Ultrafast shooter Tribes 3: Rivals gets a Steam Next Fest demo, is out in early access “soon”


The latest haul of Steam Next Fest demos is so vast that I initially missed Tribes 3: Rivals, a game I’ve been cautiously coveting, among them. While this high-speed FPS has been playable in a number of semi-open alpha tests already, trying it out is now as easy as sliding into its Steam page and hitting the big green demo download button.

The demo launch is accompanied by a shiny new trailer, showing more of Rivals’ skiing shenanigans, aurally satisfying airshots, and flag-throwing tricks that I will never, ever be able to successfully pull off in a real match. Also, a confirmation that it’s launching into early access, though there’s no date beyond “soon.”

TRIBES 3: Rivals – Early Access Announcement Trailer

After partaking in the very first playtest, I had some concerns that Rivals might not feel quite as kinetic as a Tribes game should, but subsequent sessions have had it moving in the right direction – matches are bigger, louder, faster. It helps that, in contrast to GTFO’s Simon Viklund asserting that open betas are just a marketing tool, each Tribes 3 playtest has genuinely mixed things up in pursuit of those iterative improvements. Whenever I’ve played, developers Prophecy Games have made substantial changes to loadouts and weapon metas, as well as subtle tweaks to movement and different game modes. Indeed, the Next Fest Demo will have you warming up in one of these – the bomb-slinging Arena 4v4 mode – before letting you loose in more bread-and-butter Capture the Flag lobbies.

More so than most still-in-development games I’ve tried, dipping into Tribes 3 is very much like witnessing a game come together, rather than playing one that’s basically finished (and for which the publishers just want a little help with bug testing). I imagine there’ll be further experimenting in the early access phase proper, whenever that comes.


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