Retro throwbacks were all the rage for shooters in 2013. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger threw shooters back to their arcade roots, Shadow Warrior brought back a forgotten franchise to the spotlight, and Rise of the Triad made the most accurate return of the year. That’s to say it’s much like the original, as its unpolished, filled with awful design elements, and overall an incoherent experience, to say the least.
First off, it’s obvious that Rise of the Triad looks very ugly. It’s almost hard to believe Shadow Warrior and Crysis 3 were released the same year, two gorgeous looking shooters. Yet where the graphics lack, it makes up for it with classic level design and lots of catchy tunes, most of which being remixes of the originals.
I have to admit, I had a lot of fun with the shooting. Jumping around with a shotgun and blasting the faces off enemies is wonderful, and the rocket launchers are just… Oh man, they’re something else. There are few things in a shooter as satisfying as using a close-ranged rocket to blow an enemy to bits, and having his eyeballs slowly slide off the screen. It’s brutal, it’s way too gory, and I love every second of carnage Rise of the Triad presents.
However, the bloodshed stops when Rise of the Triad tries throwing platforming segments at you, which are predictably awful. Far too much time in Rise of the Triad is spent traversing through obstacles or jumping around rather than actually shooting enemies, which really is a shame. Not just because of the quality of the shooting, but because the platforming is so ludicrously awful that it negates any will I had to continue to more fun shooting.
The level that can sum up everything wrong with Rise of the Triad is 2-2, where you must endure four trap filled rooms, each based on a different enviormental challenge. I still can’t pick what was worse, the chamber of floating platforms or the room made up of spikes that can take off half your health in one stab. The shooting also isn’t very dynamic, removing nearly all satisfaction the level could possibly have.
I’m happy to say Rise of the Triad 2013 does a lot right. The music is rockin’, the shooting is fine enough, and I can’t stress enough how satisfying the gore is, even with the awful graphics. At the same time, Rise of the Triad does everything wrong. It’s filled with awful platforming segments, the difficulty is very imbalanced, and Rise of the Triad frequently crashes. Powerups are more often than not hindrances, and the game lacks an overall connecting theme. Yet while I hate all these blemishes, part of me is telling myself that its all intentional. That its all one big joke. See, every issue this game has? It’s shared with the original, to point.
Here’s the thing though. The original Rise of the Triad wasn’t a good game, not by a long shot. Yet, this is the most faithful remake of it you could possible get. I’m still not sure if it’s a good game or a bad one, but I know for sure it’s as accurate as a remake of the original can get. If you have fond memories of the original, pick it up, I can guarantee you’ll enjoy Rise of the Triad 2013. However, if you’re looking for a more high brow FPS, it’s best to look elsewhere.