Past Entertainment Articles.
Article for the week of 9/20/05
Tribes: Vengeance (for
Yes, it's been out for almost a year now, but it is still worth reviewing.
Especially as it might be available very cheap. So, what's Tribes: Vengeance
about, anyway? Well, it's very simple or very complicated, depending on
how you see it.
Basically, it's something of a first-person-shooter, but there's a very
interesting twist. You're wearing a suit of armour, and on this armour
is a jetpack, and there's also the ability to ski down and up hills. The
jetpack only has a limited set of energy which recharges (like the jumpjets
in the mechwarrior games, especially the second one), but it does make
the fights that much more hectic, as you are in no way stuck to the ground.Add
to this the ability to pilot vehicles and some truly destructive weapons
and you already have a good basis for a game.
Of course, these ideas have all been with tribes since Tribes 2, something
of a classic in multiplayer gaming, based largely on capture the flag
and teamwork. So what does vengeance add to the series? A single-player
campaign. Yes, this sounds absurd, but the truth of the matter is that
this campaign is amazingly well-made. It isn't just ”Character X needs
to do that or the world is doomed” or something silly like it, either.
The Starsiege universe is a rich oplace, and the campaign very much takes
advantage of this. The story takes place in two different parts of time.
20 years ago and the present. No, there's no time-travelling involved.
The story is told in the perspective of atleast 5 different characters,
in varying points in time. The two characters it mostly revolves around
is the imperial princess Victoria and her daughter Julia, who needs to
pay for the consequences of her mother's actions. Vengeance is a very
violent game, although there is not alot of blood.
The missions themselves are highly cool, and contain loads of action aswell
as storytelling. The coolest mission takes place when Julia is just a
child. The imperial palace is under attack by the Phoenix tribe, intent
on killing Victoria. And, normally in FPS games, you run around killing
every enemy, particularly in Tribes, in fact. But what are you supposed
to do when you have no weapons and no equipment, and the imperial soldiers
are defenseless against the tribals? You run. The whole level is like
a big interactiove movie, and in the good sense. You're always on the
run, and just when you think you've found safety, the tribals find you.
Of course, there are the more annoying missions aswell, like the one where
you have to defend an entire base for yourself, from tanks, assaultships
and Blood Eagles in heavy armour. Most annoying, but not at all boring.
The campaign is very varied, and you always want to see what comes next
And the storyline is totally great.
Unfortunately, while the game is great most of the time, it does suffer
from a few problems. Or, rather, just one problem, but it's a big one.
The game lags at times. Alot. In a game as fastpaced as this, this feels
highly frustrating, and my computer is well above the minimum requirements
(I have an AMD Athlon 2800 XP processor and 512MB RAM). The videos also
tend to suffer from this problem, which ruins the nice feel. An explanation
might be the fact that the game is on a DVD, rather than several CDs,
which means the transfer speed is slowed down. As for graphics and such,
the game is quite appealing. It uses a modified version of theUnreal Warfare
engine, making it quite attractive without taxing the computer too much,
and of course it has ragdoll physics, meaning those shots at someone in
mid air is horribly satisfying.
The sound is also quite good. The chain-gun sounds a bit wimpy, but not
in comparison to any other so called machine-gun in a game recently. In
comparison to those, it's actually quite impressive. The music is nice
and dynamic (when you're in a fight it changes pace), and the controls
are the standard WASD thing with the space button used to ski and the
right mouse button to fly, and f for using various objects. It's a classic,
but it works almost flawlessly, so why change it?
As for multiplayer.. well, i haven't completed the singleplayer campaign
yet, and thus haven't bothered with it yet. But, seeing as how the series
is all about multiplayer, I wouldn't worry about it.
All in all, Tribes: Vengeance is a game that never should have hit the
local bargainbin, but now that it has, it's more than worth it. For Harabec!
Minimum system requirements: OS: Windows 98/2000/ME/XP Processor: 1,3Ghz
RAM: 256MB Hard drive: 3GB Graphics: 64 MB 3d video card Sound: DirectX
compatible sound card Multiplayer: 56.6k modem.