This remake of the classic 3D Realms FPS had been talked about by old-school PC gamers since it was announced. It’s tapping into a niche in the nostalgia market, which may not be as small as most would think, but it’s still not exactly huge. But if you were mad about how Duke Nukem had been left to die a slow and agonizing death in the gaming world, then perhaps you can gain some consolation by playing this game.
Now known as Apogee Software, they are now trying to recreate the magic that made them a major player in the PC gaming market back in the 90′s with the Duke Nukem games. They’re trying to put the Duke Nukem Forever fiasco behind them, yet they’re doing so with another old game of theirs. But with the first impression it gave before its release, then maybe they’ll do good after all.
The original Rise of the Triad is a title that gaming hipsters like to allude to as how PC gaming was in the early to mid 90′s, when all FPS didn’t let you aim up and down and 3D graphics was a mosaic of colors like a digital version of stained glass. Just like how the original game was intended to be and was (perhaps still is), the gameplay here is fast-paced and intense. But of course, it’s now a more modern FPS that lets you look up and down, as well as plenty of other stuff. There is much less left to the imagination this time around, and that would be the deciding factor for this game.
This game does work mostly on nostalgia, so it may not be for everyone. The experience it provides to old-school gamers will not be the same with those who have only heard of Rise of the Triad recently and have not played titles like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Duke Nukem, Quake, and so on. That was a time when futuristic weapons and over-the-top plots were the norm, not the “realistic” military-themed clusterbombs that we have these days. We are getting back to those olden days though in a new way, and perhaps this game is a good introduction to that for the new generation. At the very least, the characters in the game can give you enough reason to play the game.
While the gameplay is quite fun, there are a few hangups. First off, the checkpoint system might make you tear your hair out as saves is few and far between. If you like difficulty and challenge, then you may not mind it too much. But for the generation that has not played games like Contra in their childhood, then this may put them off. Also, some players may not be too enthusiastic about the environmental design, which has way too many hazards and jumping puzzles for a first person shooter. At the very least, it’s good that this game isn’t afraid to make you angry, and that’s part of its goodness.
Another thing is that perhaps the developers weren’t able to get enough time or focus on optimizing the game as it doesn’t run as smoothly as most would have expected. Hopefully, there will be patches to work out the technical issues as this game should be made seamless to play due to quality beyond the initial nostalgic factor. The multiplayer also falls short with its small selection of maps and modes that does little to hold you over. If you’re good with some deathmatch action though, then this is perhaps the best part of the game by far, and it’s what pulled gamers in during beta.
For something that is this good though, you can get it for $15, which is a pretty good bargain when all things are considered. This is one of those games that thrives in being difficult, and that it wouldn’t be as good if it were any easier since it harkens back to a simpler time when there were no DRMs to worry about and all a game had to do was be fun above all else.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 7.5/10