Rise of The Triad Review

Rise of The Triad Review

Some games want to challenge the player, to make them feel emotional. Some games want to answer the question of “can video games be art?” And some games, like Rise Of The Triad, say “f**k that, let’s have some fun.”

Rise Of The Triad is a remake of the ’90s cult hit of the same name. At its very core, the game is a ’90s-esque first-person shooter in both its gameplay and attitude, and this isn’t a bad thing by any definition. Fancy cinematic sequences, quick-time events, and a grounded story are all thrown out in favor of fast-paced action, big guns, and cheesy one-liners, bringing the genre back to what it once was.

The singleplayer proportion of Rise Of The Triad is one of the most enjoyable, yet challenging, experiences of the year. In terms of design, levels have a distinct old-school feel to them thanks to various secret areas, weapon placements, and shortcuts to be found. The design of each map feels like a hand-crafted product with attention paid to each nook and cranny; this is especially true in levels that consist purely of puzzles and pitfalls.

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Elsewhere, in the gameplay department. Rise of the Triad is fast, intense, and full of rocket jumps resulting in hideous smirks being slapped on the faces of players. A scoring system encourages the player to explore each level in order to find various methods of finishing it in the most efficient way–assuming the player is after a high score, of course. Rise Of The Triad doesn’t force the player to try and rack up a score, but that’s where the most fun can be found.

Rise of The Triad has a refreshing approach to weaponry; bigger is simply better and often more insane. The weapons on offer are over-the-top tools of destruction that produce a blood-stained spectacle that is often hilarious to behold. Modern video games contain maybe one or two big weapons, whereas Rise of The Triad is full of them–and it’s wonderful.

Also, power ups make a welcome return to a genre that has all but forgotten about them. There are one or two power ups that make the player feel untouchable, while others create such an hilarious impact that it has to been so be believed.

But the question is, how long will you be experiencing all of these hilarious shenanigans? Well, the singleplayer campaign is a pretty decent length, coming in at around 6-7 hours with countless more on offer for those seeking to perfect their scores. The story may be lacking somewhat, but this is more than forgivable given the nature of the game. For instance, there is a decent amount of humor embedded at the heart of the campaign, with various cheeky one-liners and jokes–as well as some fantastic Easter eggs and references–thrown in to make the story’s failings less of a concern.

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Away from the singleplayer. Rise of the Triad has a nostalgia-infused multiplayer. In an age of multiplayer being populated with perks, weapon sets, and custom bits and bobs, Rise Of The Triad rolls things back to its classic roots. Maps force players to keep on their toes, and to keep them moving in order to hunt down their enemies, and also to command the map via weapon spawns and power ups. It’s a nice change to play a game that comes down to skill and reaction strength rather than relying on knowledge of the best setups and killstreaks to succeed. It’s because of this that it’s hard not to jut smile when getting in the midst of the action in a full deathmatch server.

One of the nicest features of Rise Of The Triad‘s multiplayer is the inclusion of CLASSIC capture the flag. When I say “classic,” I mean no modernized rule sets, no stalemates, and no camping–just straight up CTF paradise.

Elsewhere, the game’s other multiplayer modes on offer are various tweaks on deathmatches, all of which are insanely fun. Better still, the maps feel like they were designed by a team who actually appreciates multiplayer games of yesteryear, increasing the fun to be had as a result.

516c35e8cdc90Rise Of The Triad may come with a cheap price tag of £11.99, but that doesn’t mean it skimps on its production value: Unreal Engine 3 is put to good use, with environments coming off as detailed and well lit; character models are solid and match their environments, even if their only purpose is to be eventually blown up; and animations are decent enough, even with a few bugs, albeit humorous ones, sprouting up here and there.

In the soundtrack department, Rise of the Triad is nothing short of awesome, with its glorious guitar rifts and drum sections being particularly impressive. It’s a modern take on the ’90s Rise Of The Triad soundtrack, and it works perfectly. On top of that, the soundtrack allows the player to replay levels numerous times while still enjoying the tracks attached to each level, never once feeling repetitive. At times there’s almost a synergy going on between the pace of the gameplay and the tempo of the track that’s playing, resulting in an enthralling experience.

Rise Of The Triad is one of the most refreshing video game experiences of this year so far. Its attitude is something to admire, its gameplay is something to adore, and it’s faced-paced twitch-reaction nature may not be to everyone’s immediate taste, but it will surely lure in anyone who gives it time. It’s hard to see anyone not producing a smile or two while playing through Rise of the Triad‘s brilliant singleplayer and multiplayer. And for the price, it’s hard not to recommend Rise of The Triad to absolutely everyone.

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But there clearly hasn’t been enough awesome already, because Rise Of The Triad is an even sweeter deal considering the fact that the game is 100% DRM-free, 100% moddable (with a toolkit coming soon), and free downloadable content has been promised in the future. This is a rare thing indeed in the modern market.

However, no game is perfect, but fortunately the only issues Rise Of The Triad suffers from are a few bugs and glitches. There is, of course, the potential problem of the game being seen as  too niche, but this is more of a problem with the modern-day video game player than anything else.

There’s a clear message at the heart of Rise Of The Triad, and it’s a message that has seemingly been forgotten by some developers and players alike. It’s the message that video games are supposed to be fun. No gimmicks, no cheap elements, no modern over-used tricks–just pure fun. Rise Of The Triad is an utterly unmissable slice of nostalgia that reminds us all why we liked video games in the first place, and it comes with the utmost recommendation.

Sean Halliday


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