2 was able to find a new audience and expand the player base quite significantly.

Even later after about 3 years of Tribes 2 being out a new installment was in the works. Tribes Vengeance was made with the inclusion of a single player game. It was an honest attempt to bring world elements from both Earthsiege and Starsiege lore into a focused storyline and provide really exciting gameplay. It was fun and engaging even with the introduction of the Grappling hook. However the Grappling hook changed the core gameplay so much from what players were used to from Tribes 2 that it failed to find a large enough audience to make a sequel possible.

Since 2005 the franchise has laid dormant. Everyone who played at least one of the games was hoping that a solid developer like Value would step up and take hold of Tribes to give it the attention the communities thought it deserved. Between then and now we had Legions which was a browser based game that wasn’t an actual “Tribes” branded game due to the fact Garage Games didn’t own the rights to Tribes. They did manage to make a compelling enough game that lots of former players joined up and played along until GG pulled the title when their browser game base platform failed to gain some credible movement in the gaming space.

Now in 2011 we have a game which looks to be a successor to Tribes 2 with a Tribes Vengeance type art direction. I’ve put a list of videos together from various sources to show off the newest installment of Tribes. I’ve also included some old favorites which show off the community’s best competition videos.

Tribes Ascend Gamescom 2011 Vehicles gameplay

Tribes Ascend Gamescom 2011 presentation Part 1

Tribes Ascend Gamescom 2011 presentation Part 2

Tribes Ascend Gamescom 2011 presentation Part 3

Tribes Ascend Gamescom 2011 Doombringer class Heavy weapons Gameplay

Tribes Ascend Gamescom 2011 Gameplay

Tribes Ascend – Interview vidéo avec Todd Harris – Gamescom 2011

Tribes:Ascend from Quakecon 2011

Starsiege Tribes Competition

Part 1: Starsiege Tribes – IE v TF – SH – Natural

Tribes 2 Classic Competition

Tribes 2 Classic |R| vs -IA- on Surreal

Tribes Vengeance Competition

I wasn’t able to find any videos for this game. Please comment below if you have an old Team 5150 Match or similar match you can share.

To wrap it up there has been some discussion on other sites about who the true successor of the Tribes series is. This year we’ll see the release of Tribes Ascend. We’ll also see the release of Firefall which is being made in part by Scott Youngblood. Scott is one of the original developers who worked on Starsiege Tribes and they say Firefall is what he originally imagined the Tribes series to be.

Here’s a little taste of some Firefall gameplay from Gamescom 2011

Speak Up
Leave a comment below and tell us about your impressions of the newest Tribes installment.

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