What I’ve Played – Tryst

Platform: PC
Developer: BlueGiant Interactive
Publisher: BlueGiant Interactive
Rating: NR (PEGI) / T (ESRB)

Tryst is a Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game developed by BlueGiant Interactive, an independent studio based in Hydrabad, India. It has a Sci-fi theme and is, in many ways, similar to that of Blizzard’s Starcraft franchise. With a fleshed out story, a campaign and a core multiplayer mode this game wants to offer the world. Does it live up to it’s offerings? That’s what I’ve been trying to find out and now I’m here to tell you what I think.

Tryst follows the conflict between the Humans and the Zali, a race of bio-mechanical aliens. Differing from the usual Earth-invasion plot in name only, the conflict takes place in 2900AD and on the planet Ishtonia IV. Over the years prior to the events of the game the humans divided into two groups and civil war ensued, lasting until the events of the game where they combine to meet the threat of the Zali.

The story is rather run of the mill, as nothing really stands out. BlueGiant do attempt to get you interested in the world by offering a number of videos before you start the campaign, giving you details of the history, people and current events. The issue with this is that it relies too much on the willingness sit through a video, no matter how short it may be, by choice. Something I imagine most people aren’t happy to do when they want to get in on the action.

The campaign is divided into five missions. Each mission opens with some exposition, showing the map and dialogue between the characters. It’s all an attempt to show your objectives while advancing the story. Depending on your aptitude the campaign should take you around five hours to complete. However, length of the campaign isn’t too important so long as it is good and fun to play.

The gameplay is that of any standard RTS but with the speed turned up a few notches. You build bases, manage resources, churn out troops and complete your objectives. Unusual to RTS games, resources, ore and electricity, are gathered automatically at a fixed rate. More can be gathered by capturing other generators and refineries, none can be built. The main difference between standard RTS’ and Tryst is the aforementioned speed. A mission can seem to go by in a flash and feel like it has taken less time than it actually has, making it feel rushed.

On the other hand a few interesting ideas are featured and do show thought that has been put into the game. One of the major ideas is that of the A.R.M system – I don’t remember what it stands for – which allows for three tiers of upgrades to be equipped to each type of unit, and some buildings. The choices offered are limited, two or three for each rank, but still vary enough that a choice can significantly improve one aspect yet leave another still vulnerable.

Another of the ideas put forward is the use of choice in missions. In some you are offered a selection of paths to take: will you move to secure a location for resources or will you head to rescue some soldiers behind enemy lines? Some of these are a direct choice between one or the other. Other times you are given a set time limit, making it difficult, but not impossible, to achieve multiple objectives. Sadly, the paths have no effect on the long-term story, only offering short term bonuses and achievements. The only direct impact is the units you have available for the rest of that mission meaning your tactics will have to change and adapt.

This isn’t the only reason you’ll find yourself changing your tactics. The difficulty fluctuates an insane amount so you will likely find yourself failing, or stuck in a protracted battle of attrition, needing a change of tactics for success. Thankfully the game offers a reasonable amount of tactical fluidity, featuring a variety of units and buildings. The downside here is there is little in the form of a tutorial. If you aren’t familiar with RTS games then you’re going to find yourself quickly in over your head. If you are, it’s all much of the same, just at a faster pace and the units are indistinguishable from each other.

For the most part the graphics are fairly dated, giving the game an older look. The game looks at its best when ‘toon shader’, found in graphics options, is turned on. Toon shader makes the game look more colourful, giving it a cel-shaded effect, improving the overall look and giving the game some personality that the standard visuals lack. The major issue with the visuals is that the soldiers are incredibly difficult to tell apart due to the camera distance. Zooming in is also not recommended due to how fast the game is, making it all too likely to miss an enemy attack.

The worst part of the game is the audio. The music is pain and unremarkable and the effects lack weight, making the whole thing forgettable. As bad as the effects are, they’re nothing compared to the voice acting. While one or two of the actors are passable, most of them are wooden in their delivery and bad with their accents. At times the poor voice acting can make the whole thing fairly comical. The units are also very irritating to listen to as they repeat the same one or two lines all the time.

While not a bad game, having a few interesting ideas, Tryst is certainly lacking. It’s rough around the edges, though BlueGiant do promise more patches and DLC. Tryst is a decent budget RTS and it could certainly get a following for the multiplayer if it features in a decent sale and people take the plunge.

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