The original Rise of the Triad was the quirky step-child of the first person genre when it was first released. Featuring complex level designs, advanced multiplayer deathmatch modes, and first person platforming, the game was an amped up, ridiculous version of what Wolfenstein 3D established.
And in many of these ways, the remake by Interceptor Entertainment does not disappoint.
Rise of the Triad is a ridiculous affair. Fighting off waves of cult members and nazi-esque soldiers, you’ll wield numerous rocket launchers, a possesed baseball bat, and even turn into a dog…all whilst propelling yourself through the air via the numerous jump platforms scattered throughout the environments.
The gameplay itself is fast and frantic, with your life often requiring the need for quick reflexes. Unlike modern games, there’s no hiding behind boxes in the hopes of sniping an enemy from afar. You simply charge, jump, and dodge, all whilst firing a rain of rockets at your enemies.
This frantic gameplay lends itself incredibly well to the multiplayer deathmatch modes, which recreate an area shooter experience I haven’t quite seen since UT99. While there are unfortunately only five multiplayer maps available now, Interceptor Entertainment is releasing a slew of free DLC in the future, including full mod/community map support.
Overall, Interceptor Entertainment has done a great job of recreating the experience of a mid-90’s FPS, which is all the more impressive as they are a small indie studio.
That said, the game is not without its flaws. Most notably, the AI in the singleplayer game is painfully mindless. Enemies won’t move, flank, or dodge, but simply continue to walk towards you and your hail of rockets. While this stays true to the AI of a 90’s FPS, it’s something that should have been left in the past.
The game also has it’s share of the occasional bug. I’ve gotten stuck on objects in the environment, seen models break during death animations, and even had the odd environmental object not trigger properly as I replayed a section. That said, none of these are truly game breaking, and are somewhat expected from a smaller indie affair.
Rise of the Triad is a gauntlet, seeking to punish you continuously as you progress. Flame walls, fire balls, spikes, and numerous pits will kill you on more than one occasion. There is no regenerating health, and no ability to quicksave between checkpoints.
The game will crush you, frustrate you, and make you turn it off on more than one occasion, because you just can’t face falling off those floating platforms one more time.
But then, I wouldn’t have it any other way.