Published on July 18th, 2012 | by CoreySA0
Summary: Dyad is original, a blast to play and a title that will bring me back to it time and time again.
Have you ever started a game or read an instruction manual that warned you of epileptic seizures? To be honest, even though most games warn me of the impending doom of light, I never really take them seriously. I am here to tell you that this warning is very much real while experiencing Dyad. It is one of the most flashy light shows I’ve ever experienced and although this is very much a game, I’d use the word experience first and foremost.
When I first experienced Dyad, I didn’t know what to think. Most games I play come after a long day at work or to wind down before bed. I tried Dyad while I was tired and it didn’t hit me. In fact, my first play session ended in me wondering what all the hype was about surrounding the title. Since I was reviewing the title, I knew I had to pick it up again and told myself I would give it a longer session and did so when I was fully awake. Boy what a difference a sleep makes. Dyad is something that requires your full attention and concentration. In fact, the game tends to put you in such a trance at times that I think I forgot to blink for minutes at a time.
The best way to describe Dyad is a mix between a racing title and games such as Tempest or Rez. When you first start out, the game is fairly simple – rotating around your tube attempting to hook together pairs of enemies to boost faster through the level. After that you’ll start to lance enemies which then shoot you through the space continuum while rapidly pushing you to the end of the level, causing both a lack of breathing and blinking through visceral overload and at times causing your brain to shut off completely. That only explains up to the fourth level.
One of Dyad’s best qualities is its ability to always introduce the user to something new and fresh. The game starts out so simple and the controls are intuitive and easy to use. Once you progress through Dyad’s 26 stages however, more unique features are opened up to the player and the game becomes more trance-like through its progression. There is always something to learn and master – a design choice that is so simple yet keeps you coming back for more and more.
Another fascinating feature of Dyad is its PSN trophy design choice. There are no trophies to collect in Dyad’s normal stages. Instead, there are trophy challenges for each stage that require an almost perfect play-through in a stage and comes with a separate challenge in order to acquire the trophy. It’s a genius choice because playing the stage sets you up for the trophy challenge. Each trophy challenge seems to have a solid amount of difficulty – not so easy to get after one or two tries but attainable after some practice and never frustrating to the point where you want to give up.
As I’ve mentioned before, Dyad is an experience that you totally lose your mind to. Once you ‘get it’, there is no other game that puts you into such a Zen-like focus. I think this is why I ended up loving Dyad so much. For me personally, life is busy. I have a little daughter, a full-time job, running websites and writing and community work for EA SPORTS. These days when I play games, my mind is always on something. This experience brought me somewhere different though. When I play Dyad, I’m in the experience – my mind on nothing else. Time slips by, no distractions and a feeling I can’t yet fully describe. I feel free.
The only real negative thing I can say about Dyad is that it won’t be for everyone. There are some that will play it for the first time and not fully understand it – something I struggled with early on, and there are some who will see it and it’ll fly under their radar. These are both huge mistakes. Dyad is original, a blast to play and a title that will bring me back to it time and time again.
Dyad knows exactly what it is and what it wants to be. It makes no mistake in trying to be something it isn’t and because of that it’s compelling and unlike anything else out on PSN right now. This is the type of experience that I’ll remember and brings a fresh feeling to an industry that seems bogged down with games that offer the same challenges and play experiences. Games like Dyad, Fez and Journey are some of the standout titles of 2012 so far and it is proof that the indie scene is here to stay and the future of our medium as a whole. If you have a PS3 and are looking for something new and challenging, I can’t recommend Dyad enough.
A copy of Dyad was provided by ][ Right Square Bracket Left Square Bracket for the purposes of this review.