Back in 1993 The Internet was mainly confined to college campuses and would not start to arrive in homes for another year. Those who went online used dial up modems to access local bulletin boards to share pictures, play social games, and use chat programs in the early precursors to social networks.
With the success of the Doom games, First Person Shooters were all the rage and numerous companies cranked out games in this genre trying to appeal to a consumer base eager for games of this type and who wanted to experience to get in on the fairly new concepts of online play with their friends.
One such game was Rise of the Triad. Originally planned as a Wolfenstein sequel by Apogee Software the game cast players as a member of a United Nations special forces team who is dispatched to an island to take down a dangerous cult that has arisen.
Gameplay was frantic and fast as players had to mow down as many bad guys as they could with all manner of weapons and gear. The game was innovative in that there were all sorts of traps and objects that players could bounce from and they could even become a dog during power ups as they took the fight to the bad guys in both offline and online modes.
Jump forward to 2013, Rise of the Triad is back with a slick makeover that while looking more contemporary is still very much a retro game loaded with throwback elements.
The plot is essentially the same and aside from the improved graphics and physics, the game looks and plays very much like the original. The graphics are not eye popping examples of modern technology, rather they are improved and take advantage of graphic cards which were not widely in use back in 1993.
My first reaction was how much it played like a game of old. Aside from being faster and smoother than games of that era, the combat mechanics and techniques were very much as they were back in games of the day.
I enjoyed the nostalgia as I took down enemies and used the bounce pads to ascend to upper levels of buildings and collect power up coins that were littered throughout the map. I also enjoyed the over the top gore and humor of the game such as being rewarded with a pair of eyeballs splattered on the screen after I dispatched an enemy with a rocket launcher.
My biggest frustration was with the check point save system as having to replay elements of a game over and over when you die is not my favorite thing. Many times I would make solid progress only to be killed and forced to replay the previous segments over and over.
Enemies still come at you fairly directly when they attack but they can be very effective and deadly so players will need to be on their toes art all times.
The amount of firepower you can deploy is great from dual pistols to machines guns and rocket launchers, carnage is the way of the game.
I also had some issues getting matched online during my earlier attempts but as time went on, this became easier and I was able to enjoy the online nostalgia.
Rise of the Triad is great for those who remember the original and that era of gaming but for those who are accustomed to the mechanics and polish of modern shooters, they may find elements of the game frustrating and best left in the past.
For the rest of us, it was a welcome trip to the past that helped illustrate just how far games have evolved in the last twenty years.
3.5 stars our of 5.