Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review: Rise of the Triad (2013)

NOTE: Review copy very generously provided by my friends at Evolve PR. This has not changed, nor will it ever change what I think of this or any other game.

Well, the new Rise of the Triad from Apogee Software (yes, THAT Apogee Software) and Interceptor Entertainment is the kind of game I have been waiting a very long time for: A return to the glorious first person shooter (or FPS for short) days of maze-like designs, the mouse & keyboard are a control option as well as the default on PCs, and very well-designed, but extremely difficult progression.  This is my kind of game by far.

I used to play games like Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Quake III: Arena, and Unreal Tournament till the cows came home, so this is a glorious, glorious return to form for me.  Turns out I suck at the genre now. Hard.  But I haven't played games like this in a very long time, since the first Unreal Tournament and Quake III, as it turns out.  The fact that these people made a twitch-based FPS game like this on the PC, designed in the old-school style, is a major selling point.

Another selling point is its story, which hasn't changed all that much since the original Rise of the Triad in 1995, except now that the titular Triad is essentially a terrorist organization along the lines of Al Qaeda.

In Rise of the Triad 2013, you are a member of an elite force called HUNT, which stands for the High-Rish United Nations Taskforce, that has been sent to perform reconnaissance on San Nicolas Island, about a rogue organization known only as The Triad.  As you go through the game, you discover some nasty secrets within San Nicolas Island because they are so nice as to blow up the boat you used as your entry to San Nicolas Island, so ya might as well figure out what they're up to, right?

The story of the game is wonderful, but man, this game is unbelievably hard.  That is not meant as a complaint, but as a compliment.  I got lost quite a lot as I tried to make my way through this game in order to bring you this review, so I finally decided it was probably time to quit just long enough to write up this review and get me some sleep.

So while I tried to get some ludicrous multiplayer going on, I couldn't find any games. However, this provided the perfect opportunity to test out some of the... more bizarre weapons.  I didn't get to try any of the magical weapons, but I did get to try out Dog Mode (yes, Dog Mode.  It's just as ludicrous as it sounds) and the various strange explosive weapons.  Once people get this game and go online, this game is going to get crazy ludicrous, so I hope to see at least some of you lunatics online!

PROS:

  • DRM-free from Apogee's own store as well as from GOG.com
  • Only $14.99 for all that glorious goodness
  • You can actually play this game OFFLINE!  Like, if you have junky internet, you can play this game totally offline if you want because the game is TOTALLY DRM-FREE!
  • The Internet infrastructure doesn't use Steamworks!  Hooray!
  • The multiplayer works across all portions of the PC world, so Steam players, GOG players, and everyone in between can all play each other.  This. Is. So. Cool.
  • A crazy amount of advanced options before you even start up the game
  • Plus you get great options once you get in-game, including TotalBiscuit's favorite option, the FOV slider!
  • The controller option is just that: An option for people that are more comfortable with a controller.  They did not design the game with a controller in mind, and it shows.

CONS:

  • The game sometimes moves TOO fast, and 120 frames per second is much too quick at really chaotic moments in-game, even for yours truly. 
  • The console is a interesting piece of work, and I am intrigued enough to continue playing with it.
  • Multiplayer was sparse, but this was the night before release that I tried to hop on and there are some things you have to do to get it to go sometimes.

VERDICT: I give Rise of the Triad (2013) a 10 out of 10.  There is absolutely nothing quite like an old-school FPS to get your heart racing and your blood pumping, so I am thrilled that this game is finally out for people to play.  If you want to play a great old school style FPS game on a PC, this is the game for you.