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Tribes Vengeance Review - PC

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Tribes Vengeance is the 12th in a series of FPS mech-style games with names like Metaltech, Earthsiege, Starsiege and, of course, Tribes. As with the original Tribes, this is a game focused on team multiplayer. However Vengeance is the first Tribes game to feature a 'robust single player experience.' Basically the game is a futuristic mech-style FPS with vehicles and unreal tournament style weapons. Whereas the original Tribes was praised for a degree of originality, Vengeance seems to mainly stick to the norm. It's another goodish FPS to compete with the already flooded market; and there are probably games already on the market that feature similar things to Vengeance but with more quality.

Gameplay

The essential difference between Vengeance and other FPS comes from the armor that the warriors wear in Vengeance. There are three types of armor, each with providing varying degrees of protection vs. manoeuvrability. Every type comes with an anti-gravity jet pack, allowing players to hurtle through the air. However the jet pack can only be used for very limited time periods, working best when used in quick bursts. When standing on the ground the jet pack recharges fairly quickly.

Every armor suit is also equipped with 'frictionless boots'. Essentially these rather implausible futuristic boots allow you to 'ski' around the maps; maintaining a fixed direction of movement while being able to turn and aim in another direction. Coupled with the jet pack the frictionless boots allow you to execute a continuous combination of jet pack bursts up hills and skiing downwards through valleys to reach high speeds.

Central to the game are repair stations and inventory stations where you can equip yourself with the different armors, weapons, and backpacks in the game. At these stations you try to choose the best combination of armor and weapons, each having their advantages.

The weapons in the game are nothing that new or original; featuring such things as the energy blade, the chaingun, the blaster shotgun, and the da jackal sniper rifle. Probably the most interesting weapon is the spinfusion disc launcher - a gun that launches explosive disc projectiles. Some weapons require certain armor types to use. For example, the mortar can only be used by people wearing heavy armor and the sniper rifle can only be used by people wearing light armor.

There are four vehicles in Vengeance: The Rover, a kind of futuristic buggy which can perform a speed boost; The Jump Jank, a tank which can literally hop around; The Fighter Pod, a very weird looking high-speed aircraft; and the Assault Ship, a large air-craft with two heavy gunner positions for team-mates to sit in. Annoyingly the vehicles appear by respawning on a pad, which means people camp the vehicle respawn and it means you have to wait if you want one.

The single player campaign of Vengeance is nothing outstanding in light of recent FPS. The enemies act like harassing insects; failing to provide a tough challenge. ... (continued next page)