F2P: Ones 2 Watch (Part Four)

Tuned towards the everyday gamer, part four of our Ones 2 Watch feature is poised on the much-loved FPS genre. If you’ve longed to play Counter Strike yet found yourself warded away by the somewhat impenetrable community ladder, then Tactical Intervention may be the game you’ve been searching for. Wonderfully artsy with the stakes just as highis Red 9’s Firefall; featuring a vast open world, it will no doubt appeal to the MMO crowd, though instanced PvE/PvP will also be present for those wanting a much more constrained experience. Lastly we have the insanely addictive arcade shooter, Tribes: Ascend with Gareth on-hand to give an updated insight into the ski/shooter hybrid.

Minh “Gooseman” Lee, co-creator of the ultra-competitive online shooter Counter Strike, has been working with his team at MIX Korea on Tactical Intervention, a PC-exclusive title launching this Spring. Like the forementioned Valve shooter, there is a heavy focus on terrorist vs. operative scenarios though the team at MIX Korea is aiming for a more engaging, cinematic experience as opposed to Counter Strike’s fairly straightforward e-sport formula.

One way in which Tactical Intervention will differentiate itself is through the use of in-game NPCs. It’s not just enemy players you’ll have to keep an eye out for; pedestrians and road users litter the mission areas and can be used to hinder both sides. Bystanders can be grabbed and held as hostages, players capable of other contextual actions such as hurling riot shields to knock enemies off guard.

Vehicles will also make an appearance, though we’re talking hi-jacked bangers, not hi-tech tanks or APCs. The diverse gameplay allows for car chases in which drivers can open fire on other road-users, a mechanic that has been used in shooters before though not always to great effect. However, as long as we get rickshaws somewhere down the line as DLC, we’ll be happy.

Set in a hostile, futuristic depiction of Earth, Firefall’s backstory is a tale of humanity’s greed and lust for galactic expansion. Rocked by an asteroid that sends the planet into a nine-year winter, humans discover Crystite, an element with high energy yield, and subsequently enter a golden age of technology. Longing for more Crystite, humanity begins to explore space, though upon siphoning their payload back to Earth they unwittingly invite The Melding, a mutation that spawns a legion of nasties.

Tasked with reclaiming the planet, players set out across open and instanced environments to rid the planet of The Melding. In doing so will require you to commit to one of the five classes, called Battleframes. Recon, Assault, Medic, Engineer, and Dreadnaught are available from the get go, each one filling a conventional role in your fireteam. As you progress, more abilities and weapons will be made available, though developer Red 9 promises balance between veteran players and the less experienced.

The cell-shaded MMOFPS will be a Windows exclusive, hopefully launching later this year.

Tribes Ascend has been covered elsewhere on TSA, but leaving it out of F2P week would be a travesty. For the uninitiated, it’s the fifth incarnation of the Tribes series, a fast-paced multiplayer FPS focused on CTF gameplay that only went public just yesterday. What makes Tribes unique is the skiing mechanics – it’s exactly what it sounds like, holding space will enable you to ski over the landscape.

This, combined with pseudo-realistic inertia physics enable you to travel around the large maps at insane speeds, up to and even beyond 250km/h, and the pre-dominantly projectile weaponry forces you to take your own trajectory, projectile speed and your enemy’s speed and direction into account whilst aiming. It’s quite the juggling act, requiring an ample dose of skill and patience, though the pay-off is extremely rewarding.

Ascend is a class-based game, with customisation within those classes provided via the option to unlock weapons, perks, etc with experience you earn whilst playing. There are nine classes – some of them, such as the Pathfinder, being suited towards capturing the flag due to their light, fast nature, whereas the juggernaut is better suited to defending your own flag or wreaking havoc in the enemy base.

The infiltrator, a class with predator-like stealth camouflage making him suited to – wait for it – infiltrating the enemy base to destroy their generator (which powers the turrets and other defenses around the base) and generally give them a bad time, just recently got a class update. Featuring new weaponry, including throwing knives and the jackal – a gun that shoots 3 remote-detonated sticky bombs. The update breathed new life into the class, resulting in an increased infiltrator population, which is hell for the people who are trying to defend their bases.

Tribes: Ascend is already an excellent game with a vibrant community and it can only get better as it goes on. If it sounds like your sort of thing why not take a peek at some deeper coverage over here.


  1. All of the games seem interesting, probably looking forward to Firefall the most.

    • As long as they sort out the PVE aspect – longevity and objectives, it will be a massive time sink. I enjoy the fighting mechanics, but it needs a lot more work in general. The game world is lovely though, just needs much more added to it to bring it alive.
      Read about it more at http://www.firefallthegame.com/community/

  2. Tribes ascend would be amazing if it wasn’t so impossible to level up. Its not due to how you play so much its that you pretty much have to buy something in order to get a sane amount of XP.

    • I have changed my mind. My Brother and I have been playing it since 3am it is quite addictive :P

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