Tryst Review (PC)
Your typical RTS games were once a staple in my gaming diet. From Dune 2 to Command and Conquer and then Total Annihilation, the genre advanced relatively quickly. Complexities were later added to the genre thanks to Warcraft 3 and later Starcraft. However In the 14 years since Starcraft was released I have grown, my gaming experiences have broadened and with that my expectations as a gamer have evolved. The RTS genre unfortunately has not. It has remained stagnant with very little innovation and regrettably Tryst is no exception.
Tryst, by BlueGiant Interactive, is a run of the mill RTS that fits snugly into the standard dimensions of the genre pigeon hole. There are no aspects to the game that would cause you to hesitate in defining it, no edges or protruding corners that would make this game stand out amongst the crowd. From the moment the game begins the player will know exactly what to expect and this is a great shame.
The single player campaign is extremely short. So short in fact that it can be completed in just a few hours. During this time players will face the usual RTS tropes of defending locations and locating allies. Building bases and destroying the enemy’s. There is nothing of note or any stand out moments in Tryst, no single instance where I was caused to pause and nod my head in satisfaction or marvel at a well constructed set-piece.
It is a great shame that while playing Tryst I found myself falling into a mindless trance. The breadcrumbs laid out before me, triggered each set piece with a casual disinterest that echoed my thoughts about the game.
The whole experience felt like an overbearing parent forcing two wildly opposing children to play with one another despite neither having the slightest interest in doing so. Tryst could not bother itself with providing an entertaining experience and as the player I could not find the interest to enjoy what was there.
The multiplayer is clearly where BlueGiant have focused their attention. Up to eight players can battle it out across varying maps using the two races available. The hazardous environments add an extra layer of strategic consideration when planning your plays, however the lack of playable races severally hampers any potential for unique battles. The power of the multiplayer experience lies in the community and I have to wonder if Tryst is what the RTS community want.
What could help Tryst become a wider phenomenon is the visuals. Unfortunately they are not particularly exciting. BlueGiant have done admirable work for such a small developer but the aesthetic quality cannot match games that are now considered old. Units have odd and unremarkable designs, their animations are stunted and uninteresting. Worst however is the sound effects and voice acting throughout which can best be described as comedic. It is hard to fear a unit when its attack animation sounds like an ADHD child playing out a one man war complete with watery “pew pew’s” and rocket sounds.
I find it extremely hard to recommend Tryst, not because it is an terribly bad game, but because it does not offer anything new. At its current price there are other RTS titles available such as Starcraft 2 or Red Alert 3 that are finely polished RTS games. If however you own all the seminal RTS titles and are looking for a quick genre fix then you won’t go far wrong with Tryst.
I was disappointed during my play through. When a small developer releases a game to compete against other high budget games of similar style, you would hope that they have approached their game with a vision that makes it unique. So why wasn’t Tryst something new and unique? Or even mildly, faintly, somewhat different. It is a question that by turns puzzled and then frustrated me throughout my play through. Due to Tryst’s shortcomings and its lack of originality I unfortunately have to award the game.
4 standard RTS units out of 10