Tribes has been bipedal mech sim spin-off, Ken Levine plot vehicle and unlikely free-to-play breakthrough, but the shooter series has somehow developed a distinct identity across all of those versions and revisions. If you see a primary-coloured soldier sliding gracefully down a slope in a jetpack, you know you’re watching a Tribes game.
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The series’ current and arguably most successful custodians, Hi-Rez, have set up links to download every game in the series prior to Ascend for free. Tribes, as it turns out, is now 20 years old.
“We love these games and hope to let you share the experience of the World’s Fastest Shooter,” they write, capitalising for emphasis.
The first two Tribes games have been free before, courtesy of Sierra. The most significant inclusion here is Vengeance, which has up until now been so difficult to get hold of it once compelled me to write a defence of videogame archiving.
In typical Irrational style, Vengeance didn’t really convince in multiplayer but turned its campaign into a space opera the series hasn’t matched before or since.
This anniversary celebration comes at a time when Hi-Rez are returning to Tribes: Ascend after a lengthy, community-confounding hiatus. Think you might too?