Happy Xmas, Xmas people!

Just in time for the annual solstice festival of your particular choosing, I’m giving away some swag.  This time it’s two keys for access to the closed beta of Tribes: Ascend.

I know what you’re thinking: Adam, you’re supporting a free to play game?  I’ll freely admit that I have no great love of free to play gaming.  In fact, I think most free to play games are nothing more than instant gratification engines intent on separating the addiction prone from their money.  That being the case, the only thing that got me interested in this game was the Tribes intellectual property.  For those of you who don’t know, Tribes and its sequels represented the high water mark of PC based first person shooters.  No mindless frag fest, Tribes was a true three dimensional shooter that demanded planning, teamwork and a healthy respect for Newton’s laws of motion.

Despite adding a free to play mechanic to this game, Hi-Rez Studios has done a fantastic job recreating the Tribes franchise.  Even the aforementioned pay model seems tolerable in that paying primarily serves to double the experience points a player collects at the end of a given round.  Fortunately, those points are pegged to performance in game.  Thus a weak player is only going to get a marginal bonus regardless of the cash they toss into the fray.  But more on this when the game moves out of beta in early 2012.

For now, leave a comment on this post by Noon EDT on Friday December 23rd and you’ll be in the running for an early access closed beta key.  I’ll contact the winners via email so make sure that the address you enter is accurate.