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Hi-Rez Studios announces Tribes: Ascend

Download title out this year.

Global Agenda maker Hi-Rez Studios has announced a new Tribes game, called Ascend.

Tribes: Ascend is a science-fiction online multiplater shooter developed using Epic's Unreal Engine 3. Hi-Rez calls it the multiplayer successor to Tribes 2 and the "re-introduction" of the franchise to the gaming world.

Ascend is a single-purchase digital download title due out late 2011 for PC and Xbox 360. Where's the PlayStation 3 version? Additional platforms are "currently under consideration".

Hi-Rez bought the Tribes IP in October 2010 and announced plans to launch a large scale persistent world shooter called Tribes Universe.

Ascend will launch before it, however.

"Before Halo, before Modern Warfare, and before Battlefield, there was Tribes," High-Rez COO Todd Harris said.

"Tribes fans appreciate the game's essence - athletic FPS combat combined with teamwork and strategy. As we began development of Tribes Universe, we focused first on capturing that essence - refining and modernising iconic elements like jetpacks, skiing, and vehicles.

"We've had tremendous fun play-testing and realized the potential of a multiplayer focused title ahead of Tribes Universe. The community has been waiting for a multiplayer shooter that is the modern successor to T2. Tribes: Ascend is that game."

Tom reviewed Tribes 2 waaaaay back in 2001, awarding it 8/10. "In short, then, you should buy this game, and if you play anything online this year, make it Tribes 2," he wrote.