Review: Rise of the Triad (PC)

Review: Rise of the Triad (PC)

There were pros and cons to attending the school where my father taught. The biggest con, of course, was that all of my other teachers knew where to find one of my parents immediately and conveniently. The pros, in my opinion, outweighed the cons. I had an on-site ATM for lunch and vending machine money. I had a ride to and from school every day. Most importantly, my dad was friends with the computer lab teacher. This meant that during lunch, after school, and even during some class periods, I was able to subvert the networked computer lab for my own dastardly purposes. More often than not, that meant playing LAN games of Rise of the Triad with a group of friends.

I insisted then, and I maintain now to this day, that Rise of the Triad was/is far superior to its major competitors of the time, Heretic and DOOM. That being said, imagine my pure, unadulterated, nostalgic glee when I heard that Rise of the Triad was getting an update courtesy of Interceptor Entertainment.

I’m going to get to the point, now. Interceptor’s Rise of the Triad is everything a 1994 Rise of the Triad fan could hope for. It feels like Interceptor set out to bring one of the greatest first person twitch shooters of all time into the current era without taking away the things that made it great in the first place. If so, they succeeded. Everything about this game feels like Rise of the Triad. The enemies still have the same unnatural and wooden movement. The game’s iconic weapons make a triumphant return; the firebomb, firewall, drunk missile, Excalibat, God mode, dog mode, and more. Two words: ludicrous gibs. Secret areas, monk meal, dipstick, the game taunting the player, enemies playing possum, and incredibly fast paced gameplay all return. The single player campaign is satisfyingly difficult, and the multiplayer (available in both online and LAN/offline flavors) is indescribably hectic, with multiple game modes across five maps to keep you occupied (deathmatch, team deathmatch, and capture the flag at the moment).

Now, some of you may be balking at the fact that Rise of the Triad only comes with three multiplayer game modes at launch, and that two of those game modes are pretty much the same thing but for team structure. First, let me assure you that you’ll get more than enough enjoyment out of deathmatch alone, even without CTF. Second, Interceptor will be releasing free DLC packs with more multiplayer modes. You can host your own server from inside the game, set up a dedicated server with the dedicated server tool (provided in your game folder), set up a LAN tournament for the real old-schoolers, or just sit back and watch the gibs fly in spectator mode. Also, Rise of the Triad has integrated text-to-speech into their multiplayer. If you type messages, they are read out using the classic Windows text-to-speech voice. Man, I had some fun with that voice back in the day.

Now, the problems. There are two types of problems with Interceptor’s Rise of the Triad: problems that are simply inherent to the gameplay as a result of the gameplay, and problems that need to be corrected. Fortunately, I’ve only found one of each type so far. Inherently, platforming is incredibly difficult and inaccurate with intensely high speed twitch shooters. There are certain areas on certain maps (in both single- and multi-player) that will result in you dying or running in circles because you didn’t stick a landing. Some of these areas can be fixed with some design changes (for example, removing the one space gap between a wall and a ramp of hover pads), and some exist to increase the challenge of reaching a secret area. The second problem is keyboard configuration. In spite of my long history growing up with PC gaming, I never got used to WASD controls; I always reconfigured to the arrow keys, and I always moved my jump/duck/action keys over to my right shift/ctrl/enter keys. While trying to do the same in Interceptor’s Rise of the Triad, I found that any time I tried to configure to my right shift/ctrl keys, the screen would invariably set my keypress to the left shift/ctrl keys. If I tried to use certain special character keys, they wouldn’t even register as keypresses. Hopefully this second issue of keyboard configuration is one that can be solved quickly, because I am still just terrible at WASD controls.

To summarize, in spite of an inherent flaw and a correctable issue, Interceptor’s Rise of the Triad is Rise of the Triad. If you never had the opportunity to play it before, you would be doing yourself a disservice by passing on it now. Rise of the Triad is available on Steam, the Apogee Store, Green Man Gaming, GamersGate, and GOG for $14.99, DRM free. If you act quickly on Steam, you can still pre-purchase and receive the Apogee Throwback Pack bundle for free. Multiplayer works across all purchase platforms.

[learn_more caption=”Review Results”][one_half]Pros:

[custom_list type=”check”]

  • It’s Rise of the Triad
  • Incredibly fast and gratuitous gameplay
  • Various multiplayer options, with free multiplayer DLC coming
  • Better than DOOM
  • Ludicrous gibs
  • Dipstick returns


[custom_list type=”x”]

  • Twitch FPS platforming can be frustrating
  • Keyboard configuration is broken, and gamepad configuration is highly limited


Final Word:


To see where this review score falls in our scoring range, please read our review scale guidelines.[/learn_more]

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