BlueGiant brings us an Indie alternative to the StarCraft universe in the game Tryst. While it tries very hard to be StarCraft, I encountered some issues along the way that keep the game from reaching its full potential.
Tryst is set in 2900 AD where the Zali aliens have remained peaceful, until now. After the Zali assassinate the President, it is your job as the new President, Oliver Petrovich, to save the Earth colony of Ishtonia and end the war with the Zali. Those are the basics of the storyline, and that is about all you get in the game. The storyline is the generic aliens vs. humans tale that we have seen in many games.
Tryst controls in typical RTS click-to-move and attack fashion with some pre-assigned keybindings for ally abilities. The campaign introduces the variances in gameplay by sometimes allowing you to build a base at the beginning of a mission, but other times not giving you a base and allowing you access to only a few allies and limited resources. This creates difficult and varied gameplay making you pay close attention in combat situations, which can be very fast and stressful (but in a good way).
As you progress in a mission you unlock skill trees for each type of ally you control. In each tree you can select a new ability or a passive buff, such as +5 armor. The abilities are fun to use, but I found myself not using them often due to difficulty micromanaging my allies. I had a tough time finding switching between allies in combat to use special abilities and found it easier to simply let them auto-attach enemies.
The game’s “Help” option assists you with new things in the game and helps you better understand it by providing a short video of how to perform an action alongside text. This is a StarCraft feature that I was happy to see in Tryst.
The graphics in Tryst are not bad, but they are nothing to write home about either. The graphics are stylized and cartoon-like, which is acceptable if you want a game to stand the test of time.
The voice-acting was awkward. Yes, that is odd to say, but the accents were varied and not very good, so it made conversations between characters seem unnatural. Also, the lines while moving and building bases were too repetitive for my taste, especially one named character, Bose, will not shut up about getting “shinies.”
The campaign of Tryst is very short, maximum five hours. The campaign feels as if it is a long tutorial to prepare the player for skirmishes and multiplayer.
The local CPU skirmishes are very short and with only six maps to choose from, you can get bored rather quickly. If you are not used to RTS gameplay you may not be prepared for the skirmish matches even after the campaign since you have to deal with not only obtaining resources on the map, but also defending them.
I get the feeling, with the short campaign and skirmishes, that Tryst is really supposed to be about online multiplayer, but with such a small community it is hard to find anyone to play online. I was never able to play any multiplayer games because no one was ever in the “Game Lobby.” I can understand this happening, though. It is a small Indie title, and it just recently released. It likely needs time to grow.
Other than the aforementioned issues, the game suffers from frequent crashes. Too many times I have lost data because of game crashing and freezing. With that in mind, Tryst can use more frequent auto-saves. I almost did not realize I had to manually save the game and nearly risked losing my first two missions in the campaign.
In summary, Tryst has a good, albeit generic, basis. The fast-paced combat is exciting; it’s the game’s best feature. It comes up short on the campaign that only lasts a few hours, the minor micromanaging issues, and major game crashing and freezing issues. Tryst also has no multiplayer community at the moment, but seeing as the game is still new, building that community will take time.
Genre: Real Time Strategy
Release Date: September 14, 2012
Developer: BlueGiant Interactive
Publisher: BlueGiant Interactive
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending