The saying “they don’t make them like they used to” is surprisingly apt when talking about the return of cult-classic shooter Rise of the Triad. Ironically, it was only a month ago I was trolling the Internet at work (don’t tell Craig) and had a déjà vu moment where I could see the first level of ROTT in my mind, but couldn’t think of the name. Now after spending an hour with the game and its developer, it would be hard to ever forget.
The thing about ROTT is that, for a game developed in 1995, it was on the cutting edge of what first-person shooters were doing. It was one of the first FPS’ to feature jump pads, free look, rocket jumping, character classes, and so on and so forth. Why it fell into obscurity is beyond me, though I am sure you can look up a wiki for answers. Now present day, those mechanics are all standard fair, so what is ROTT doing to differentiate itself from such a saturated genre?
It is one of the first things you notice when you play the demo, this game is really fast. Like eye melting, paint peeling, skull crushing fast. Now granted I played the pre-alpha build, but it doesn’t seem like a console controller could handle the speed at which the game wants you to play. It feeds the best kind of nostalgia, because anyone who played FPS’ on PCs in the early 90’s know the speed I am talking about.
The speed will be a big part of the competitive element as well and that includes both multiplayer and singleplayer. While that twitch gameplay translates easily to multiplayer, in singleplayer your score will be based on a number of factors, one of which is time. Complete the level quickly enough and you will be rewarded, at the expense of missing some collectable coins or secrets in your wake.
One thing that ROTT shared with its contemporaries like say Duke Nukem 3D was the sense of humor. The universe was built as an unofficial sequel to Wolfenstein, so the Nazi-esque soldiers and references to the Occult are ever present. In fact, the head of Apogee’s own Scott Miller will be another collectable and will be a part of that previously mentioned leaderboard support. If you can find it that is.
Death animations are unique to the type of weapon being used and this also translates to the amount of gibs you see. The heat-seeking rockets by default will target and enemies groin or ass. Hitting an enemy with a powerful enough attack (like the classic Flame Wall) can even result in the commentator yelling “Ludicrous Gibs!” as he explodes into pieces.
Half the reason ROTT even exists is because of the passion of Interceptor Entertainment’s Frederik Schreiber and his team. The other half was Apogee agreeing to give them license to make the game and support IE by publishing the it. ROTT will be priced competitively against its contemporaries at $15 on Steam, making it an experience that is more than affordable.
But the value doesn’t end there. With the game being developed in Unreal 3, Frederik hopes the modding community will be a big part of ROTT as well. Interceptor is keeping everything about the build rather open ended to encourage modders to build new levels and game modes. Stay tuned as Rise of the Triad begins to move into the alpha and beta stages later this year and into 2013.
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