Exclusive reveal of Tryst's Zali race

Tryst isn't about a rendezvous amid red satin and scented candles -- it's BlueGiant Interactive's upcoming real-time strategy game . Reading about it makes me loll my head like a flummoxed dog. Aside from the odd name, I wonder if it's really trying to invade StarCraft territory, or if that's only an illusion cast by its aesthetic. It's definitely a look-a-like, but at least one impression indicates that it's a faster game, where MOBA-style challenges mesh with resource management and base building.

Also, like many older RTSes, there are only two sides to the war. It's humans vs. the Zali, a race of super-evolved robot miners who, at some point, stormed out of the humanity fan club. We were offered the opportunity to reveal a briefing on the Zali race, and I thought it would be a good way to learn more about how Tryst will test our tactical brains in its own way.

Tryst's Ethos system splits the Zali's war plan into three paths. Choose the Path of Silence for stealth and mobility upgrades, the Path of Strife for direct attacks, or the Path of Preservation for a defensive approach. The paths aren't exclusive -- different units can be directed differently. Zali units' mechanical parts also allow them to merge with each other to become more powerful, or morph into defensive structures. That could be an interesting way to make sudden tactical shifts, such as by transforming an offensive force into a fortified base on the fly.

Below are the Zali's attributes according to BlueGiant:

  • Discipline & Dedication – Choose focus on a single Ethos path or disperse your available abilities out across multiple disciplines.
  • We are One – Merge different Zali units together to create more powerful machines of war.
  • No Right Path – Whether you choose to adhere to different Temples or commit completely to one; the abilities and units you choose to use will ensure that there's never just one way to play the Zali.
  • Never Back Down – Just because your enemy got the drop on you once, doesn't mean they can do it again. Specialized units and even more specific upgrades, ensure you have an answer for just about anything. The Zali are a race of counterunits waiting to be evolved.

Tryst is currently in closed beta, and its official site offers just a few more bites of information. I hope to speak with the developer about the game soon, but in the meantime, here are a couple more screens of the Zali in action. What do you think about Tryst's place in the robustly-occupied RTS landscape?

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.