Tribes: Ascend goes live, offers freemium, class-based enjoyment

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Yesterday's launch of Tribes: Ascend marks yet another free-to-play offering for gamers that looks like great fun. Although the Tribes franchise has laid dormant for some time, Hi-Rez Studios has managed to bring back the classic title with the addition of some new features while simultaneously retaining much of what made Tribes and Tribes 2 unique and enjoyable games.

One of the primary features which differentiate Tribes: Ascend from previous Tribes titles is a new, class-based system which features switchable load-outs. Different load-outs feature different gear and deployables. Players can either unlock classes or new weapons through the in-game experience system or purchase them outright with real money. The new classes include three distinct categories: light, medium and heavy and there are three classes per classification.

Despite going freemium and adding classes, many critics and users are saying it's exactly what they expected a new Tribes game to be. It's fast paced, offers plenty of unhindered movement and features a rolling, busty topography. The game features tons of weapons and vehicles -- just as its predecessors did -- and they've even recreated a couple of the maps found in previous Tribes titles. As a result, reviews from both users and critics seem to be overwhelmingly positive, perhaps even glowing, probably due in part to an unshakable nostalgic fondness. 

Although Ascend lacks built-in voice communication, it does provide a menu system similar to Unreal Tournament which allows players to issue audible in-game commands to other players. The game also includes five different ways to play, including capture the flag, capture and hold, team death-match and just plain ol' death-match.

Enjoy the trailer below or go check out the game for yourself.

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