Reviewed on PC


Reviewed By: F-451

Computer Platform: PC
Produced by: Sierra
Price Range: $15-30
Age level: 15+
ESRB Rating: Teen
System Requirements: P200, 32 meg ram, 3dFX card, CRrom, WIN 95/98

Genre: Action/Adventure, War, Strategy
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
   (some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 4 of 5
Violence: 4 of 5
   (barely present)
Adult Content: 4 of 5
   (barely present)

Box art for 'Starsiege Tribes' I am not a big video game player because it seems to remove people from hanging out with other people. But in "Starsiege Tribes", you are a part of a combat squad made up of other flesh and blood people playing from around the world. It is a first-person action game that is played across the NET (local or Internet).

“Tribes” has Death match options (like “Quake”, "Quake II", or "Unreal") but its main attraction is in the multi-player games of 'capture the flag', and 'defend and destroy'. Like all games, the more memory and the faster processor and Internet connection you have the better your game experience will be.

Screenshot from 'Starsiege Tribes' The game story takes place in the year 3940. Two warring clans, the Starwolf and the Blood Eagle tribes are fighting for superiority by taking control of the planet. The Tribes players are in hi-tech space gear, including armor and weapons of different strengths and capabilities. Your arsenal includes hand-held or shoulder mount lasers, blasters, mortars, disk launcher, EMP weapons and many deployables including turrets, mines, force-field sensor scanner and sensor jammers.

The battle fields are barren deserts, snow covered mountains, or open space. The tribe's bases come in all shapes and sizes ranging from small pyramids to huge floating fortresses. The movement in the game is quite fluid, and flying is achieved by rocket packs, spring boards, and several types of flyers, bombers and troop transports to take you and your teammates to the enemy base.

To get you into the swing of the game, there are single-player training missions you can play off-line. These will teach you how to use the weapons, how to fly and what to expect in the way of enemy fire and terrain. But the real fun is in the on-line multi-player battles. The graphics engine and terrains are quite good but you will need a 3dfx card to fully enjoy the environment.

To start, you pick a player-name as part of your set-up. One of the cool things about “Tribes” is that after a while you will get to know other players. Once your Internet connection is established, you launch “Tribes” and as many as 150 servers will be displayed. You can choose the site you want to do battle on based on number of players, mods running, type of games etc. After you have tried several different sites, you can mark your “Favorites”, and only “Ping” these when you log-on. I prefer games that have 10-20 players (5 to 10 on each side), but I have tried games with as many as 64 players (32 on each side).

When you enter a game/server, a splash screen will come-up showing what type of game is running on the server, as well as any server rules. Just follow the instructions and do battle. Points come from enemy kills, capturing the flag, or by defending and holding key switches.

“Tribes” is an intense combat game, but there is no blood or gore, only explosions and armor flying from being blasted apart.

Screenshot from 'Starsiege Tribes' One of the biggest downfalls of “Tribes” is, since it is first-person and real people playing each other, the enjoyability of the games directly depends on the skill, and personality of the other players. “Tribes” comes with the usual combat voice chatter, but as with all games, “custom” chatter has been added by hardcore Tribes players, and if it is their server, they control the attitude of the game.

There are good sites where profanity and obscene names are not allowed, (or you get kicked by the administrator), and there are sites I have marked as “Never Ping” in my favorites list (due to the content of the language and the names of the players who frequent these servers).

For the hard core “Tribes” players who need a place to belong, there are many privately formed Clans of “Tribes” players. Clans hold practice sessions on private servers, use chartrooms for Clan meetings, and challenge other Clans to tournament type battles. (I am not in a Clan as I think this would be way too involved.)

Overall “Tribes” is a great, futuristic, fast-paced combat squad game, and if you watch where you play it is a good time of teamwork and fun

Year of Release—1998

Positive—Tribes is a good game, however unfortunately it does heavily depend on who you play with since it is multiplayer. There are too many people that do speak a lot with profanity in the game and some who relish in TKing (Team Killing). These are very undesirable and virtually ruin the game for everyone who's played. (Hence the 4/5 for christian rating.) There is hope however: join a tribe or start your own. I am a member of [TOP] or "Team Oriented Players". Homepage is here: Its open to all and we want the game to be enjoyable for everyone. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Jim Matthews, age 31

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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