We’re currently in a generation where games are trying their hardest to be real; with Call of Duty this and Battlefield that it’s nice to find a gem that brings you back to where it all began. Back to a time when the penny sweet actually cost a penny and back to a time when a Freddo was only 10p. Rise of the Triad repeatedly hits that nail on the head with a swift kick to the balls.
Rise of the Triad began life as an expansion for Wolfenstein 3D. As development began to get deeper however, id Software pulled the plug and Rise of the Triad was born.
This is the 2013 remake of the game which was released in 1994 but unlike other remakes it doesnt feel like a remake. The game itself has no real plot, you take the role of a member of the High-risk United Nations Task-force or H.U.N.T. who have been sent in to investigate a deadly cult who have taken refuge in a monastery. After a 5 minute comic-book style cut scene which quite frankly doesn’t matter. The game begins.
The gameplay immediately throws you back to the 90s. I began with my Xbox controller in hand hoping for a comfortable journey and in all fairness to Apogee Software the game is compatible, what I didn’t take into account however was the ridiculously fast and sensitive controls. Unlike modern shooters which take pride in realism and making the player feel like they’re actually running; Rise of the Triad throws, spins, and launches you around the map with a single key press.
True to the original, the AI are as thick as the Priests Porridge you’ll be aimlessly searching for throughout the game. Despite their lack of intelligence however they sure have a good aim on them. Enemies from a fair distance away have pinpoint accuracy even with a pistol. This is one thing I found a little annoying about the game. The HUD itself is simple, much like modern shooters you’re made aware of which direction you’re shot from but it’s about as accurate as a blind darts player. I often found myself standing around for a few minutes trying to work out exactly where I’m being shot from.
The enemies themselves are like that myth about wasps releasing some sort of call for help as they die. Once you kill one, or have been spotted by one, the rest come runnin’. Thankfully though your pistol and sub-machinegun ammo is unlimited so you can happily fire away at your hearts content, that it unless one of the enemies come at you at warp speed and steal it from you. Yeah, that happens, it surprised me too.
Much like games of a similar nature your health doesn’t regenerate; something certain modern shooters seem to have overlooked – Call of Duty, I’m looking at you. This puts you in the mindset of searching every nook and cranny for some Monk Meal or Priest Porridge in order to regenerate your life which often leads to finding secret areas full of coins or secret, more powerful weapons. (that will most likely get pinched).
The game doesn’t take itself too seriously. Your character, whoever you choose, will often poke fun at the situation. There’s also some humour which is often repeated which does get pretty boring such as the belching and farting every time to pick up health – god mode is also pretty fun until it’s ruined by your characters incessant yawning.
Now at the time (1994) this game was probably pretty gory. Now however it’s just hilarious. A simple pistol round can apparently blow someone into pieces sending body parts and eyeballs everywhere. It almost become a sort of sick sport to see how much carnage you can create with a single RPG round. That’s not to say that it’s not gross, because it is, but it’s more Scary Movie gross than The Hills Have Eyes gross.
Within the game you earn multiplier bonuses for continuous kills which for me, don’t really amount to anything as you’re never really blasting through an endless stream of bad guys to get anything more than a X4 bonus. There’s also coins to collect too which add to your overall score so essentially they’re not really essential more an added extra for you to get a sense of achievement for completing a level with a massive six figure score.
What made Rise of the Triad great for me was the multiplayer. It was the first game back in the day which offered an 11 player deathmatch as well as 8 other multiplayer game modes. In the 2013 edition those same modes are available but the player count has been raised to 16. Probably the best thing about the multiplayer mode though? Bob. Bob is a skeleton. What’s better than running around a map with massive fire power as a freaking skeleton? What makes it better is the sound as Bob runs, it’s as if some ones clacking some chopsticks together. Oh man, it’s hilarious. There’s no skill needed whatsoever, it’s just hilariously fast paced and ridiculous.
Overall Rise of the Triad offers something lovers of old-school shooters don’t really get from games today. The 20 single player levels are about as linear as a hedge maze offering hours of game play, there’s some brilliant humour and the controls are mental. It does also get ridiculously hard the further you progress which is actually pretty refreshing. It’s a really enjoyable experience and something I’d recommend playing at least once.