Rise of the Triad – Review

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Platform | Release Date
PC | July 31, 2013
Developed by Interceptor Entertainment
Published by Apogee

The Pitch:

Apogee Software and Interceptor Entertainment proudly present the rebirth of the cult-classic first-person shooter, “Rise of the Triad”. Bigger, better and more ludicrous than ever before. The H.U.N.T returns with a full single-player campaign, a fully featured multiplayer experience and so much more.

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Rise of the Triad isn’t the only old franchise getting a rebirth thanks to the will of independent developers. Crowdsourcing and ease of access to quality development tools is making it all the more viable to blow the dust off and try again. That being said, ROTT‘s route to market is still more than a little bit unusual. Developed by a “virtual studio”, the game is a labour of love for a team spread across the globe.

My big worry was that this would lead to a fractured game. Thankfully, most parts of the puzzle fit, with visual and sound design being consistent throughout. The weird, hyper-Nazi aesthetic has been given a new coat of paint and feels as bizarre now as it did when the original game was released. As a portfolio piece, ROTT speaks well for the folks who worked on how it looks and feels.

rott5Unfortunately, the quality of the level design is a lot less even and lacks cohesion. There’s a distinct ‘mod’ feeling to a lot of the stages, with individual designers often mangling the limited tool set to fit various gimmicks. As a fast-paced first person shooter, especially one that plays up to nostalgia, ROTT almost gets away with it, but the end result is too much of a rollercoaster ride. At its height, the game’s levels work with the abilities of its super fast, super jumping protagonists to serve as exciting jungle gyms. At its bottom, the player is left to rattle around big empty halls, suffer bland corridors, or endure endless trial and error thanks to very limited checkpoints.

The core mechanics – frenetic fun to play around with – provide the game’s saving grace. There’s a wide selection of weapons, each with their own pros and cons, and the constant presence of collectable coins gives ROTT a very traditional game-y feel. Tired of sitting through cutscene after cutscene? So am I. ROTT gave me something I could pick up and play, and while whatever I was served might have been a bit of a lucky dip, it was an amazingly refreshing experience all the same.

rott3Ever stuck a coin in a capsule machine? That’s what the single-player portion of Rise of the Triad is like. Sometimes you get the gold plated super-rare figure. Sometimes you get the shoddy repaint.

To go along with the sometimes excellent, sometimes endurable single-player, there’s a solid offering of traditional multiplayer modes. Networking is stable, and none of the pace is lost. The world of competitive online shooters might have moved on from the era of twitch, but for a game that only costs $15, this multiplayer offering is well developed and fun.

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There’s a set of characters to get to know, each offering slightly different benefits in the areas of speed, health and so forth. To be honest, that’s about as deep as things get here. But I don’t levy that as a criticism. Rise of the Triad is worth a gamble, as long as you’re OK with the fact that not every spin of the blood and gib soaked wheel is going to be a win.

About Martin Perry

Martin Perry is Reviews Editor for Splitkick.
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