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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

You Just Can’t Keep a Good Triad Down: ‘Rise of the Triad’ Returns Again in 2023 [Hands-On Preview]

The recently-revived indie publisher Apogee brought a lot of games with it to this year’s Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, including one secret appointment-only title: a full remaster of the landmark 1995 first-person shooter, Rise of the Triad.

The first thing I said, which was apparently a common reaction, is “Again?” Rise of the Triad has already been remade once, back in 2013, by a previous version of Apogee working with the company that’s currently known as Slipgate Ironworks (Ghostrunner).

This isn’t that, however. Instead, this is Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition: a joint project by Apogee Entertainment, New Blood Interactive (Dusk, Amid Evil), and Nightdive Studios (the upcoming System Shock remake).

It’s the original 1995 Rise of the Triad, remade for modern platforms in Nightdive’s KEX Engine, with an uncapped framerate, an updated UI, all the original sprites, and compatibility with modern systems like ultrawide monitors. It was already a fast-moving, circle-strafing, murder party of a shooter, but now you get to cruise around its environments at 120+ FPS on your PlayStation, Switch, or Xbox.

In Triad, you play as one of five members of a United Nations task force that’s been dispatched to an island off the coast of California to investigate a cult. Their boat gets blown up within minutes of landing, however, which forces you to take on the cult directly in order to survive, secure a ride home, and save Los Angeles.

In proper ’90s style, however, you get almost none of that information from the actual game. Instead, you’re thrown into a series of bizarre combat arenas with hostile enemy forces, and left to use guns, rockets, and outright magic to reduce them all to trace elements.

Triad is, in short, one of the first “boomer shooters,” with gameplay that’s based around speed, twitch reflexes, and sheer gory overkill. It originally began development as a sequel to Wolfenstein 3D – so many of Triad‘s enemies are vaguely Nazi-esque for a reason – before id Software abandoned the project, but was reworked and brought to market by 3D Realms, back when it was known as Apogee Software.

Rise of the Triad game

Triad never quite got the respect it was due, either back in the day or from historians of the medium. Playing it in 2022, though, you can see how influential it really is. There’s a verticality to Triad‘s environments that’s a little weird now, let alone in 1995; the stages are bizarre mazes full of traps, tricks, secret rooms, destructible environments, bounce pads, and automated elevators.

Enemies don’t just fall over, but explode into “ludicrous gibs!” when they aren’t being disintegrated, riddled with bullets, or thrown headlong into a trap. Triad‘s idea of a “god mode” lets you gesture and reduce not-Nazis to glowing dust.

In the Ludicrous Edition, it’s all been sped up, cleaned up, and accelerated into infinity. Playing it behind closed doors at PAX, I felt like I’d found some missing link between Doom and an arcade shooter. You move like you’re strapped to a motorcycle, there are hidden bonuses everywhere, and each level requires finding your way through both hordes of strange cultists and increasingly violent stage hazards.

There’s a certain crazy satisfaction to the sound the bounce pads make, as they fire you eight stories in the air so you can rain rockets down on the cultists beyond the next wall. You can draw a pretty straight line between that gleeful, ridiculous gameplay and the over-the-top elements of Duke Nukem 3D, which would put 3D Realms on the map one year later.

Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition is planned to ship in early 2023 in a digital edition for Steam, GOG, PlayStation, and Microsoft storefronts, with a physical release and Collector’s Edition planned via Limited Run Games. The Steam version will feature a level editor with Steam Workshop support.

In addition to the full original game and its expansion packs, Ludicrous Edition will also feature a brand-new episode created by “software veterans” at New Blood, Nightdive, and Apogee Entertainment.

Rise of the Triad remake

The post You Just Can’t Keep a Good Triad Down: ‘Rise of the Triad’ Returns Again in 2023 [Hands-On Preview] appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!

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