First there was Earthsiege. Then came the game we all know and love, Tribes 1. Following Tribes' release in Q1 of 1999 came Starsiege, a giant robot sim which was the basis of the Starsiege Universe
. Work then began on Tribes Extreme, which could be considered Tribes 1.5, a would be < $10 expansion pack which included a single player campaign, more missions and game types. However, due to time constraints and Sierra's heavy words, Tribes Extreme was extinguished and work commenced on our beloved Tribes 2. The axe of Sierra had been hanging over the Starsiege Dev team's head for quite some time now, and at around this time Sierra made a final swoop and the team was no more. Shortly after the rushed release of Tribes 2, Sierra made one final cut and Dynamix, the fore fathers of the 'Siege Universe, paid the ultimate price.
That was a long time ago, and in the present we see a new and improved Dynamix rebuilt under the care of Rick Overman (former Starsiege Lead Programmer) and Jeff Tunnell, Tim Gift and now Mark Frohnmayer called Garage Games
. Home of independent games and game makers. Over the last several months, Garage Games has been building up their repertoire, forming a dedicated community and working on making the Torque Engine (read: Tribes 2 engine, minus T2 specific code) stable. Now we get to see the fruits of their labour, Realm Wars.
" The game just feels good."
Not only does this game look and feel good but this, this is what I believe Tribes 2 should've been like; of course, with jetpacks. Jumping into this test demo is like selling your old Toyota for a new 6-speed Miata and taking it for a test drive. The feel of shifting gears as you wind around corners and picking up your cross bow an- errr... wait, it's nothing like that. The point that I'm trying to make is, after playing Tribes 1 and 2 and then stepping into Realm Wars, it's a totally new [and pleasant] feeling. The game just feels good.
Probably the first thing you'll notice when you see the game is how analogous Tribes 2 and Realm Wars are visually. Running off the same engine sort of has this affect on a game
. As such, you can rest assured that the game is very appealing and things will only improve as time goes on and the texture artists get in gear.
"You need to download the OpenAL driver!"
I cannot tell you how many times I have uttered those words to "Fresh Meat" and "Fresh Meat.1" as they entered the game and complained of no sound. Realm Wars uses this opensource audio driver from Creative
to implement their sound and is quick and painless to download and install. Simply head on over here
, download the 756 kb file and double-click the .exe. The game sounds good too, there's nothing special implemented yet but hey, it's a test. Just let winamp play in the background and you're set.
Controls are great too. You'll distinguish very quickly the veteran Tribes players from those who just decided to give the game a try – trying to ski down the hills and use their non-existent jetpacks all the while jumping aimlessly around in attempts to dodge the disc explosions. While you can't ski or use splash damage to harm other Orcs, Realm Wars does have a very apparent T2 feel to it. Quite noticeable in the only weapon in the game (a cross bow), it feels very much like the beloved disc launcher (minus the splash damage).
All in all, this game is a blast to play – especially since it's just a test of technology. I can't wait to see what this game will evolve into. Needless to say, the Junkyard will be covering it.
- Download it!
- Garage Games
- Press Release