The PC version of shooter Tribes: Ascend, which resurrects the influential Tribes series of futuristic shooters, will be free to play, as announced by its latest trailer.

That puts it on equal footing with the Tribes-inspired Firefall, also due late 2011 and boasting Tribes's original lead designer.

Ascend is setting its sights on a League of Legends business model, meaning that players will be given access to a new weapon load-out at regular intervals, with an option to buy if they like what they see.

Yes, Ascend looks more than a little bit like a PC version of Halo, but the series earned its bragging rights by deploying Starsiege: Tribes in 1998, a good three years ahead of the Xbox system-seller.

It also comes with something that took the Halo series nine years to implement: jetpacks. Speed and freedom of movement are quintessential to the true Tribes experience and, if Ascend's new trailer is to be believed, present in ample quantities.

Armed with the knowledge of Tribes's chronological and creative superiority, interested individuals might like to check out not only the new Ascend trailer but also TribesNext, a free custom version of Tribes 2 that continues to support online play.

Just hope that no-one mentions Halo's own Tribes-beating predecessor from 1994, Marathon.

Tribes: Ascend free to play trailer:
Tribes: Ascend website:
TribesNext project: