Rise of the Triad Hands-on PAX Prime 2012 Preview -- Old-School Twitch Shooter ActionBy Stephen Johnson - Posted Sep 14, 2012
Older game-heads will no doubt remember 1995's Rise of the Triad fondly. Developed by pioneers Apogee, when it was released, Rise of the Triad was groundbreaking for allowing up to 11 (!) players to battle at once in multiplayer, as well as in a variety of game modes including arguably the first capture-the-flag game ever offered in a first-person shooter. So there's a definite legacy with the new Rise of the Triad, but it's a legacy of lunacy. Game is just cray.
Wisely, the overall concern here seems to be with keeping the fast-paced, twitch-gaming feel of the original shooter intact; the levels are familiar as are the mechanics, weapons and action. The graphics are updated for the present time by running the whole thing on the Unreal Engine 3, so it looks a hell of a lot better than the mid 90s release. The textures are detailed, the character skins are distinctive, and the gibs and blood flow in satisfactory manner.
As for gore, the Rise of the Triad's "situational injuries" are in place, so a well-placed shot will blow off someone's arm, just as you'd expect. Wingin' a guy is another crazy, throwback mechanic that kind of rules.
Rise of the Triad's multiplayer is all about fun, not strategy, seriousness, or sanity, but that's its charm. It features the old-school, bodies-exploding-everywhere mayhem and destruction that you might not even realize you miss, but that you'll love when you see it in action. The level we played was set in a Nazi castle (video game Nazis just love castles) loaded with weird weapons, launch pads, and more. There's no place like this on earth; it's the kind of locale you'll only find in a game.
Speaking of weapons, the Excalibat, RotT's most iconic weapon, is back. This baseball bat features a gruesome looking eye and can function as a killer melee weapon, as well as firing off rounds of flaming, killer baseballs at any of your opponents. I know that doesn't make sense, but flying across the map from a jump-pad while raining baseball-death upon the unlucky people below is uniquely satisfying in an old-school way that you might have forgotten about (or never experienced the first time 'round).
Same goes for the flame-wall weapon. Set it off and walls of flame consume your opponents. And then there's the rocket launchers. There are rocket launchers everywhere, and the ensuing rocket tag gameplay is super-fun. You'll quickly abandon bullets in favor of these more esoteric, damage-dealing weapons.
If the finished Rise of the Triad lives up to the promise of the multiplayer preview at PAX, you'll be playing it a lot. Rise of the Triad comes out on Steam at the end of this year, and there's a full story-based single-player campaign too.