Written by  :  JL3001 (20)
Written on  :  Sep 25, 2002
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars

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Well, I was wrong. This game tops Tribes 1 in every way possible!

The Good

Some time ago, I did a MobyGames review for Tribes. In my closing part of the review, I said that Tribes 1 was better than Tribes 2, but after spending some time with this game, I can now say that it improves on the original in every way possible.

Gameplay: Tribes 2 is similar in gameplay mechanics to the original. The game mostly revolves around capture the flag. With guns, bases, vehicles, jetpacks, and most important of all, teamwork. Like it's predecessor, you have to rely on teamwork in order to win, but it is implemented in such a way that it doesn't even feel like teamwork. But every game you'll have to worry about your flag, the condition of your base, and enemy advances. Gameplay has received some minor touch ups, all for the better. For one, the vehicles included in the game have received a major overhaul, and they are a lot more useful this time around. Let me tell you, there is no greater gaming moment than flying over the enemy base in a bomber, and carpet bombing it to kingdom come! The voice chat menu has been improved dramatically, allowing for taunts, quick messages, and compliments. The new weapons, especially the melee weapon (the shocklance) are fun to use and the older weapons receive some new looks and improvements. On the community front, there are many new option allowing for greater communication between players. For example, you can create a small warrior page for yourself, so others can find out more about you or your clan. For offline players, you can finally play against bots, which can give you quite a run for your money at higher difficulty levels. The training missions are much more improved as well.

Graphics: While some people scoff that Tribes 2's graphics are are not that much improved from the original, I have to disagree immensely. Tribes 2 features some of the best graphics I've ever seen in a game. The terrain is more rugged and colorful, and items such as trees, lakes, and shrubs populate some of the more friendlier stages, while scarred, dead, land make up some of the more deadlier environment. Water is now a possibility, and it it introduces more of a strategic element since you can fight under water (Things are further complicated since movement underwater is hindered and some weapons refuse to work), retreat to and hide in it too. Lava also presents a danger. And these levels stretch out for hundreds of kilometers in each direction. Weather effects are very convincing with rain, storms (With striking lightning effects), and snow. Tribal warriors look great, with huge hulking juggernauts to small nimble light armors. Damage effects are very well shown, on both warriors and vehicles (smoke and flames included for vehicles!). Bases are very well constructed and good looking too, right down to the eerie floodlights that switch on when a generator is knocked out.

Sound: The sound has improved too. The voices used in the voice chat are well done and are much improved over the original. Weapons, and vehicles sound better too. Even the ambient sounds of animals in the environments are pleasing to hear. But sadly, the music hasn't improved much.

The Bad

There isn't much to dislike about this game. Music is still bad, but you can still turn it off (Actually, it best if you turn it off, since audio cues can warn you of approaching dangers!). While the voice chat list has improved, it is still a bit sloppy. In some cases requiring up to four keystrokes to select a message. Luckily, there is a chat editor that allows you to edit lists, making things easier. Unfortunately, you can't create your own taunts with this editor, so you will have to find some sort of script online. The bots are much more improved, but cannot pilot vehicles, so there are many maps you will not be able to play with bots enabled. With all online games, laggers, cheaters, and sore losers are somewhat common, but the user voting system is still there, allowing you to kick the person if everyone dislikes them enough.

The Bottom Line

Tribes 2 is a worthy followup to a great game, and the most enjoyable online game I've played since...well...Tribes. Some Tribes vets may argue that Tribes 1 is better, but give Tribes 2 a shot...you may be surprised.