Interceptor Entertainment wants to take you back to a time where twitch based first-person shooters were all the rage, rocket jumping was a must-have skill and difficulties were unrelenting. The old-school presentation has been flawlessly recreated, from the insane power-ups, the enemies and weapons, all of which shy away from the stale “cinematic” approach of modern-day shooters.
Utilizing the Unreal engine, Rise of the Triad’s exuberant color palette (seen in the later levels) is in stark contrast to the drab brown and green color palette that plagues many games using the same engine. Nowhere in the game will you find regenerating health or “quick-scooping”, but you will be hunting for colored keys and plenty of switches to activate. The single-player has a ton of collectibles and secret areas, although many lead to quick dead ends, requiring you to back track through the levels.
The two main weapons in the game, the pistol (or dual pistols) and the machine gun have unlimited ammo and no clip size, although both feature pointless, but satisfying reload animations. The gore which is a major bullet point for both the original and the remake consist of limbs flying off with blood gushing out like geysers from even the simplest of weapons. Ignoring the laws of physics “gibs” and random body parts will often clip through walls and environmental objects awkwardly, diminishing the “cool” factor of seeing countless soldiers explode by your hands. With a well placed rocket, eyes will slide down the screen and blood will rain down from the ceiling, drenching your weapons with the sweet red nectar.
Considering the speed of the game has you traversing through the levels at a blazing pace, the forced platforming sections and puzzles are tedious to a fault. Precise jumping in first-person shooters has never felt natural, which explains why you don’t see it games anymore. Checkpoints won’t grant full-health upon death and are far enough apart to become a hassle to reach, especially after completing a grueling jumping section followed by a wave of enemies firing rockets.
New to the remake, aiming down the sights can be used in both single-player and multiplayer, but don’t expect to use it much. I’ve never been one to tell someone they are playing a game wrong, but if you are relying on ADS you aren’t playing the game as intended. Considering the guns have unlimited bullets, precise shooting isn’t a necessity. On the downside, for a game that shouldn’t require a high-end PC to run, Rise of the Triad is plagued by a plethora of optimization issues and random glitches, such as falling through levels.
The 16-player multiplayer feels just as fast as the single-player, where twitch based skills are a must and rockets will be flying in every direction. The maps that have the popular dog power-up – turning players into an unstoppable Cujo – are currently the most popular. Expect to be killed almost instantly after spawning as you will spawn directly behind, in front or directly in the path of incoming missiles, as well as other players. The game modes consist of genre staples, spread across five maps in total: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. Knowing the map layouts and where the weapons spawn will help in the long run, otherwise expect to find your name at the bottom of the scoreboards. I have seen some players camp in the corners of maps working on their k/d (kill to death ratio) instead of trying to work as a team in Capture the Flag matches. What a shame.
If you made it this way into the review without immediately purchasing Rise of the Triad on Steam or your favorite digital platform (it’s moderately priced at $14.99), I should also mention future DLC will be free for the game. With 16 players all firing rockets at the same time, no matter the game mode things will be chaotic and rage worthy almost instantly. Word of advice, learn to rocket jump.
Note: The Rise of the Triad review was written based on the PC version of the game provided to us for review.