We have finally managed to get our hands on a copy of Tryst – the Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game developed by BlueGiant Interactive – and those familiar with the genre will instantly feel at home. So if you’re an RTS fan and are looking for another game to sink your teeth into, this one may well be worth your time!
Traditionally, RTS games tend to be somewhat slow. However, upon booting up Tryst and stepping into the shoes of Oliver Petrovich, you quickly realise that there is nothing slow about this game. Oliver Petrovich is the son of the Command’s Overseer and a somewhat reluctant participant in a war against an alien race – the Zali – not so dissimilar to SC2′s Protoss. Before you start to worry that this is “just another Starcraft clone” you should know that Tryst has all the potential to stand on its own two feet.
The graphics, although perhaps not as “next-gen” as some other titles, don’t disappoint. With fancy explosions and amazing particle effects there really is very little to complain about. There were plenty of moments in which we were practically hypnotised by the beautiful effects. So much so that we almost lost our base due to an incoming and almost overwhelming attack by Zali forces. The only niggles we had here were that some of the animations, particularly the movement of troops could have done with a bit more love and attention. Also having a dropship deliver reinforcements who then suddenly appear on the map (rather than actively disembarking) was a bit of an atmosphere killer. Fortunately, atmosphere is something that is found in abundance in Tryst. From the moment you start-up the game, through to the menu navigation and the cut scenes in between campaign missions, it all fits very nicely together. So it really is a shame that all this atmosphere gets cut short by something as trivial as movement animations.
Tryst has two main gameplay modes, Singleplayer and Multiplayer. While the Singleplayer campaign is comparatively short, consisting of only a handful of missions, the real strength lies with the Multiplayer skirmishes.
The Multiplayer gameplay element of Tryst is something we found particularly enjoyable. Unlike traditional RTS games, there is an incredibly sense of fast paced action here. Although you have your Engineers (builders) who maintain and construct your base, your primary concern is the construction of units and using those units to then capture and defend strategic ore and energy nodes placed across the map. For Starcraft veterans this may at first come as a bit of a struggle as it requires a completely different, yet refreshing approach to managing your army.
Of course you can’t just build your barracks, vehicle factory or airport and just pump units, you also need to worry about making sure you meet a fine balance of upgrading your core structure and assembling an army with a good mix of different abilities. There is little point in massing marines or operatives when they are likely to get pummeled by a smaller but better mixed army. This alone already creates great potential for coming up with your own strategy in building an army.
Another extra sizzle was added by the inclusion of RPG elements, which, although subtle, allow the player to modify and upgrade their units and overall strategy to better suit their play style.
Tryst’s Singleplayer campaign – although somewhat short – offers a great deal of story immersion and – again – really lets the game’s atmosphere shine. One thing that really did stand out with the campaign missions was the fact that you had to make story choices as part of completing your mission. It’s something we’re not used to seeing in a lot of recent games of this genre and so it is very refreshing to have that “re-playability” factor.
Tryst really could have scored top marks here, if only the campaign itself were a little bit longer. We managed to complete the campaign in little over an hour. Yes, the story and strategy involved, created an interesting introduction to the new concepts introduced to the genre by Tryst but it wasn’t quite enough to really satisfy the need for more if you’re a new player and too daunted by the prospects of jumping into the fast paced and rather brutal online battles.
Tryst’s sound is – like everything else in the game – very immersive. The background music makes your mission feel epic and the sound effects are top-notch and couldn’t really be done any better by a AAA studio, like Blizzard for example. Unfortunately, the voice acting was a little bit of a let-down. Some of the scripts seemed inappropriate for certain situations and pulled the player back out of the atmosphere and immersion so carefully created previously. On the flip side, there were plenty of situations were the voice acting was very convincing and the scripts actually provided a bit of comic relief.
So, overall really not a bad game at all. BlueGiant Interactive really have pushed the RTS boundaries by taking things to the next level and delivering a game that not only oozes atmosphere – albeit somewhat choppy at times – but also promises huge potential for future games. This is a fantastic achievement for any studio, especially one that is still in its Indie stages. This indie gem of a game has truly captured the essence of what makes a great RTS and then added some extra flair.