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Tribes: Aerial Assault
Scheduled release date: Fall 2002
Publisher: Vivendi Universal
Developer: Inevitable Studios
Genre: First-person shooter
Number Of Players: 1-16 (Online)

  First-person shooters will hit store shelves left and right within the next months. Among the gaggle of them lies Tribes: Aerial Assault, which is being published by Sierra, the company that just recently released No One Lives Forever.

   Tribesí visuals set the tone for a futuristic motif and futuristic looking inhabitants perfectly -- maybe even slightly reminiscent of Halo for the Xbox. The characters were rendered with a lot of style and flash, and likewise can be said for the numerous weapons. The backgrounds are shaping up nicely, and theyíll probably look excellent once the game is finished. As always, Inevitable Studios is aiming for a smooth framerate with no signs of slowdown or frame drops.

   While Tribes is based on Tribes 1&2 for the PC, the game is not a port; itís been built from the ground up. Though, most of the weaponry, backgrounds, and the such should ring a bell to the Tribes veterans. In addition, youíll have tons of vehicles at your command, such as an armed transport, a one-man bomber, a jet fighter, and the last is yet to be announced.

   In the single-player mode, players are able to venture throughout 11 mission based levels. And for those of you that arenít looking to play this title chiefly for online purposes, the developers have also added some fun multi-player games into the mix, including Siege Hunters, Capture the Flag, and Bounty.

   The arsenal of weapons found in Tribes is filled to the brim with firepower. Such weapons included are grenades, satchel charges, and deployable turrets. These weapons are definitely something to gawk over, and there are many more that are currently undisclosed.

   FPSs thriving so greatly on the PC have much thanks to give towards the online play. With this ingenious capability, the replay value for games in this genre is virtually endless. Consoles, unfortunately, havenít been able to utilize this amazing feature...yet. Tribes will be released with full online capabilities, and whatís more, up to 16 players can compete simultaneously to vie for the bragging rights of the best marksman around. Also, teams will be formed and enemies will be marked, which takes the pace of the game to a blistering rate. Broadband capabilities are already confirmed, and theyíre currently testing the 56k hook-ups, which may or may not be in the final version.

   Itís hard not to set high hopes for this upcoming action title, as its premise looks so interesting. Hopefully the hype will be met and our expectations wonít prove ill-advised. Along with the array of other prominent FPS titles, be on the lookout for Tribes: AA this Fall -- to be more specific, October 15th. Stay tuned for a in-depth look at Tribesí arsenal at a later date.

5/9/2002   Joseph Comunale