Remember Duke Nukem? Max Payne? Wolfenstein 3D? While these games may seem unconnected at first, they can all be linked by a common trend: they were all made possible by 3D Realms. Be they the publisher or developer, 3D Realms was a PC gaming rockstar, and one that's sadly been out of commission for quite some time. Thankfully, the studio has seen a revival recently with the shockingly faithful remake of Rise of the Triad and the new action RPG Bombshell. Recently, I was able to get in contact with Interceptor CEO Fredrik Schreiber to discuss the two games already out on the market, and what to expect in the future for a reborn 3D Realms.
TechRaptor: In 2013, you released a reboot/remake of Rise of the Triad. What were the reasons behind reviving such a niche game?
Frederik: When reviving Rise of the Triad we stood between two options. Shadow Warrior (Another great 3D Realms classic) or Rise of the Triad.
It was a tough choice, but we ultimately saw the most fun in a game like Rise of the Triad. A completely bat-shit insane shooter.
TechRaptor: Rise of the Triad 2013 really captured the feeling of old FPS titles, and it seems that people enjoyed the return to form. Why do you think this style of shooters isn't used as much these days?
Frederik: Unfortunately some parts of PC gaming is going through a devolution phase at the moment. Back in the mid-late 90'ies games became more and more advanced. Story-telling evolved, level design became more complex, allowing for more routes, secrets, and puzzles. Unfortunately something happened in the mid 00's. Games had to become more accessible, and first person shooters were simplfied, to the point where most shooters today (Especially in the AAA category), is a "pop-and-shoot" fest. Completely linear "interactive movies". It's something we never want to do, and with Rise of the Triad, we felt it was our duty to bring back a game based on the classic FPS formula.
TechRaptor: Rise of the Triad certainly isn't no stranger to absurdity, what was the creative process like for working on the reboot?
Frederik: We started by analyzing what made RoTT.. Well, RoTT!
There were a range of things we know we wanted to keep such as the GADs, Jumppads, Coins and levels filled with secrets. We also wanted to bring something new on the table in terms of secondary fire modes, a strong multiplayer and brand new levels. We felt we had a lot of freedom with ROTT, which benefitted the game.
TechRaptor: Speaking of shooters, I've seen some gorgeous screens from the Build engine prequel to Bombshell. How is progress on that going?
Frederik: Its really shaping up to be something special. We can't wait to show you more!
TechRaptor: Why use the two-decade old engine for a new game?
Frederik: The original idea was to create a game that could almost be considered "Found Footage". There were almost rumors that 3D Realms worked on Bombshell back in the mid-nineties. What if that game was already made, but never released?
We wanted the prequel to take place before Bombshell lost her arm. And we wanted the game to feel like it was from that era. We choose the Build engine for authenticity. It wouldn't be right trying to emulate something in another engine. We wanted the real deal :)
TechRaptor: How closely will the Bombshell prequel follow the formula set by Build classics like Duke Nukem 3D or Blood?
Frederik: Core gameplay will be familiar, but there are a lot of twists and new gameplay mechanics that will definitely surprise you guys!
TechRaptor: Do you have any new info to share on the project?
Frederik: Not at this moment unfortunately. Soon!
TechRaptor: So, Bombshell was originally a Duke Nukem title. How much of Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction is left in Bombshell?
Frederik: We scrapped pretty much everything. The core foundation of the gameplay is still pretty close. It's an action arcade shooter at its core.
TechRaptor: From what I've seen and read of Bombshell, it seems to be a lot darker than the 3D Realms classics. Why the change in tone?
Frederik: Bombshell is still pretty colorful, compared to Duke Nukem 3D. The story is both colorful, dark and disturbing in a classic 90'ies way (especially when you visit the Planet Eater), but otherwise it's pretty close in style.
TechRaptor: And finally, besides the Bombshell prequel, are there any other projects in the pipeline?
Frederik: Definitely! Soon we're announcing 2 exciting new projects. A throwback to one of the first IP's we were part of in the form of the spiritual successor, this time in full 3D, and a first person shooter classic from 1998, we're working on bringing back with a legendary team. :) We're excited!
TechRaptor: Thank you for your time.
Do you like Bombshell? What '98 FPS do you think 3D Realms will be bringing back? And how badly do you hope it's Blood 3? Let us known in the comments below!