Most of our game performance reviews feature triple-A blockbusters, but we're changing pace for this write-up as we examine Tribes: Ascend, a free-to-play shooter released by Hi-Rez Studios on April 12. The Tribes franchise has deep roots in multiplayer shooter history, with Starsiege: Tribes making huge waves in the late 90s and two other PC entries following in 2001 and 2004. The series has lain dormant since, but Hi-Rez hopes to revive the classic shooter with a 21st century monetization scheme.

Considered a successor to Tribes 2, Tribes: Ascend embraces its heritage by incorporating the same fast-paced combat, tons of maps, weapons, vehicles and unique traversal mechanics. At the same time, it adds a new class-based system. Despite its freemium status, reviews seem to be overwhelmingly positive -- glowing, even. The title has straight positive feedback on Metacritic and our own Product Finder 82 .

Built on a modified Unreal Engine 3, the game only supports DirectX 9 graphics but the recommended specs are relatively high, calling for a GeForce GTX 560 or Radeon HD 6950 with a quad-core processor. Considering those requirements, we're hoping the game gives our test hardware a nice workout...

Read the complete review.