Tribes Aerial Assault Review

Tribes Aerial Assault uses an interesting model for hosting games: it requires players to volunteer their PS2's as host machines.  If you have a dial-up connection, you shouldn't count on being a game host as the game recommends that you only host games with two players at that connection speed.  DSL or cable modem owners can host a maximum of twelve players, and you'll need a commercial grade T1 connection or better to host games with the full 16 players.  Finding games is very easy, requiring only a couple of button presses to get a list of available games.  Since players host the games, your chances of finding an open game to your liking depends a lot on when you decide to play.  During prime time you'll have many games from which to choose, but West Coast night owls may often find that there are no games to join at all.

Tribes Aerial Assault does provide a single player campaign, but the game falls short as a single player experience.  A large percentage of the campaign missions are actually tutorials, and when you do get to the real gameplay the brain dead AI can make things very frustrating.  For example, the last training mission is a Capture the Flag game that you play with a number of AI-controlled bots.  Unfortunately, your team is absolutely useless.  They'll attempt to capture the enemy flag one at a time, and when they make an attempt it is a direct frontal assault.  Needless to say they don't make any flag captures.  When your flag is captured, they will attempt to kill the enemy with it, but don't seem particularly interested in retrieving the flag when it is dropped.  If the enemy makes it out of the general vicinity of your base, they seem to lose interest in the pursuit.  So the entire mission consists of you assaulting the enemy base on your own and trying to get the flag back to your base while being pursued by what seems like the entire enemy team.  Should you be killed and drop the flag, you'll need to rush out to retrieve it because no one on your team will even try to do so.  It is difficult to complete a successful flag capture, let alone the six you must do within the time limit.  This can prove to be so frustrating that many players will just give up on the campaign entirely at this point.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 78%.  When you get a multiplayer game going with players that know what they are doing, Tribes Aerial Assault provides some very fast and very enjoyable gameplay.  However, brain dead bot AI and a lackluster campaign can make it a frustrating and less than enjoyable single player experience.


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