The brilliantly weird, and largely unintuitive, Tribes: Ascend has endured a chequered past. It’s on-off-on again legacy mirrors that of an afternoon soap opera romance—having been brought back from the edge of extinction in late December last year via its first update in two years—however its latest update, named Parting Gifts, marks its curtain call.
We caught up with developer Hi-Rez following last year’s rejuvenating patch 1.1, where the studio told us its mismanagement of Tribes: Ascend was “like death by a thousand cuts”. The latest appropriately-named update brings the game to version 1.4 and signals the end of the line.
Full patch notes—which include tweaks to gameplay, equipment and vehicles, among other things—can be located over here, and a pretty comprehensive weapons statistics spreadsheet can be perused this way.
In conversation with Chris at the start of this year, Tribes’ creative director Sean McBride—who was a member of the original team that pushed for Hi-Rez to acquire the license in the first place—spoke of how relaunching in 2015 was more about steadying the ship, not necessarily about turning profit.
“We all know that player counts are not going to be super high,” he said about the game’s diminished community “The intention is to at least stretch it out over a longer tail, so, if we do need to leave it, we’ll have a planned date, so we can make sure everything’s in order. We didn’t do that last time. It was like ‘we all need to go onto Smite, right now.’”
Over on Reddit, it seems the community, what’s left of it, is already making peace with the fact Tribes: Ascend is no more. One user, Regginator12 , sums up his or her feeling thusly: “This game was so good while it lasted, such a wasted opportunity, I’ve never seen such a high speed FPS since with huge maps and no hitscan. RIP.”
Following the publication of this story, we changed the original headline, "Tribes: Ascend is no more" to better reflect the fact that Tribes: Ascend is still playable and available. Patch 1.4 is simply the final official update for the game. —Ed.