Sierra On-Line, 800/757-7707
In the story over a thousand years have passed since the end of the Starseige. The year is 3940. Hercs are nearly obsolete, being next to impossible to maintain under the current circumstances. Smaller independent tribes are being enveloped by the war between the Blood Eagle and Starwolf tribes, and the way of war has become a much more personal thing. Mano a mano with hand held weapons of great power has taken the main stage in this theatre of war, which is now a way of life taught from birth.
After doing deathmatches in Quake I & II, Unreal and others of their ilk, you might think another first-person, multi-player shooter might be just another. Not so. The folks at Dynamix have taken a huge leap in the genre by going out on a limb to create this particular game. While being a first person shooter, it has added new elements to the canvas that has made tribes unique indeed.
There are a small number of single player missions to get one's feet wet and ready for the battles to come. The real game is the multi-player side. Divided between two sides, the player numbers range from 8 to 32. There are several types of games, including capture the flag, capture and hold, defend and destroy, and find and retrieve. There is of course the deathmatch version, which is a great lot of fun as well.
The multi-player game is much like the battlezone interface, in which you pick from a list of servers, red, yellow, and green, and you want to be the green. There will be information on which map is being used, what type of game, how many players and so forth. It is very easy to get started.
The interface is completely controllable. You can decide which elements are shown. The game is totally enveloping, giving you the options of first or third person perspectives with remarkable detail. Movement is great. You run everywhere and have a jetpack for added levels of excitement. But don't fly too high, once the jets reach their limits heat-wise, you'll be in for a damaging landing.
From one end of the environmental spectrum to the other, you'll find yourself immersed in any number of world types. From icy mountains, to deserts, to inside structures for very cool indoor conflicts, though the majority of battles are outside.
The weapons are very cool, from the ten-kilometer range sniper laser to the up close and personal chain gun and six others in between, all varying in range and power. The armor also ranges in mobility and toughness, giving the warrior a wide variety of possibilities. The thing I like the most though, is the ability to only carry a limited number of weapons. True, it would be cool to pack a pistol, a shotgun, a rifle, a chainsaw, a lighting gun, grenades, a nail gun, etc., etc, all at the same time, but the realism is both bold in design and realistic is play. It makes for a much more challenging setting, just like it would be in reality. You can also take control of the various turrets under your command and defend your base with huge amounts of firepower.
There is also a more realistic way of getting power-ups throughout the tribes worlds by way of the various stations. Armor ammo and various other types of power-ups can be purchased there as well as the rare find of random scattered goods and the booty found at kill sites. Some of the equipment you can acquire repair packs, cameras, remote turrets, sensors, targeting beacons, and other cool tools to help in your campaign.
You can acquire three different vehicles from the appropriate vehicle station, the recon scout, the light personnel carrier, and the heavy personnel carrier. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Jittery vehicles and platforms and such can’t really be helped, it seems to be the nature of the beast, and until faster modem speeds can be achieved they probably should be done differently or not at all.
Overall the game is great for true team players.
This game goes well beyond the normal rating system because of its pioneering nature. It gets the foundation rating so future games will be compared to it.