Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading.
In this explanatory review, we’re covering Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition by developer Nightdive Studios.
Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition: (The Explanation)
Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition is Nightdive Studios’ latest remaster of a classic 90’s title. The original game was developed and published by Apogee Entertainment in 1995 and was initially a follow-up game to Wolfenstein 3D. According to the game’s Wikipedia page (as of the time of writing this EXPlay), Rise of the Triad became a standalone title when Apogee acquired the license from id Software when they scrapped the project. It later got a reboot in 2013, designed by Interceptor Entertainment with Apogee handling the publishing.
The story of Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition follows a team of special operatives who make up HUNT (High-risk United Nations Task-force). The HUNT Team is sent to the island of San Nicolas where a dangerous cult of has set up their base and are planning to wreak destruction on the nearby city of Los Angeles. With the HUNT Team arriving on the island, they are soon left with no way to return home and have little choice but to go forth and stop the cult and their nefarious plans.
Much like the original title and the game it was initially designed on, Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition is a first-person shooter game that tasks players to shoot their way through armed enemies and navigate labyrinthine stages throughout four campaigns. Players start off with a single pistol but they can acquire other weapons like MP40s, Bazookas, Heat-seeking missiles, and Flame Walls (a flamethrower-like weapon).
The pistol is predominantly the weakest weapon and as soon as you get dual pistols or the MP40, you will instantly forget it was part of your inventory. Well, that is until you die and have to start the level again, losing all other weapons in your arsenal, simply because you forgot to save. Speaking of which, there is a save and load system on the pause menu so try to make use of it, especially when just making it out of a tricky firefight or platforming section.
As for variety and difficulty, Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition has five different characters to choose from at the beginning of each campaign, each with their unique set of parameters, which is divided up into Speed, Health, and Accuracy. Taradino Cassatt, for example, has average speed, average, health and better accuracy. Lorelei Ni on the other hand, is very fast and also has better accuracy but has fragile health. They are probably better for speedruns but maybe not so much dealing with enemies head on.
Once your character has been chosen, you will then be presented with the difficulty options. Each difficulty is presented with phrases and icons, with I Am A Chew Toy representing easiest difficulty alongside a puppy dog icon and Two Words: Reaper Man representing the hardest depicting a grim reaper.
While the game stays very true to its visual representation, it is chock full of different options that you can play around with to make the game feel more to your liking. Don’t like the character bopping around? Turn it off. Wish menu flip transitions were quicker or slower? Adjust the slider. Want to alter the control bindings? You can.
These are just some of the settings that you can find in the game’s options menu and there are many more but it would take too long to list them all. I will just add though that there is a Cheat Menu as well so if you wanted to play in God Mode for a whole campaign, you can… but you would need to find the cheat first.
To call Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition another typical “Wolfenstein 3D Clone” would be an understatement as it does have features that were never available in the original title, like verticality in level design, being able to move the camera to shoot enemies on different levels, as well as breakable glass. As a standalone game, Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition takes a little getting used to but can be quite an enjoyable title.
Where it comes unstuck though is with Nightdive Studios’ already impressive library of games on Nintendo Switch that offer similar experiences and at half the price. QUAKE II Remastered, is a fine example which is priced at $9.99 and includes improved visuals, smoother controls and a multiplayer mode to boot. That is not to say Rise of the Triad is not worth the punt, it is if you enjoy retro 90’s shooters and are perhaps a fan of the original. However, it may be a harder sell for players unfamiliar with the title and may prefer to wait for a sale.
Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition: (The Gameplay)
Developer: Nightdive Studios
Publisher: Nightdive Studios
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Action, First-Person
No. of Players: 1 (Single System)
Release Date: NA|EU: September 29, 2023
File Size: 435 MB