Many developers have been going darker with the tones of stories lately. It's time we stop asking definitively if this is a good or bad thing and consider the artistic value at hand.
Rise of the Triad Review: Nothing Will Rise
Rise of the Triad is a game that should have come out in the 90’s. This perhaps is a tad ironic since the original Rise of the Triad came out in 1994. If this Rise of the Triad was released back then I could maybe excuse it for not having an engaging (let alone entertaining) story, solid and tight controls or beautifully made environments.
This is 2013, and having none of the things listed above in a video game released now is straight up embarrassing.
As soon as I started playing I knew something was off. After picking a character which essentially just changes the amount of endurance and speed you have, you’re presented with an outrageously bare-bones static comic book scene with voice dubbed over it. Okay, surely not the death knell but opening a game with something that looks as if it could have been done in PowerPoint is a bad start.
After this short introduction you’re thrown into the first of many, many almost identical linear levels. You can pick up special guns that are just floating in space in rooms that are “secret” (secret = going slightly to the right of a long, linear corridor) but that more often than not is useless since your starting guns have unlimited ammunition and pretty much break any challenge Triad could have given.
And as I make my way forward through the levels, I realized to myself that this is the game. Enemies pop out from little spawn boxes in the open corridors and that is really all that happens. Rise of the Triad is more a shooting gallery than anything else. And with all the levels essentially being exactly the same in terms of look and color (almost always grey, dark) I can see why people would give up playing this.
Honestly, I couldn’t play Rise of the Triad for anymore than an hour at a time due to headache. This coming from a person who has spent hours and hours playing quick twitch FPS games of all sorts. Rise of the Triad has a serious problem in terms of gameplay mechanics and graphics. Even on the highest ‘ludicrous’ setting Rise looks as if it came out in 2006.
Instead of tight, responsive controls that are almost expected from FPS’s today, Rise of the Triad has floaty and unresponsive ones that really make this a chore to play through. In a game that is deftly similar to Doom and Wolfenstein, having controls that feel this bad is laughable. Like I said, if this game came out in the 90’s a lot of what makes it terrible might have been excused.
In a painful attempt at some kind of humor Rise of the Triad often has eyeballs of your enemies splatter on the screen. While this might have been funny in the original game, it comes across as childish, bizarre and really just out of place. The animations for when you kill enemies usually has them decapitated or limbless in a way that might have been funny if it didn’t look like some teenager had just thrown some limbs and intestines together in Garry’s Mod.
To the bland level design and completely predictable (stand and shoot) enemy AI, to the random batches of floating coins all over the place (so is this an arcade game now, or a shooter, or just a big joke from the developers?) nothing in Rise of the Triad makes any sense and everything just feels thrown together in a really haphazard way.
All the failed elements combine to make Rise of the Triad the worst game I’ve played this year.
The one redeeming quality? The multiplayer is somewhat fun, but even that is toppled over by old giants like Half Life 2 Deathmatch and Call of Duty 4, even FPS’s that don’t take any risks at all are still more fun to play than Rise of the Triad.