If you play Tryst, your memory of it will more than likely be similar to mine; a real-time strategy (RTS) game set in a science fiction setting. The warring factions between humans and aliens and is about as generic as an RTS can get. It’s basically based on the traditional StarCraft model so if you’ve played StarCraft, and at this point who hasn’t, you’ll be very familiar with how the game plays. Unlike the leader in RTS, the story is bland, the difficulty is inconsistent, and the multiplayer is nothing exciting. You’ll enjoy the game for the first few plays but it gives way to being something very frustrating and boring.
The campaign is standard fare, it’s about evil aliens at war with humans. Tryst takes place 1,000 years in the future on a colony called Ishtonia. The aliens Call themselves the Zali, who launch a surprise attack on the humans after years of peace. The Zali end up assassinating the president which leaves our hero, Ivan Petrovich, in charge. It’s now his mission to recruit and make alliances with other human faction to stop the Zali threat. The plot doesn’t amount to a whole lot other than save humanity from alien who want to kill all humans.
If you’ve played StarCraft, or any other RTS really, as I’ve mention before, you’ll instantly be familiar with the gameplay. You build bases, gather resources, train troops, defend, and attack. What I did enjoy was the fact that resource collection was simplified. Instead of sending grunts to go harvest the resources, Tryst automatically does it. The two resources here are ore and electricity and instead of just pumping more people to harvest faster, you can just upgrade the mining facilities to producing faster; this saves you some time to focus on your troops and building other buildings. Speaking of upgrades, some buildings can be outfitted with upgraded stations to give more production options. You can also augment your troops with advancements thanks to the Augmentation Research Mechanism system which basically gives your troops buffs to assist in your battles. When it comes to the actual mission structure, it’s pretty linear except for the occasional diversions like being forced to choose between objectives. What I ran into in a lot of instances was inconsistent difficulty. You don’t get an easy-hard selection when you start the campaign so it’s all predetermined. The range goes from incredibly easy to insanely hard without warning. I would literally end up seeing the un-skip-able conversations on the battlefield more times than I could count because a certain spot in the mission became stupid difficult. Plus some of the instant fail conditions are too demanding causing the game over screen to just pop up un-expectantly. Thankfully the single player is short and you don’t have to suffer for long.
Problem is that there isn’t much else to do in Tryst. There is multiplayer but it’s not quite as populated as other RTS games, but hey it’s there and you might find a game or two to enter. The multiplayer is quick which is nice for a short, tight, and action-y match. You can also do solo skirmish matches which repeat many of the issues with the main game. Others have mentioned that there are a ton of bugs to be found in Tryst but I never ran into anything game crashing or odd so maybe I was just lucky. Still, if you decide to dive into this game, just be aware that you could potentially run into a few bugs.
The graphics remind me of a more colorful WarCraft III than the darker StarCraft. The user interface though is almost a direct rip of what you see in StarCraft. I would say that without looking at a StarCraft screen shot, you would believe it was identical. The units themselves are 3d modeled as are the buildings and terrain. Backgrounds are good looking at least with the standard looking alien landscapes with strange looking plants and such. Music and voice acting are pretty budget. You can tell that the voice actors first language isn’t English or that they are trying pretty hard to cover their accents. It’s not intrusive to the game or anything but just something easily noticed. Units have their own little click phrases as other RTS’s do but nothing in the scripts are memorable.
Tryst isn’t a great game yet it isn’t a poor game; it just, well, exists. Thanks to the gameplay and user interface being so closely resembling StarCraft, it’s easily accessible, so without much training you can find a few hours of fun here but don’t expect anything to further the genre or work your brain.
Retails for: $24.99, recommended purchase price: $9.99
A download code was provided by PR for review purposes