Publisher: BlueGiant Interactive
Developer: BlueGiant Interactive
System requirements: Windows XP/Vista/Win 7, dual-core or better CPU, 512 MB nVidia 9500 GT/Radeon 3650 or better graphics card, 2 GB RAM, DirectX 10, 6 GB hard-drive space, broadband Internet connection
ESRB rating: Not rated
Release date: Available now
RTS games are not going away; no matter what else happens in the strategy portion of the gaming industry, they’re going to continue to be produced. Bringing something new to the genre is difficult and, in many cases, unnecessary. Those looking for the adrenaline rush to be found in RTS games are looking for a good experience, even if it’s very similar to the last 10 games they’ve played. Tryst strives to give players this experience. Despite its odd name, Tryst is another RTS game that brings standard gameplay to the table. Relying on fast action rather than novelty to keep players interested, it’s a game that goes through the motions without being phenomenal.
If you’ve played Starcraft (the original, not the sequel), then Tryst will be familiar to you. We have an alien planet, high technology, a story that involves multiple characters, and aliens that build a base and combat units differently from the humans. The details aren’t that important, because what is important is extracting resources and crushing your enemies. You harvest two resources; spend them on units, buildings, and upgrades; and use your builder units to arrange your base in a logical fashion that emphasizes ease of defense.
What Tryst does right is keep things briskly moving. Long buildups are not generally possible without some enemy intervention, and both multiplayer and story maps push players to keep expanding and exterminating. Maps might have up to seven opponents against which to fight, with the few resource nodes placed in the best places to cause conflict. Combine this with fast build times, fast upgrade times and fast movement, and even builder players such as myself won’t spend 15 minutes building up a huge army and base.
Both the humans and the alien Zali are differentiated enough to keep things interesting. The humans play out in pretty standard fashion, building units and going forth to fight their enemies. The Zali are able to make use of their own dead units, creating a nice dynamic in which controlling battlefields makes sense in certain cases. And each side’s units are just different enough in their special abilities to make playing as either side a new experience.
Some people playing Tryst have objected to the game’s cheesy plot or its voice acting. Those aren’t problems to me; if I wanted complicated plots with Oscar-winning voice work, I’d play Skyrim and try to break plotlines by killing NPCs. But I found Tryst to be problematic in certain key ways. First of all, even two weeks after official release, it still had weird crash bugs and other noticeable errors in graphics or scripting. Then there was the save-game strangeness I encountered. I had to rerun the first single-player mission four times because, despite indicating that it had saved the game upon completing the mission, pressing the “Continue Campaign” button started me back at the beginning of the campaign. I also found a surprising lack of content. The single-player campaign is short, but what mystifies me is the lack of multiplayer maps. The eight maps it has are fun to play, but with so few, it got repetitive quick.
And that’s what I consider Tryst’s main problem to be: there’s just not that much of it. While I could understand the game being offered at $14.99 or even $19.99, Steam’s price of $24.99 is too high considering what’s offered. I’ve stood on my soapbox before about content versus price, and this is a great example of too little content for too much cost. Anyone looking for an RTS should wait until the price comes down a bit before picking up Tryst.