Tribes Aerial Assault Review

Even taking into account all of the various packs and vehicles, the most enjoyable piece of equipment is your standard issue jetpack.  With it you can leap across chasms in a single bound, go skimming across the ground at high speeds, and lift off to some really high altitudes.  The only limit is the power in your energy pack, something that you better make sure that you have enough of before you go cruising at high altitude.  When combined with a ground-skimming jump technique known as skiing, your jetpack can get you into an enemy base before they see you coming and can provide for a timely escape should you find yourself in trouble.  It can be quite exciting to be involved in a firefight involving several players zipping up, down, and around with their jetpacks, and is an experience not found in other first person shooters.

BlasterThe jetpack is more than just a fun gimmick, it is a necessity because the maps in Tribes Aerial Assault can be huge.  If you chose to run from one end of a map to another, it would take you some time to do so, especially since you'd have to make your way down canyons and over mountain ridges on the way.  The topography of the landscape looks great, but the terrain is quite sparse.  Outside of the occasional tree and the base structures, there's not much to look at.  The base structures mirror the outside environments: they can be large multistory environments with twisting corridors and large open areas, but these areas are largely empty.

Aside from the inventory stations, weapons and packs available for pick-up at other locations on the map are pretty rare.  This coupled with the fact that you can sustain only a handful of hits by enemy (or friendly) fire makes Tribes Aerial Assault difficult for players without much first person shooter experience.  Veterans will appreciate the challenge and will have a very distinct advantage over newbies.  Because of this, the multiplayer experience depends a lot on the other players in the game.  A couple of veterans on a side who know how to play as a team will absolutely dominate the game, making things miserable for the inexperienced opposition.  Get a good mix of players on both teams, and Tribes Aerial Assault can be a total blast.  These games offer fast and furious gameplay, and the momentum seems to constantly flow back and forth until the game ends.

Tribes Aerial Assault supports several game types: Capture the Flag, Capture & Hold, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Hunters.  Capture & Hold places objectives on the map that must be captured and held to score points.  Hunters is a Capture the Flag / Deathmatch hybrid that causes players to drop flags when they are killed.  These flags can be collected and returned to your team's base to score points.  Capture the Flag and Capture & Hold seem to be the most popular game types, and they are also the games that require the greatest cooperation.  Unfortunately, cooperation is hard to come by when playing online as there is no mechanism for communication.  When playing similar games on the PC, players can use their keyboards to send messages and coordinate their attacks; this is not an option in Tribes Aerial Assault.  The best option available is to play with a friend since the game will allow two players to play on the same PS2 using a split screen and have someone that you can actually talk to in the game with you.