It has been handed to me to guide you through the awe and wonder of the real time strategy game Tryst, which hales from the indie game company BlueGiant. Our adventure takes place deep in outer space on the mining planet Ishtonia. The planet’s inhabitants have been warring for over a decade: a war between the mining company Rhyntech and the criminal rebel outlaws. The arrival of the alien species known as the Zally brought a worldwide ceasefire. But it didn’t last long. A new war started, this time between the Zally and the human race, when it was discovered that the Zally had been researching using the mined substance known as Lowhum and making it into a weapon. Your journey begins as Oliver Petrovich, son of Rhyntech’s President and the democratically elected president of the planet. Your ship has been shot down while on your way to a summit meeting to discuss how to deal with the Zally. You must fight your way to the summit meeting, only to find your father has been killed, and now you must lead the humans of Ishtonia against the horde of Zally.
The artists took a real dark gothic approach to creating this game, using the dark terrain while making the surrounding environment colorful, causing you to pause on your journey to stare at a strange writhing red thing wondering whether it’s a plant or an animal: a nice contrast in aesthetics. Whilst the graphics of the actual gameplay were very well drawn and showed amazing detail for this style of game, I felt that the cutscenes and cinematics left much to be desired. They made use of a motion comic style, making me feel as if the designers tackled cut scenes more like a small side project. It was difficult to really appreciate what was happening in the story.
The voice acting would have you believe you’re watching an old Russian film save for a certain character named Bose, who based on his accent, might well have fallen straight off a pirate ship. Not forgetting some very optimistic medics who really know how to brighten up a room: a tricky task considering the severity of Russian accents!
The entire mission depends on your success in the previous – you usually bring the soldiers you had with you when you completed the last mission, making you appreciate how effective your strategies have been. The game forces you to think of better ways to use your soldiers so as not to go with the tasteless approach of sending waves upon waves of foot soldiers to accomplish your mission. Annoyingly, you’re forced to see all the possible units in the game, despite not being able to use them. It takes away that giddy feeling I would always get when I discovered I had gotten a new soldier or transportation. Sadly within this game you soon discover all your units, and it’s not hard to make a pretty accurate guess at what they do – though it still leaves you with the suspense of finding out when you will be able to use these units. The maps tend to be linear, rarely allowing you to deviate from a certain path, but this is counteracted by the use of aircraft which don’t have to follow the trail, and are welcome to freely move: a useful tactic in a battle, save for the lack of carrying capacity (which can cause a big damper on battle plans). You can feel the creators made the game so it gives you a sense of urgency, and this is mainly prevalent with the dealing in time limits while still allowing you to build an army of sorts. Having said that, you can still spend a couple hours on a single mission. This process is considerably slowed down due to your need for ore and energy needed to create your units. Your supply of ore is unlimited: a welcome feature, as you don’t have to waste time creating scavengers and miners to get your supplies. The only drawback comes from your mining machine, which can only draw so much ore at a time, leaving you vulnerable to enemy attack.
I found the controls for this game to be simple yet complicated. It sometimes felt like you needed three hands in order to take full use of the gameplay. You can make decisions and control units through the keyboard, but you still need the mouse to move them which can cause a delay, and this becomes a hassle when trying to have your soldiers multitask. Every time you move your soldiers you get the classic conformation from your men depending on who you’re controlling, which, in my opinion, can be quite annoying.
In conclusion, the game is decent. The environments were very well done and the voice acting made you appreciate how serious a war can be. However, the controls did not come off as user friendly, requiring you to constantly switch between keyboard and mouse. Besides Bose the characters of the game were all very similar and predictable. There’s also no depth to the characters, yourself, and your purpose seems vague, bordering on non-existent. The game does have its relative merits, but overall I wouldn’t say it’s worth a purchase.
- Interesting and visually nice environments
- Good quality voice acting
- Forces you to think about strategy
- Poor controls
- No real sense of purpose or depth to characters
- Poor cutscenes
Tryst is out now on PC (reviewed).
Review copy kindly provided by Evolve PR.