Rise Of The Triad Multiplayer Hands-On: Old School, New Look

Almost twenty years ago, Apogee Software released a little game called Rise of the Triad. Based on a heavily modified version of the Wolfenstein 3D engine, ROTT featured a full single player campaign, and an extremely fun, fast multiplayer component. At QuakeCon last year, Interceptor Entertainment revealed their modern revival of the classic title. At PAX East last weekend, I finally got a chance to get my grubby little mitts on a playable version of the multiplayer.

I went into Rise of the Triad wondering how much had changed from the original, and I’m happy to announce that almost nothing has. Gameplay is fast-paced, bringing to mind the speed of games like Unreal Tournament and Quake 2. For modern gamers, the adjustment to the speed of ROTT will be a bit jarring at first. This isn’t a game where you can hunker down and hope to pick people off.

If you played the original Rise of the Triad, you’ll see a lot familiar here. Maps are upgraded versions of the originals, and every weapon is making a triumphant return. That means you’ll be able to use the Dual pistols, the MP40, Heatseeker, Flamewall, Firebomb, Split Missile, Drunk Missile, Dark Staff, and even the Excalibat. You can even choose to play the game with the sounds and music from the original, although I personally prefer the modern heavy metal remakes that Interceptor included.

Jumping into the multiplayer, it’s exactly what you’d expect. Large, open levels filled with multiple floors, jump pads, and weapon pickups evoke nostalgia from me, simply because I cut my teeth on games like Unreal Tournament. Once I adjusted to the pace of things, I found the game easy to pick up and play. Weapons sound great, the soundtrack is a blast, and you’ll do a lot of killing and being killed.

Since it’s not that hard to be killed, Interceptor did a nice job of making sure that the downtime dead players face is minimal. By the time you’ve decompressed from being killed, you’re respawning. The hectic pace makes rounds fly by, and when the end of a round comes, you’ll almost always be surprised.

In one run, I was able to smack an opponent with the Excalibat, grab the MP40 for a few kills, and then finish up by accidentally blowing myself to bits with the Heatseeker. Don’t look for objectives or deep lists of unlockables here. All the weapons that are in the game are immediately available. Well, except for the weapons you add yourself.

In another nod to days gone by, Rise of the Triad will ship with a full set of mod tools. You’ll be able to mod the game to your heart’s content, and then share all those mods via the Steam Workshop. If the past is any guide, we’re certain to see a raft of new content from weapons to maps, all courtesy of the mod community, and all of it free.

Overall, Rise of the Triad is shaping to be a nice little remake. I haven’t played anything from the single player campaign yet, but if the multiplayer component is any type of guide, we’re in for a nostalgic good time. Interceptor has captured the feel of the original exactly, and it’s a feel that some of today’s gamers might never have experienced. Watching their awakening is going to be fun for old school gamers like me.

For all of our PAX East 2013 coverage, check this page throughout the week.

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