Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition wears its boomer shooter badge with pride

One of the oldest boomer shooters makes its return, and you can check out all the new stuff for Steam Next Fest.


Rise of the Triad originally started as a sequel to Wolfenstein 3D, one of the true OGs of first-person shooters. When Apogee/3D Realms took over the project and became a new IP, the game transitioned from a battle against Nazis to something a little more lighthearted and ill-defined, a pulp adventure featuring several playable characters in an A Team-like ensemble cast. Several years later a remake was produced, but the original never got an official re-release (besides a mobile port nobody liked). 

Now we have Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition, which is a full-force remaster of the original game with layers of bells and whistles on top. Aside from the expected boosts to things like display resolution and performance, there are several new elements such as a full level editor, online multiplayer, and a brand new story chapter made by a team of veterans and fans alike. There’s a demo for this update coming for Steam Next Fest, but I was able to get my hands on it early on behalf of Shacknews.

A promotional image for Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition

The demo doesn’t include all the new features, so I wasn’t able to take a look at the level editor, for example. But I was able to play a level from each of the game’s campaigns. That includes The Hunt Begins, Dark War, Extreme ROTT and The Hunt Continues. Each campaign lets you choose a character to play as, with varying stats such as health and movement speed. And for a game on the Wolfenstein 3D engine, the speed can get pretty wild. So if you’re new to this type of game, it’s probably a good idea to experiment with both your character and difficulty options until you find a comfortable spot.

If you have played the original Rise of the Triad, there’s a lot of new stuff to notice here in the Ludicrous Edition. For example, the game’s HUD has been redone, even introducing DOOM-like character portraits for each character. You can also choose multiple soundtracks, including that of the 2013 remake. And of course there’s a full suite of visual options with uncapped frame rate, 4K resolution, Field of View settings, and more. As much as this game is a “boomer shooter,” there’s a lot of modernization that should help new players get their footing.

A promotional image for Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition for Steam Next Fest

In terms of gameplay, there’s a lot to take in at first. A big element of Rise of the Triad is maze-like levels and environmental obstacles, from fireballs that scream across hallways to hidden doors and various implementations of deadly spikes. There’s also a ton of jump pads, which utilizing can help you find power-ups, collectables, and sneakier enemies. Various weapons are available, some of which have infinite ammo for, presumably, maximizing carnage.

While this is simply a demo, there’s enough content here for you to experience a wide range of what Rise of the Triad is about. You can play the original campaign on the easiest settings, then work your way up to the deliberately oppressive Extreme ROTT campaign, originally released as a challenging expansion pack. It’s a substantial offering for a demo, especially for a game comprising so many different types of content.

You’ll be able to try out the demo for yourselves when it releases as part of Steam Next Fest on June 19, 2023. There’s no time limit according to the Rise of the Triad Twitter account, so you’ll be able to really take your time and play with the different settings. If you’ve never played the original, or other classic shooters of this style such as Wolfenstein, DOOM or Duke Nukem, this could be a prime opportunity to give the genre a whirl. And this one’s goofy enough to make up for parts that may not have aged well.

While the demo will be on Steam, the final Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition release is aiming for consoles as well, including PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One and Series S|X, and even Nintendo Switch sometime in 2023.

This preview is based on a digital Steam code provided by the publisher. 

Contributing Editor

Lucas plays a lot of videogames. Sometimes he enjoys one. His favorites include Dragon Quest, SaGa, and Mystery Dungeon. He's far too rattled with ADHD to care about world-building lore but will get lost for days in essays about themes and characters. Holds a journalism degree, which makes conversations about Oxford Commas awkward to say the least. Not a trophy hunter but platinumed Sifu out of sheer spite and got 100 percent in Rondo of Blood because it rules. You can find him on Twitter @HokutoNoLucas being curmudgeonly about Square Enix discourse and occasionally saying positive things about Konami.

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