Founded by former members of Tribes creators Dynamix, in one fell swoop GarageGames managed to make an entire part of the internet cry "Will it work in Firefox?" in unison by announcing the spiritual successor to Starsiege: Tribes in the form of browser-based team FPS Fallen Empires: Legion.
Tribes was once the glitterati of pixel-perfect teamplay and whizzing down green hills, and its fans are rabid. Far from resigning himself to a squalid life of making a knock-off 2D monsterpiece, Project Manager Tim Aste assures us it'll be a fully formed game.
"When we first started throwing the idea for Legion around I was sceptical. The idea of next-gen quality game running through a browser was a stretch; even if we did manage to get the tech behind it I was expecting an awkward gameplay experience. However, once we actually started seeing games up and running through the browser I was instantly sold. Not only did the games play smoothly, but being able to play wherever you want is amazing."
Legion is planned to be a multiplayer experience based at InstantAction.com, with a selection of modes planned to be pruned through testing to fit in with Tribes gameplay, as well as something a little bit different. "We knew that it would be compared to Tribes from day one. Granted we were founded by key members from the Tribes team, but we see Legion as a game that can stand on its own two legs - not just a rip-off with a new paint job."
"In Legion, quick movements are pivotal to the gameplay and experience and while we do have some type of 'skiing' in Legion, we think of it more as 'how it was meant to be' rather than a bug as in Tribes. We also have incorporated jetpacks into Legion, but they're much more refined than in Tribes.
I don't want to give away too much, but I think players are going to be very impressed with the changes and tweaks we've made to the controls and capabilities of the packs.
"The technology behind the game will allow us to roll out new classes, weapons, and additions very easily and quickly. We did not want to predispose the game to a particular trajectory from the get-go, so we decided to start basic and depend on the games to help us decide which way they want the game to evolve."
There's a bit of community business going in too, built on the idea that the stats that tell the tale. "On InstantAction.com you'll be able to keep track of all your stats, chat with friends in real time and keep profiles, but when it comes to your character, they're fresh every time. We're not out here trying to make the next MMO; this is all about FPS action from the go. Sometimes I feel like levelling a character becomes too much of a hassle and takes the focus away from the gameplay," chirps Aste, putting his foot down on an entire genre.
Sadly it isn't free, but Aste is intent on making it an open-ended, value-added service. "We haven't announced any sort of plan for pricing, but we're sticking by two principles: We think gamers deserve to have a choice in how they'll pay; and, these days gamers are shelling out $60 dollars for a game that gives them less and less quality time. We're looking to be innovative on the pricing side of things to make it fair for all."
Still no word on whether the phrase 'shazbot' will be returning though.