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PC Game Review: Rise Of The Triad (2013)

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So it seems it's time for the second part of my Apogee/3D Realms/Slipgate Studios retrospective (I swear I wasn't planning on reviewing their games so close to each other, I just happened to have their games on my backlog for a while and finally completed them...) And today we're looking at none other than Rise Of The Triad. Not the 1994 game (which I probably SHOULD look at at some point come to think of it...) but the 2013 remake.


The original Rise Of The Triad is a 1994 first person shooter with a somewhat interesting history. It was originally meant to be a sequel to Wolfenstein 3D using the same engine (albeit heavily modified to allow for a lot of new features), until id Software decided to part ways with Apogee and release their next shooter DOOM on their own, and since they didn't want a Wolfenstein title to steal DOOM's thunder, they denied Apogee to use the IP. However it didn't stop Apogee and the developer "Developers Of Incredible Power" (DIP) from changing the game into Rise Of The Triad, and without the Wolfenstein IP they were free to do as they wanted with the game. It ended up becoming very similar to Wolfenstein 3D in some ways, still focusing on a very arcady experience with points, stuff to collect and maze-like level design.


Scott Miller announced in 2009 that the game was being remade, with the game being revealed at the 2012 Quake Con, developed by Interceptor Entertainment, a virtual development studio with members all over the world, and on a very small budget. In 2013 the game was finally released, with the original game being released earlier in the year in the Apogee Throwback Pack, and I was probably one of the first people to buy it (not the throwback pack, the remake, although I bought the throwback pack as well). So as you can imagine it's taken a while for me to actually get around to writing a review even though I had always intended to do so. So let's just pretend it's 2014 again and I've played the game extensively (you don't have to pretend that last part actually considering I have played it extensively...)



There's nothing quite like gibbing an enemy to the point their eyeballs hit your screen.


The story is practically identical to the original ROTT. A team of four mercenaries (the so-called HUNT team) is stranded on an island following their boat being destroyed by enemies. They soon learn that the Triad is planning to nuke Los Angeles and goes on a mission to stop them from doing so. Truth to be told the game doesn't really need a story and it's quickly put to the wayside so you might as well just ignore the whole thing. It's pretty much just a setup for the game.


ROTT is truly more about the gameplay than the story, and there is a lot to say about it. To put it short, the remake includes practically every gameplay element from the original and expands upon it in some way. For instance, like in the original you can gib enemies and paint the level with their innards, although here you can even shoot limbs of their corpses. And like in the original you have a ton of explosive weapons to use, although they have been upgraded with some alternate firing modes and the game even includes a shotgun with an explosive alternate firing mode. The game also retains all the powerups (and power-downs) from the original ROTT, including a literal GOD mode that turns you into a GOD with the power to practically disintegrate enemies. And the opposite DOG mode that turns you into... well... a dog. You also have a powerup that give you wings, allowing you to defy gravity like an angel of questionable one-liners and explosives. My favourite has to be the mushroom power-down which essentially does nothing but shake your screen around annoyingly. You also have coins to collect which add to your score (which increases a lot more on higher difficulties), giving the game the same arcade-like feel of the original and it's really satisfying to 100% complete a stage, getting all the coins, secrets and killing every single enemy. Prepare to have your OCD triggered though... All in all though, the game really has a sense of humor about its gameplay and the lack of seriousness it treats itself with is both odd, quirky and enjoyable. To say this game is unique is probably an understatement...



He lost his head.



God mode. Literally.


Though it's not really all fun and games at times. The jump pads and platforms for one is a relic from the 90's that in my opinion should've stayed buried. Every time these things pop up in a level you KNOW they are going to be a pain in the ass and completely stall the flow of the game for a solid hour. First person platforming, especially with these freaking things is always promising a bad time, making it more of a chore to play the game at times. And it wouldn't be so bad if the game didn't expect you to use these in practically every single level. I've definitely had some extremely rage-inducing moments in this game with the jump pads and platforms and it's not challenging as much as it is frustrating.


And the game doesn't really run as well as you could hope either, even with the latest patch. While it does run acceptably most of the time, at some times the framerate will suffer a bit, especially with stuff like PhysX turned on. It's no big deal but it does have an impact on the overall experience, especially coupled with relentless jump pad sections.



Ever had a sniper duel with rocket launchers? Well you kinda have to in ROTT considering there just are no snipers...


So it's kind of hard to make up my mind on whether I enjoy the game or not. Because at most times it is incredibly fun and while some may say it feels outdated, it definitely feels like it exists in a universe of its own. And it feels all delightfully oldschool with tons of secrets and easter eggs, fast paced combat and with just enough modern sensibilities to make it feel fresh. For instance you can reload your weapons, even though you have infinite ammo. Yeah I don't really get that either but I am thankful as I kind of have a reload itch in me that I appreciate getting scratched.


It also helps the game is rather gorgeous to look at for a low budget game. The levels are fairly atmospheric and using the Unreal engine to its full potential, this allows for the game to look really good, especially on max settings. It is kind of weird to see such high detail graphics on levels with such a retro design though. But it kind of just adds to the strangeness of the whole experience.


The soundtrack is also really good, consisting of some themes from the original game remixed by Andrew Hulshult and he does a really good job retaining the original themes and riffs while expanding on them and giving them more of a rock feel. The sound effects are also really beefy and I love the inclusion of some of the sounds from the original game. Overall no complaints other than that the voice acting does sound a bit off at times, probably because some of the voice actors were literally parts of the team. But it does give the game a certain charm, much like a b-movie and you can tell people are giving their best when doing their roles.



The game features no shortage of explosive weapons including this lovely heat-seeking missile.





So all in all I definitely recommend giving the remake of ROTT a try if you are into oldschool shooters. It fills a certain nieche all of its own and there's simply nothing like it out there. The game is simply LUDICROUS! And that's why it's awesome.


STORY: 8/10



SOUND: 9/10




Source: http://alyxxgameroom.blogspot.no/2018/03/pc-game-review-rise-of-triad-2013.html

Game developments at http://nukedprotons.blogspot.com

Check out my music at http://technomancer.bandcamp.com

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