The Tribes series is very popular amongst PC multiplayer enthusiasts of a certain age, but it's been some time since we've seen a new entry in the series. Developer Hi-Rez Studios, best known for newly free to play shooter-MMO Global Agenda, has announced that new game Tribes: Ascend will be making an appearance at this year's QuakeCon. Not only that, but the game will be playable by the public for the first time.

Tribes: Ascend features the franchise's distinctive gameplay, including jetpack-enabled combat, skiing and vehicles. Success in battles depend on teamwork and strategy as much as an itchy trigger finger.

The best part, though? It's free. Tribes: Ascend has been designed from the ground-up by Hi-Rez Studios as what they call a "AAA free to play title" -- presumably considering it on a similar level to Ubisoft's upcoming and impressive-looking Ghost Recon Online along with Perfect World's Blacklight: Retribution.

"QuakeCon has been called the Woodstock of gaming and we're thrilled to introduce Tribes: Ascend at this show," said Todd Harris, COO of Hi-Rez Studios. "QuakeCon has always delivered exceptional, competitive multiplayer gaming for free; and that's our mission with Tribes: Ascend."

QuakeCon taks place between August 4 and 7 in Dallas, Texas. Attendees will have the opportunity to win a key to the Tribes: Ascend Closed Beta when it launches. Book your tickets here.

This article originally appeared on as New Tribes Game Playable for First Time at QuakeCon 2011