Rise Of The Triad Is Exactly Like You Fake Remember
When I first played the 3DS version of The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, just as a friend of min predicted I was struck by how much it was exactly as I remembered it. Every detail painstakingly recreated for the 3DS, it felt like I’d cracked open a time capsule that just happened to have magically been post-converted to 3D. That is, until I took a look at the original Ocarina of Time and realized that the 3DS version contained significant visual improvements that, while not putting the original to shame, made me feel a bit impressed by the way my brain used to be really good at overlooking the graphical limitations of past hardware.
That is the precise experience of playing the long overdue reboot of Rise of the Triad. In every way that counts, it is exactly what you remember from ye olden times when you cranked up the soundtrack to wash the horrid stench of the Macarena out of your mind. And then you take a look at screencaps from the original game and realize that we have become insanely spoiled living here in the future. The new version of Rise of the Triad isn’t likely to change the world of course; it is deliberately intended to invoke the good old days of shooters, before Call of Duty, before cover mechanics, before gradual healing, and that’s going to be a barrier for a lot of people. But for gamers longing for genuine difficulty and the bygone, hardcore days of yore, it’s going to provoke some rather strong feelings of nostalgic validation.
And the joy of copious violence.
Rise Of The Triad: PC
Developer: Interceptor Entertainment
Publisher: Apogee Software
Released: EOY 2012
Interceptor Entertainment comes to ROTT pretty prepared for the challenge. They were originally approved to work on the now-abandoned Duke Nukem 3D: Reloaded. That project would have seen the rebooting of the Duke Nukem series with a remake of the original, however it was kiboshed by 3D Realms and Gearbox to make way for last year’s Duke Nukem Forever and ‘indefinitely postponed’ at the end of 2011. Luckily, it turns out that 3D Realms spinoff Apogee Software still owned the rights to ROTT. Liking what they saw with IE’s work on Duke Nukem 3D: Reloaded, Apogee agreed to work with them on a ROTT reboot. And in the 5 months since work on the game began in earnest, Interceptor has put together an impressive update that works damn well despite being extremely incomplete.
But Rise of the Triad isn’t just a shot for shot remake. “We started out wanting to do an HD remake,” Interceptor’s Frederik Schreiber said, but they found that approach didn’t really work for them. “The original game conjures up a lot of nostalgia, [but] there were a lot of bad levels. What we decided to do instead was to reboot the franchise as a reenvisioning of the game.” This meant that all the designers looked at top down views of all of the original ROTT’s levels as they designed the new ones, identifying the key elements that worked in the original levels. “They designed the new levels around that.” This means there will be a lot more polish, but also more room for players to move around, or as they put it, “our levels will be more 2012.”
That doesn’t mean the team isn’t keeping it very real. Players will feel very familiar, especially in the first level which is, I was told, very close to the original. There’s no crouching, no gradual healing, no cover. “We’re focusing on very old school, hardcore, PC only” Interceptor Entertainment Marketing Director Dave Oshry told us, and it’s so deliciously true. With the new ROTT, Interceptor set out to recreate and build off of the experience players had during the first wave of First Person Shooters during the 90s. That means the original power ups and health pickups from ROTT, as well as updated versions of the original weapons.