If you enjoyed the original Rise of the Triad from Apogee back in 1995, then don't expect too much more from the upcoming reboot from Interceptor, except a few game tweaks and an Unreal Engine 3 upgrade. OK, that may be enough to try it again.
The upcoming Unreal Engine 3 reboot of Apogee's 1995 classic, Rise of the Triad, doesn't offer much, other than a few game tweaks. But, that may be enough to warrant another playthrough.
Interceptor Entertainment is bringing the game back to life, virtually unchanged from the original. Players can still choose from one of the five main characters, all operatives of the High-Risk United Nations Taskforce (HUNT) out to stop some cultists out to destroy Los Angeles (yeah, it's trite, but the game wasn't made for its in-depth story). Each character has different benefits, but we played Taradino, who was the only character in the original shareware version of the game and the one with perhaps the best all-around stats.
As you'd expect from an update powered by Unreal Engine 3, the visuals already make for a more interesting game. Gone are the flat walls and in their place are textures and lighting that give a better feel of an old monastery. But once you get past the engine upgrades, the game is still just as fast-paced and chaotic as the original, with all the triggers, traps and hidden areas in the usual spots. The sound has been upgraded to give a more realistic feel, such has echoes inside hallways. The music also has been modernized, although the option to play the classic 8-bit original will be included.
Of course, the game would not be the same without the over-the-top violence and dismemberment. Well-placed shots will blow off a leg or an arm, and an explosion will have body parts flying all over the screen. Get one of the area-of effect weapons, such as my favorite, the Excalibat, and you can have a room full of enemies reduced to red splotches and bone fragments in seconds. Even the Heatseeker rocket launcher targets the enemies groin or butt for maximum gore.
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But the key to the single-player game is a points system, with bonuses given for speed runs or extra kills in rapid succession. Coins can even be collected for extra points. So if your status on a leaderboard is important to you, then you will want to choose the character you play based on their stats and get weapons that will rack up multipliers through quick successive kills. The game will have 20 levels through four episodes, with each episode having its own end boss.
Multiplayer was shown in the vendor area at QuakeCon and players were lined up to get into the matches, which will support an 8v8 format. Interceptor plans on releasing a full set of mod tools with the game so players can create their own multiplayer levels.
The game should hit Steam early next year. Given the popularity of the retro-style in the Serious Sam franchise, there is no reason to believe that Rise of the Triad won't enjoy similar success, just with a lot more gore.
A camera was added to the Heatseeker to aid missile tracking
John Keefer is a curmudgeon that has been in journalism for 35 years, the last 16 in the video games industry. He loves real-time strategy games and prefers old-school Total Annihilation to StarCraft. He also loves isometric RPGs, and has been addicted to World of Warcraft for more than 10 years. He sucks at shooters and multiplayer and is purely a PC guy. And being a former member of Shack, he also likes Chatty. Go figure.