I have had to stop and ask myself what year this was more than once lately. I recorded a Shadow Warrior video, have been singing the DuckTales theme song and now I am reviewing Rise of the Triad. When I first got into PC gaming, twitch first-person shooters were all the rage. Everyone knew Doom and Quake, but one of my favorites was a lesser-known frag-fest called Rise of the Triad. This Apogee-developed shooter mixed fast-paced combat with ridiculous powers and tons of gore. Nearly twenty years later, very little has changed, and I couldn’t be happier about that.
This reboot takes everything that made the original so memorable, and rekindles it in a shiny new package. Developer Interceptor has somehow kept the same look and feel while still bringing it into this generation. The graphics options are off the charts, with every little detail available for customization. This means I could run it on the simplest of laptops, or on my monster gaming rig at a glorious frame rate. This is all complimented by the fact that this game runs fast. I cannot stress just how much that word doesn’t describe RotT. I tried playing with a 360 controller, and that simply isn’t possible.
Twitch shooters have become somewhat of a dying breed. The imposters have been attempting to capture the Quake 3/Triad style for decades to no avail. Interceptor has delivered that with this reboot. The game moves so fast, that I died constantly. Even on easy the campaign had me resetting my progress over and over again, which is where one of my few issues comes into play. The checkpoint system is horrendous. Dying almost always results in replaying nearly the entire level. This gets frustrating at times, but thankfully it dumped me back into the action so fast, that I didn’t have time to stay angry.
Much like the rest of the package, the story of the campaign is a bit insane. Players take on the role of a member of H.U.N.T. (High Risk United Nations Task Force) each with their own unique play style. The story has the team heading out to San Nicolas Island to take down the Triad. Typical 90s FPS narrative fodder, but it lays groundwork for plenty of gibbing.
One thing is apparent when playing the campaign mode; it is all about classic style. Time, secrets and completion percentage are the name of the game. Anyone who thinks modern games have hidden areas has never played one of these classic titles. Every level of every episode of RotT is littered with secret places to explore. Most of them house very little, while others consist of hilarious Easter Eggs and goodies. Levels are designed like playhouse mazes just begging for players to explore them. Collecting coins, secrets and just random encounters make each trek through the levels pure bliss. This is classic game design at its finest.
That is it though, there is nothing secret about this formula. Guns are plentiful, the player’s character is a Swiss Army Knife when it comes to carrying weapons; hell, there are multiple types of rocket launchers in the first level. It is all about picking up guns, aiming and destroying everything that stood in front of me. It was glorious.
Out of the box Triad ships with five maps and two modes, and somehow that is enough. In an age where games are packed with pointless ways to keep players coming back, RotT manages to do that with its game play. Those not accustomed to aiming within a micro-second will take some adjusting, but dying 600 times an hour never deterred me from coming back. I use to thrive on games like this. Memorizing maps and just enjoying the kills. This is a return to form. Deathmatch and Capture the Flag are the foundations, and Interceptor has delivered them perfectly.
For those wanting more take comfort in knowing that the developers are getting the tools into the modders hands now. New maps, modes and who knows what else is certainly on its way. This game is completely open to mods, plus did I mention it is DRM-free?
Rise of the Triad tugs at my nostalgia a little too much. It is what it advertises itself to be, and that is a twitch shooter with a ridiculous setting and tons of chaos. If any of that sounds like your idea of a good time then why haven’t you bought this game yet. At $14.99 it is perfect for gamers that cut their FPS teeth on games like the original and others like it. Interceptor has done an amazing job at recreating one of my fondest memories of PC gaming.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.
- Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77I Deluxe
- Liquid Cooling: Origin Frostbyte 120 Liquid Cooling
- Processor: Intel i7 3770K with Professional Origin PC Overclocking
- Memory: Corsair 8GB 1600 Mghz Vengeance
- Graphics Card: EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670