Tryst is an RTS game from Blue Giant Interactive, an ambitious team who have decided to take on two of the most popular competitive games of today, League of Legends and Starcraft 2. The plan was to successfully mix them together in an attempt to create something incredible, but unfortunately Tryst comes across as more of a jack of all trades, and a master of none.
When creating Tryst, Blue Giant were aiming to achieve a balance, one between the depth and resource building found in games like Starcraft 2 and the high, out of base action found in games like League of Legends. Not only is that a monumental challenge in itself, but the team were trying to achieve this in twelve months, where typical development cycles for games like this takes years.
The game takes place on a planet known as Ishtonia IV, where both human and alien races are looking for resources. After initially setting up a peace between the races, tensions build, and a war breaks out between us and them. The games beginning takes place just as this happens placing you in the centre of a fight for survival.
This is all explained to you in the intro cinematics for the game, there are 3 different videos you can view upon entering the game. Each gives you an idea of what has gone on beforehand, and introduces you to some of the characters in the game. The Intro sequences are well written and are informative, but some of the animations in these scenes feel a little wooden and basic.
The factions available in the game are the human and alien races. The humans are your very typical affair of building structures, like barracks and command centres, and training troops or creating the various vehicles you can use. The alien race, known as the Zali, play differently from your standard RTS game faction. They rely on building smaller units, then either sacrificing those to make structures or stronger units. The Zali by far are the most interesting race to play if you are spending any time in Tryst. The use of a faith mechanic, meaning you have 3 faith points you can spend in up to 3 forms of faith, means that you can really be diverse with the way you play the faction.
Campaigns in RTS games are always a challenge. The whole premise of an RTS being about base building, researching tech and training units it is hard to turn that into a compelling story. Tryst confirms this by falling short in just about every way to make the campaign work. Missions are uninspiring and without direction. I recall a mission where the game instructs you to build the beginnings of a base and build 5 troops, at this point you are given the ok to start completing the objective when actually at that point you are severely underpowered to take on the rest of the mission. During the same mission whilst you are completing objectives there are endless waves of enemies distracting you from what the mission is actually there for. You spend more time mopping up than you do learning story or reason for these events in the first place.
There is also the on and off voice acting that makes the characters flat and uninteresting. A mixed array of stereotypical characters with does not help this either. The campaign simply feels rushed and not properly thought out nor given the effort required to make a game like Tryst become something better.
To make up for the shoddy quality of the campaign the multiplayer has to be something spectacular, and it simply isn’t. Drawing influence from games like League of Legends hasn’t given the game an incredible new layer, rather more of an identity crisis. The multiplayer in this game isn’t varied in the great sense of how other games in the genre have incredible meta game or dynamic situations. Tryst seems confused on how it wants players to play. Encouraging players to build separate units through the games tech system then explore the map would be a lot more entertaining if there was more out there than resource points. Yet the game has a solid base building element, meaning the game encourages you to step away from the strong RTS elements and into the weak MOBA ones instead.
The multiplayer can be played like your standard RTS but that simply doesn’t stand up well enough against other games on the market. The main issue with Tryst is that anything new it brings feels weak and poorly implemented. The classic example of this is the A.R.M tech tree the game has for the units, the idea is to create units with all different arrays of skills and use a few of them to take to the battlefield. The system is confusing and unexplained and ultimately doesn’t seem to make the ‘heroes’ that this system was meant to create.
The goal when Blue Giant set out to create Tryst was to create an RTS with MOBA elements, what they succeeded in doing was building a hybrid between the two which heavily borrows from strong games in both genres, but ultimately executes itself poorly and therefore fails to create much enjoyment. At the £19.99 price tag I strongly recommend investing your time and money elsewhere.