I've been replaying this recently and loving it (I use the non-steam client) so I thought I'd repost this recommendation now that the character limit has gone.
So far the best iteration of Tribes since Tribes 2. What's more its free to play so you've got no excuse not to give it a try.
For those who don't know the series Tribes offers team based gameplay with one of the best movement mechanics in arena style FPS called skiing.
It combines physics, jetpacks, the environment and the skill of the player to have you rocketing around the map at the speed of sound and makes for some excellent chases in capture the flag type scenarios and great combat that has you estimating trajectories of projectiles and players to produce some of the most epic trickshots you'll see in any game.
It also has a really nice class system that has subtle class differences which are exaggerated by player role choices in game. The subtlety results in a much more natural role selection basic much more on strategy rather than the "I'm playing the heavy-defender class therefore I only defend"
One thing that also stands out to me is that I think the map design is beautiful for an arena game. While they do share some common features on the whole each map feels unique and have loads of great little details to bring them to life.
Finally for those who are nervous about free to plays being pay to win (as I was until recently) Tribes: Ascend feels like its got the right balance of paying giving you enough perks to make it worth it (which is important if you want the game to stay alive) but without being an essential element to play and kick ♥♥♥♥. Rather than money opening up bigger scarier guns, it seems to open up alternative roles to play within the game, all of which are available over time when playing the game for free.
The only thing missing from this wonderful iteration of the classic franchise is the modding that came with Tribes and Tribes 2. I remember my brother and I having a whale of a time as kids playing with a lot of mods and user generated maps that added a whole ton of content to the game. While it's obvious why this can't work in a FTP game, it's a bit of a shame. Hopefully though, if HiRez studios are successful they'll be enough interest to keep them adding official content to the game to keep us all keen.
How to try it?
Give it a go! It's free. Sign up and download at https://account.hirezstudios.com/tribesascend/♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥=1899863&utm_campaign=email
and for those new to the series, or who just need a bit of revision there is a great inforgraph here http://puu.sh/w7SC
which gives you a bunch of handy pointers to get you going!
!!! UPDATE !!!
It's a bit of a shame but the game has been pretty much abandoned by the dev's and from what I've read the community is basically dead. It's still free and it's still good when you've got a game, but be careful before investing any money into the game.
Posted: October 13th, 2013