Talk about a blast from the past. One of the very earliest first-person shooters — from the makers of Wolfenstein and Duke Nukem — is back, baby. All hail the over-the-top action of Rise of the Triad!
Six months ago, original publisher Apogee handed the reins over to Interceptor Entertainment to reboot the venerable franchise, which debuted back in the days before Doom brought first-person shooters into the mainstream. The new Rise of the Triad is being powered by the Unreal Engine 3, and features upgraded maps inspired by the classic game. Though it features modern production values, this is definitely a game made with old-school gamers in mind.
Characterized by frenetic, fast-paced gameplay, winning is based on a points system instead of mere survival. Kills score you points, while several kills from one shot (such as a rocket launcher) will multiply your points. Finish a level fast and you get more points. But speed also comes at a potential cost, because there are lots of secrets to be found by those who take their time — and secrets can bring you points, too. Players will either have to find a balance, or choose between one play style over the other.
There are five playable characters to choose from, each of which has a different play style. The game is comprised of twenty levels total, with four boss battles in between. Players who remember the classic game will find some very familiar weapons in their hands, such as the Flamewall, Firebomb, Split Missile, Drunk Missile, and Excalibat. There’s a full singleplayer campaign and multiplayer modes, too.
Interceptor Entertainment is best remembered as the studio that was working on a high-def remake of Duke Nukem 3D called Duke Nukem 3D Reloaded. I say “was” because once Gearbox secured the rights to all things Duke Nukem (prior to publishing Duke Nukem Forever), a legal issue arose between the two studios that prohibited Interceptor from completing work on Reloaded. The project has never been outright cancelled, but Gearbox has to give the go-ahead for Reloaded to be completed and published, and so far, they haven’t.
So in the meantime, Interceptor is focusing solely on Rise of the Triad. The game is scheduled to arrive sometime next year, with DLC packs expected to follow.