Review: Rise of the Triad

Rise of the Try Hard

Having never played Rise of the Triad, I went into this game with fresh eyes hoping for something out of the ordinary. I certainly got something different than I’m used to, in the sense that this is extremely old school with a shiny new coat of paint. Rise of the Triad is a game that misses the mark, much like you will, over and over again in its awkward platforming.

Rise of the Triad
PC

Developer: Interceptor Entertainment
Publisher: Apogee Software

Released: July 31, 2013
MSRP: $14.99

A comic book-style cutscene introduces what little story there is. A team of five operatives, of various genders and races, are on a boat going to investigate a cult that is located on an island not far from LA. They get attacked and crash land on said island, and then have to shoot their way through bullet sponges to get back to civilization and put an end to this cult.

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While the story is lacking, the graphics are nothing to scoff at. You’ll find yourself in castles fighting hellish battles with demons, all the while marveling at the awesome lighting and textures. Bullets can be heard zipping by, and explosions rumble intensely, making most large scale battles exhilarating.  Plus the ridiculous amounts of gibs, gore and body parts is quite entertaining in a sadistic kind of way. The music is inconsistent, but every now and then I found myself enjoying one of the re-imagined old-school tracks. While it is easy on the eyes, Rise of the Triad isn’t easy on the hands… or patience.

While it is easy on the eyes, Rise of the Triad isn’t easy on the hands…or patience.

Rise of the Triad is very, very fast — old-school fast, even — and players who have played the Unreal Tournament games will feel at home, but those used to more modern first-person shooters will feel nauseated. Oftentimes, walking into a room leads to a barrage of soldiers, where the best option is to run and gun mindlessly, instead of trying to come up with a well-thought-out strategy. After clearing rooms of the bullet-sponge enemies, make sure to pick up colored keys to open locked doors because this old-school gameplay mechanic is still in place.

Movement in the game is extremely fast, which is rather problematic when the game forces you to do various platforming sections, bouncing off various launch pads and avoiding spinning bladed booby traps. Whether playing with a keyboard or an Xbox 360 controller, platforming is frustrating and just not enjoyable. Speaking of the Xbox 360 controller, the default layout is decent, but the forward movement would often get stuck, causing my character to go too far, often falling to their death. Movement also makes multiplayer too fast-paced for my tastes, though veteran PC players may feel more at home.

On top of that, bosses are extremely frustrating, often having multiple forms and taking intense amounts of bullets, whilst being able to one-hit kill you. Death in the game is especially punishing as checkpoints are few and far between, often causing you to replay nearly half of a level.

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Score: 4.5/10 – Review Scale

Rise of the Triad is too old school for its own good with super-fast movement, run and gun, keys to open wide garage-like doors, and platforming that requires precision. Having never played the original, I don’t have any stake in the game from a nostalgic standpoint while others might, so take that into consideration. In its current state it was a fun temporary distraction, but I don’t see myself coming back for more anytime soon. Unless you’re a hardcore fan of old-school first-person shooters, I’d suggest a pass on this one.

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