Rise of the Triad | Indie Game Review

Interceptor Games brings back the 90s with asskicking music and gameplay in Rise of the Triad

Thanks to a kickstarter fundraiser, Interceptor games has revamped 1994s Rise of the Triad: Dark Water. The game ticks every box any lover of 90s nostalgia could ask for, but is it good enough to stand out in 2013?

On the one hand, Interceptor have faithfully recreated everything that made the 1994 title awesome. The game is an arena shooter in which you’ll find plenty of freedom to explore and to get lost. It’s a less streamlined affair than most modern shooters, where corridors direct you purposefully from one objective to another. This all makes for speedy action and a lot of replay value that will keep players hooked.

Rise of the Triads: It’s the 1990s all over again

Story certain isn’t one of Rise of the Triad’s finer points. You play one of five members of the High Risk United Nations Task Force. You’re sent on a mission to San Nicolas Island where you will investigate terrorist activities. The Triads, a group of terrorists, are plotting evil against Los Angeles and it’s up to you to stop them. This very typical story is told through graphic novels. It’s tripe and forgettable. But, to be fair, it’s probably not story that you’re interested in in a game like this.

One of the reasons why the 1994 release received a cult following was thanks to the playable character, each of whom had individual skills and traits. In Rise of the Triad you can play as LoreLei, Taradino, Doug and Ian, though further character maybe released in updates.

Playing as one of these characters you’ll get access to all sorts of weapons, ranging from explosives that wouldn’t be amiss in a Schwarzenegger movie from the 80s to magical staves. The weapons are ridiculous, but that’s all part of the fun.

An extremely irritating checkpoint system will leave you banging your head against a wall at times. But then, given the game’s soundtrack, perhaps a spot of headbanging was intended by the developer. You’ll need to plan ahead, but even when you do so some impossible obstacles and puzzles will still make sure you’re plenty aggravated from time to time.

On the positive side, I’m a big fan of the health. It doesn’t regenerate and every hit you take is going to matter in the long run. That means you need to have your wits about you. It makes you play better and gets you more into the game.  You will at least be able to pick up food that will give your health a lift.

Nazis and robots want you dead in Rise of the Triads

So, what about the enemies? They’re cliché-tastic. Hostile monks, Nazis and robots will all assault you. The Nazis are  nod to Wolfenstein, if you’re wondering.  The AI of the enemies is somewhat problematic. Some opponents are significantly more intelligent than others. I have to give shoutout to the enemies who roll out of the way only to fall off a ledge, whereupon they keep rolling ever onwards as they plummet. Genius. Other enemies will beg you for mercy, and some will simply not even know you’re there.

As for the graphics, Rise of the Triad uses Unreal Engine 3 but looks dated, kinda like an early 360 game. The levels look dull and the art lacks inspiration. The developers do plan to support the title through DLC. Hopefully this will help to improve things.

The standout element, at least for my money, has to be the multiplayer. You have to be precise and quick, the game requiring better reflexes than most. Every part of the campaign levels has been intelligently included in the multiplayer maps, making for some excellent carnage. It’s mostly the multiplayer that makes the game a winner, plus the fact that, as a 31 year old who’s sure to turn grey soon, I love anything that reminds of my younger days.

So, if you’re an old fart like me who loves nostalgia, or if you just want some shameless carnage, you’d do well to headover to Interceptor and take a look at Rise of the Triad.

OVERALL: **** out of 5.

Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.

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