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Rise of the Triad (Video Game Review)

Rise of the Triad reimagines the classic game of the same name with all new graphics and some new features for the aged title. While the game may still be enjoyable for fans of the original game, they will likely be the only gamers to enjoy a title that is full of nostalgia and little else. The game boasts enhanced graphics, only the game still looks bad when compared with any nearly game from the current generation. The game was a great title 20 years ago, but few things have changed in the remake, so there are plenty of glitches and bugs, a poor excuse for AI, a grueling and unenjoyable difficulty and numerous other problems with the game. There is some fast paced shooting and some neat special abilities that shine in multiplayer, but there are plenty of other enjoyable games on the market that offer similar, but more entertaining, old school experiences.

Rise of the Triad allows players to play as one of several operatives from the special task force known as H.U.N.T. (High Risk Nations Task Force). Each character comes with different statistical traits that amounts to little more than increased or decreased speed and endurance. The player will battle through more than 20 stages spread across the game's 4 chapters. The team is deployed to the fictional San Nicolas Island to find and stop a dangerous cult from destroying Los Angeles. The game does little to explain itself though, and the only dialogue heard throughout the game comes from the surrender of enemy soldiers while in combat or the character's acknowledgement of an important event, such as finding a secret area. The lack of a storyline shouldn't be a problem for fans of the original, but the game offers little reason to continue fighting beyond seeing the final credits roll at the end

Old school shooting is on full display in Rise of the Triad. The action is fast-paced almost to the point of being too difficult to control at times. The classic shooting comes with the original game's poor AI though, so you'll often notice enemies standing in place while firing and rarely moving even when they are outgunned. Other problems arise from the game's unforgiving difficulty that will see you die after taking only a few shots and a poor checkpoint system that typically sends you back to the beginning of a stage upon death. There are plenty of coins scattered around stages that can be collected for high scores and unlockables, and there are some hidden areas littered around stages that emit old school vibes as well. There are a nice variety of weapons scattered throughout the game, and some cool abilities that could easily be an inspiration for similar attacks featured in the BioShock series help the game from being a disaster, but the single player campaign is still the weakest part of the new title.

Multiplayer offers a few more redeeming qualities in Rise of the Triad; poor AI is replaced by intelligent players most of the time. There are a variety of game modes that includes classics like Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and others and some rarely seen modes in the shooting genre to boot. The various characters return for the game's multiplayer, and both teams have access to roughly the same characters by statistical values. Some other cool features in multiplayer include an ability to make custom maps and items in the Steam Workshop and an ability to play offline multiplayer matches like it's 1994. The lone few bright spots that Rise of the Triad offer still aren't enough to save the game, and though the game's multiplayer is its best trait, it doesn't provide enough entertainment to make this game worth a buy.

Rise of the Triad's presentation is easily the biggest flaw the game has. A remake is typically created to present a polished and fine looking game for the current generation of games at it's release, but Rise of the Triad looks like it is ready for another remake already! The game is built on the Unreal Engine 3, but it's difficult to see how with ugly character models, a poor selection and usage of color to decorate the game's environments and glitches that happen far too often to be forgiven. Interceptor may have left the game in this poor state to capture some of the classic memories players had with the original, but an ugly game is still just that no matter how you spin it. The characters' limited selection of dialogue is more often annoying than humorous during the game, and other dreadful sound effects are featured in the game as well. The game's new heavy metal soundtrack couples with the game's toughness to encourage controller throwing more than it makes you want to rock out as well. If you're still interested in what Rise of the Triad, there are some pretty good Steam features included with the game including the previously mentioned Steam Workshop and Steam Trading Cards and Leaderboards.

Rise of the Triad might have been a good game back in 1994, but its asking price of $14.99 is simply too much for a game that looks and plays like it is still from the 90s. Fun multiplayer modes, an ability to turn on cheats and some other nice features aren't enough to save the game from itself. Dying and restarting a stage over time and time again is just not fun at all, and a game that looks this terrible and plays this poorly needs to be taken out back and put down rather than glorified. If you're a fan of old school shooters, you'll likely have a much better time with more recent remakes such as Doom 3 BFG or the Serious Sam Collection. Enjoy some fun shooting games this weekend, just don't attempt to do so with Rise of the Triad!

Rise of the Triad is now available exclusively for PC and can be purchased for $14.99. For more information on the game, check out the official Rise of the Triad website.

Game Features:
  • Online Multiplayer
  • 20+ Campaign Levels
  • Steam Trading Cards
  • Online Leaderboards
  • Steam Achievements

  • Game Information:
    Developer: Interceptor Entertainment
    Publisher: Apogee Software
    Available exclusively for PC (reviewed)
    Release Date: July 31, 2013
    Score: 3 out of 10

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