Tribes: Ascend to launch on April 12th, 2012

Hi-Rez Studios now has an official launch date for Tribes: Ascend: April 12th, 2012. To celebrate, Hi-Rez has released a hilarious trailer parodying the recent Dead Island trailer that pushed so many gamers to tears.

You can check out the trailer below, and be sure to catch that look of absolute despair in the eyes of the capper (@ 0:57) as he watches a fellow player steal his flag while going at the speed of molasses.

Tribes: Ascend Brings New Badges, Perks, and Maps

Some big new additions have made their way into Tribes: Ascend, including the addition of badges, which are awarded as you achieve certain milestones within the game. Additionally, a new team deathmap map, Outskirts, has been added.

Two new perks have also been introduced to the game, Rage and Sonic Punch. Rage is a defensive perk that increases energy regeneration for a limited time and provides a 25% heal if you're near your flag when an enemy grabs it. Sonic Punch creates a shock wave with each melee swing that knocks back enemy players and forces flag fumbles. Time to punch your way to victory!

You can read the full patch notes here!

Tribes: Ascend Beta Receives Biggest Update Yet

Back in February, I previewed Hi-Rez Studios' Tribes: Ascend beta, and while I found the game to be a lot of fun (if at a breakneck pace), my biggest complaint was the lack of character depth and class customization.

Well, it seems like Hi-Rez is listening, because they're next update to the Tribes: Ascend beta is going to be the biggest one yet. Coming with this update are three significant feature changes:

  • Players can now customize their weapon loadouts. By unlocking weapons and weapon specializations, players can now fully customize their weapons loadout to add a more personal touch to their Tribes: Ascend experience. Screenshot preview.
  • Classes have been reduced from 12 to 9, players now get three classes from the start. The Pathfinder, the Soldier, and the Juggernaut will now be available to all players from the beginning, meaning new players will now have a wider range of roles to offer their teamScreenshot preview.
  • The in-game UI has been significantly improved. The new UI improvements are looking miles better than Tribes: Ascend's old UI. Let's hope it's an improvement in responsiveness as well. Screenshot preview.

All in all, a very significant upgrade for Tribes: Ascend, even if it's still in closed beta testing. This is also a great sign that Hi-Rez is listening to its community. Here's to hoping that we'll see more of this in the future!

A New Tribes Ascend Trailer: Focus

*WARNING* If you're no good at Tribes and you don't like feeling inadequate, then I'd highly advise you don't watch the latest Tribes Ascend trailer. Filled to the brim with action and some crazy mid-air shots, this new trailer will have you feeling unworthy in no time.

On the bright side, however, it's a great indication of what sort of potential Tribes Ascend has as a high-skill competitive FPS, so alongside the release of their new trailer, Hi-Rez Studios has also announced that the eSports league NASL (North American Star League) will be featured throughout their third season as a Promotional Title. One of the highest skill-based shooters around getting into eSports early? Smart!

Check out the trailer below for some great gameplay footage and shots from Tribes Ascend.

Tribes: Ascend: An Experiment in Nostalgia

When it comes to Tribes, there are two camps of people: those who reminisce fondly about playing thousands of hours of Tribes 1 & 2, and those who sit at the feet of our nostalgic brethren, prodding them to tell us more. I've only played twenty minutes of Tribes 2 - offline, by myself, when I was 13 years old - but because I've constantly heard how incredible Tribes was, I've probably been afflicted with some sort of contact nostalgia. Maybe one day I'll look back and think that those were the best twenty minutes of my FPS career. Maybe.

Regardless if you liked Tribes or not, there is no denying that those older games had a vision and flavor that modern FPSes haven't even come close to touching. Perhaps the closest current-gen comparison would be Global Agenda, also created by Hi-Rez Studios, but the similarities pretty much end after jetpacks and objective-based gameplay. Still, as a huge fan of Global Agenda (5 stars across all classes!), I was eagerly looking forward to Tribes: Ascend, if just to catch up on memories I didn't really have.

Tribes: Ascend Beta Begins November 4

Hi-Rez Studios just announced that the Tribes: Ascend beta will begin on November 4. If you'd like to watch the days, hours, minutes and seconds tick away, you can keep track of the beta launch using the countdown clock on the official site. You can also head over there to register for the beta.

While Tribes: Ascend will be free-to-play, you can get guaranteed beta access by pre-ordering the game for $29.99. That price tag will also get you VIP Status, 800 Tribes Gold and a 30-day booster.

Tribes: Ascend Closed Beta Begins Soon

Hi-Rez Studios announced today that the first phase of the Tribes: Ascend closed beta will begin within the next few weeks. Players can apply to participate in the test on the game's official site. Here are some more details on the beta:

"During this initial beta phase, Tribes: Ascend players will experience 4 multiplayer maps, 2 game-modes and 3 vehicles as they progress thru 12 playable classes in fast-paced, high-flying online multiplayer matches of up to 32 people.

Hi-Rez Studios will continue to increase the number of beta participants through the end of this year in preparation for a general game release in Q1 of 2012."

If you haven't watched it yet, be sure to check out the recent Tribes: Ascend teaser gameplay video. The free-to-play shooter will pave the way for Hi-Rez's Tribes Universe, a persistent world MMOFPS that can handle large-scale combat.

ZAM Gears Up for PAX Prime with Swag Giveaway

UPDATE, 9/1: We've already given out a bunch of swag, but we still have more! We'll be giving out more prizes next week after Labor Day Weekend. Be sure to check your Twitter messages! While we have only a limited amount of physical things we can ship, we have tons of codes to give away, so keep your eyes peeled.

Gamescom may have come to an end, but the summer convention season isn't over just yet! PAX Prime will be held in downtown Seattle from August 26-28 and we'll have members of the ZAM team on the floor, including Director of Content Cody "Micajah" Bye. He'd love to give out PAX swag to some lucky readers, and all he wants in return is more followers on Twitter!

We'll be giving away PAX gear to people who follow @ZAMOfficial and @CodyBye on Twitter. The more followers the pages get before PAX, the more chances you'll have to win prizes. Check out the constantly updated prize list after the jump to see what you could get simply by clicking the "follow" button!

Tribes: Ascend Will Be Playable at QuakeCon

Tribes: Ascend will be playable for the first time at QuakeCon next week, and Hi-Rez Studios has teased fans by releasing a new screenshot (seen above) that was taken from their recent playtest.

Although the game is still in closed alpha, QuakeCon attendees will get the first public hands-on with Tribes: Ascend at Booth 333 from August 4-7. Attendees can also register to win a limited number of keys to the Tribes: Ascend closed beta.

If you missed the first gameplay teaser trailer for Tribes: Ascend, you can watch it below. The free-to-play multiplayer shooter will pave the way for Hi-Rez's Tribes Universe, a persistent world MMOFPS that can handle large-scale combat.

First Tribes: Ascend Gameplay Footage Released

IGN just posted the first gameplay teaser video for Tribes: Ascend! Hi-Rez Studios is bringing the Tribes franchise back to life with this free-to-play multiplayer shooter, which is scheduled to launch in fall 2011. It will pave the way for Hi-Rez's Tribes Universe, a persistent world MMOFPS that can handle large-scale combat.

While the game will be free-to-play, IGN explains that players will be buying loadouts, which determine characteristics like armor, movement and weapons. Hi-Rez plans to make new loadouts available regularly, much like champions in League of Legends.

Get you first look at Tribes: Ascend's gameplay below! So Tribes fans, what do you think? Does it look like Hi-Rez will do justice to the franchise?