Tribes 2

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Tribes 2
Tribes 2 cover.jpg
Developer(s)Dynamix (Windows)
Loki Entertainment (Linux)
Publisher(s)Sierra On-Line
Loki Entertainment (Linux)
Director(s)David Georgeson
Producer(s)David Georgeson
Designer(s)Eric Lanz
Dave Meddish
Jesse Russell
Programmer(s)Mark Frohnmayer
Artist(s)Craig Maitlen
Writer(s)Blake Hutchins
Composer(s)Timothy Steven Clarke
Platform(s)Windows, Linux
  • NA: March 29, 2001[1]
  • EU: April 13, 2001
April 19, 2001
Genre(s)First-person shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Tribes 2 is a first-person shooter multiplayer video game developed by Dynamix and published by Sierra On-Line in 2001 as a sequel to Starsiege: Tribes.


Set in the year 3941 of the fictional Earthsiege universe, Tribes 2 allows the user to play as a soldier in one of several factions (referred to in the game as tribes), namely the Children of the Phoenix, the Blood Eagle, the Diamond Sword, and the Starwolf. Players can also choose to play a rebelling human-created soldier/worker race called the BioDerms. None of the factions differ from each other in strengths or weaknesses, but each has a distinctive look and background story.


Tribes 2 is a multiplayer online game, designed for Internet or LAN play with up to 128 players (64 vs 64) or bots per match, although a small single-player tutorial mode is included. The game may be played from both first- and third-person perspectives. Each match takes place on an Earthsiege-themed map. The Tribes 2 engine, an early version of the Torque Game Engine, is capable of both indoor and outdoor maps, with expansive play areas. Player movement about the map may be on foot, using a jet pack, or in various ground and airborne vehicles as pilot, co-pilot, or passenger.

Each match is played according to one of a number of possible game modes, which dictate the rules of the match. These modes include Capture the Flag, deathmatch, Rabbit, Arena, Hunters, Siege, Gauntlet, and Bounty. Players are free to choose their own role, and may deploy various items of weaponry, vehicles, and emplacements. Many of these items can be left unattended to operate automatically, or control may be assumed by players. Each player may also choose from three armor types (which trade off various abilities, e.g. weak but fast, strong but slow, or median), and a weapon and equipment loadout, which may be reconfigured at any time during a match.

The large variety of equipment and deployable items results in many opportunities for creative play and tactics, from pure combat to stealth. Tribes 2 gameplay makes extensive use of jet pack-powered flight, which adds a notable vertical element to combat, and a skiing action to slide down slopes. As such, playing style varies dramatically from player to player, and from moment to moment, but Tribes 2 gameplay may be generalized as being fast-paced three-dimensional combat over a wide playing area. Player vs player combat is a central element of Tribes 2 gameplay, even in team-based modes.

Development and release[edit]

Tribes 2 was developed by Dynamix as a sequel to Starsiege: Tribes. Mötley Crüe recorded a song for the game that was never released with the game.[2]

On November 2, 2008, Sierra/Vivendi disabled the authentication servers required for its online multiplayer and dropped all official support for the Tribes franchise.[3]

In early 2009, a fan community project provided an unofficial patch and replacement server which restored online multiplayer functionality.[4]

The Torque 3D game engine, on which Tribes 2 is built, was released by GarageGames under the MIT license on September 20, 2012.[5][6] The Tribes 2 source code beside the Torque engine was not made available.[7]

Published by Sierra On-Line, it was released for Microsoft Windows in North America on March 28, 2001, in Europe on April 13, 2001, and in Japan on June 22, 2001 (where it was published by Capcom).[8] A Linux port was released by Loki Entertainment on April 19, 2001.

On November 20, 2002, Sierra released an update for Tribes 2. This update contained two new game types, new maps and updates to address several issues. Sierra, which was then part of Vivendi Universal Games, licensed the franchise to Irrational Games for a third installment; Tribes: Vengeance was released in October 2004.

In an effort to increase interest in the upcoming sequel, Sierra released both the original Starsiege: Tribes and Tribes 2 as freeware download on May 4, 2004.

In 2015, the game was released as freeware by Hi-Rez Studios.[9]


Tribes 2 received "generally favorable reviews" according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[10] Kevin Rice of NextGen said of the game, "It's not terribly friendly toward newbies, and the system requirements are stiff, but wow... There's nothing else this incredibly good for team-based multiplayer mayhem."[22]

The game was commercially successful. Its sales had surpassed 200,000 units and were steadily rising by the time of Dynamix's closure in November 2001, according to the company's Dave Georgeson.[27] Sales in North America alone reached 245,069 units by the end of 2001, according to PC Data. This amounted to $9.7 million in revenue.[28] In August 2006, Edge declared it the U.S.' 70th best-selling computer game released between January 2000 and August 2006. Combined sales of all Tribes computer games released between those dates had reached 480,000 units in the U.S. by August 2006.[29]


  1. ^ IGN staff (March 29, 2001). "News Briefs". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  2. ^ O'Connor, Alice (July 27, 2014). "The Mötley Crüe Tribes 2 Theme Song Time Tried To Forget". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Gamer Network. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  3. ^ Ellison, Blake (October 8, 2008). "Sierra Shutting Down 21 Old Game Servers". Shacknews. Gamerhub. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  4. ^ Thang, Jimmy (January 6, 2009). "Tribes 2 Lives On". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  5. ^ Preisz, Eric (September 10, 2012). "GarageGames to Release T3D as Open Source". GarageGames.
  6. ^ Wyand, Dave (September 20, 2012). "It's here! The MIT licensed Torque 3D GitHub repo is ready!". GarageGames.
  7. ^ "Tribes 1 and 2 source code anywhere". GarageGames Forums. January 4, 2013.
  8. ^ "トライブス2[PC]". (in Japanese).
  9. ^ Sykes, Tom (October 30, 2015). "Hi-Rez makes previous Tribes games free". PC Gamer. Future plc. Archived from the original on October 30, 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Tribes 2 for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  11. ^ Sutyak, Jonathan. "Tribes 2 – Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 16, 2014. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  12. ^ Wand, Kelly (July 2, 2001). "Tribes 2". Computer Games Magazine. Archived from the original on October 18, 2001. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  13. ^ Price, Tom (July 2001). "Unfinished Business (Tribes 2 Review)" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 204. Ziff Davis. pp. 78–79. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  14. ^ Bramwell, Tom (April 26, 2001). "Tribes 2". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  15. ^ Brogger, Kristian (June 2001). "Tribes 2". Game Informer. No. 98. FuncoLand. Archived from the original on February 28, 2005. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  16. ^ Human Tornado (April 5, 2001). "Tribes 2 Review for PC on". GamePro. IDG Entertainment. Archived from the original on February 7, 2005. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  17. ^ Joe (April 2001). "Tribes 2 Review". GameRevolution. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on April 7, 2004. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  18. ^ Parker, Sam (April 5, 2001). "Tribes 2 Review". GameSpot. Red Ventures. Archived from the original on April 17, 2001. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  19. ^ Butler, Aaron (April 4, 2001). "Tribes 2". GameSpy. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on February 5, 2007.
  20. ^ Krause, Kevin (April 1, 2001). "Tribes 2 – PC – Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on February 5, 2007. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  21. ^ Butts, Steve (April 9, 2001). "Tribes 2". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  22. ^ a b "Tribes 2". NextGen. No. 79. Imagine Media. July 2001. p. 87. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  23. ^ Williamson, Colin (June 2001). "Tribes 2". PC Gamer. Vol. 8, no. 6. Imagine Media. p. 87. Archived from the original on March 15, 2006. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  24. ^ Heron, Robert (April 20, 2001). "Tribes 2 (PC) Review". Exteneded Play. TechTV. Archived from the original on August 2, 2001. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  25. ^ Saltzman, Mark (May 9, 2001). "'Tribes 2' lets players share action online". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Gannett Company. Archived from the original on March 3, 2007. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  26. ^ "Tribes 2". FHM. Bauer Media Group. April 22–28, 2001. Archived from the original on January 2, 2003. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  27. ^ Brundage, Sandy (November 2001). "Dynamix: End of a Dynasty" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 208. Ziff Davis. p. 40. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  28. ^ Bradshaw, Lucy (January 31, 2002). "Markel Forum on Children and Media (N.A. PC Data PC Titles 2001)" (PDF). New York University. p. 14. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 19, 2004.
  29. ^ Edge staff (August 25, 2006). "The Top 100 PC Games of the 21st Century (Page 4)". Edge. Future plc. Archived from the original on October 17, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2021.

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