There exists a myth in gaming, that the past was better than now; that creativity is dead and gaming is headed for a crash, Wrong! While its true that the internet has ruined gaming in some degree, such as buggy, unfinished, microtransaction laden AAA games, we still eat good. 2023 has a lot of great games. While the business side of things isn’t doing well at all, the end product is often awesome! As for the past, creativity has always been in short supply, even during the Atari 2600 era. Crap derivative games overloaded the market, causing it to crash. I remember a blog post about how creativity and risk-taking in the gaming industry was dead, in 2003(I wrote a college paper about it). Still, we look to the past with rose colored glasses. NightDive Studios has made a killing serving nostalgia, and Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition is their latest serving.
Rise of the Triad is a very early FPS, we’re talking Wolfenstein 3D era, as apparently this started life as a cancelled Wolfenstein 3D sequel. You can tell due to the Nazi-like enemies. There are Flat boxy rooms in confusing maze-like levels. There are traps and keys. Enemies are 2D sprites. Secrets abound. I start up the very first level and go, “what the hell is this?”. The more I played the more I enjoyed it. Its pretty fun. Its not deep. There is no real story. The five characters you can choose matter little. But I didn’t want to put it down. There’s just something about that make you want keep going. And don’t worry, there are plenty of levels to go around in Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition.
There are five campaigns of multiple episodes of multiple levels, including one campaign made for this version of Rise of the Triad. There are two different soundtracks, the original midi, and the 2013 heavy metal soundtrack. The graphics aren’t great by today’s standards, but they work. A lot of work has gone into this and it shows.
I gave another classic FPS, Duke Nukem 3D, a Must Play. Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition will get a simple Recommended. Duke Nukem had a real sense of place, with logical levels that made sense. In this game, the levels tend to blend together, being confusing mazes without identity. I got lost more than once. Still, this is a fun experience and worth a play for fans of classic FPS titles. But still, it is an old game, with old game play. Moderns FPS titles leave it in the dust, but Rise of the Triad achieved cult classic status for a reason.
Overall: Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition is a well made package, but the game itself shows it age, despite being fun!