I just finished the single player for Tribes: Vengeance and I must say that its actually good. Maybe its because I had low expectations for it in the first place, but I had a hard time putting the game down. I played for about 4 hours straight last night and as soon as I woke up this morning I finished the game. The multiple characters keeps the game fresh, and the story is actually worth listening to.
Now for the multiplayer, its a lot like deus ex 2. Its dumbed down in some areas, and the opposite is true in others. The maps that come with the game are great and thoughtfully designed. While the maps are not identical on each sides like they used to be in the old days, they are surprisingly well balanced. The core gameplay is still untouched but a few small changes have been made that have improved the gameplay a lot. Medium armor is now much more useful than it ever was in the previous games. Mostly due to the fact that you now have a lot more control over your movement then ever before. Jetpacks feel more powerful than tribes one, but not as floaty as tribes 2. Skiing is completely different this time around, but the concept is still the same. Instead of jumping, you now hold the space bar down that activates your frictionless boots. So now you can be standing completely still when you activate them and start sliding all around. It feels like you are walking on ice when you turn them on. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it works just as well as the previous skiing system. Packs have been updated too in vengeance. There are far fewer packs this time around but they each have passive and active functions. A perfect example of how they simplified something but then made it more complex by adding extra functions.
Graphically the game has it going on. Running on a heavily modified unreal engine, the game looks great. The added shader effects look wonderful and the outdoor arenas look beautiful with all the flowers and grass. The players themselves look great as well. This time around each tribe has its own style armor that looks completely different than the other tribes. The same goes for their bases.
As for sound, they did a good job here. While its nothing amazing, the sound effects gets the job done for the most part. Some of the effects don’t sound right to me (such as the turning sound for the rover), but its just a minor issue. The voice binds on the other hard range from decent to extremely crappy. Some of the taunts are extremely annoying and way too long. Some of them make me wonder how someone thought they were a good idea to have in the game. The music for the game is quite good as well. This is the first tribes game not to use the music by Tim Clarke of Score! Music and Sound Design. While the multiplayer lacks any music at all, the single player is a nice mix of ambient and aggressive techno that comes in at just the right moments to add a lot of atmosphere and suspense.
So overall this is one action game you don’t want to miss. Its on par with Unreal Tournament 2004, better than Tribes 2, but not as good as Tribes.