Review: Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition

Ludicrous Gipps

I cannot believe that Rise of the Triad got the Night Dive Studios treatment. I am baffled, I am in awe, and I am delighted. Of all the stupid, stupid video games, Rise of the Triad may be the absolute stupidest of the lot. If this FPS had a mouth it'd probably say "duuuuuh". Then try to eat a beehive. It's that stupid. And there's nothing wrong with that, is there? Nothing whatsoever. I'm no intellectual. I can't even spell the word seince. Sience. I'm trying my level best, believe me.

Speaking of level best, Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition is just that. Packing the full game plus Extreme Rise of the Triad expansion alongside a brand new set of levels, you're getting the works. The full english with black pudding. You get the level editor, too, in case you finish all the stages (you won't) and fancy crafting your own death mazes (you might).

And I can't stress enough how above and beyond this collection is. There's a bunch of restored stuff including alternate sprites for enemy agents, with a slider to choose the frequency of their appearance. There are new sound and visuals effects to make the weapons feel crunchier. Tons of alternate, far more informative HUDS. Different soundtracks to emulate various sound cards as well as the remixed music from the 2013 full 3D remake. It's just everything you could ever want from a re-release of Rise of the Triad.

Yet it's still a hard sell, because Rise of the Triad is so weird. You've got infinite ammo for your two main weapons; a pistol - a second of which can be used to go guns akimbo - and an automatic rifle, which once you receive it you will never switch back  to the pistol(s). There are also a variety of missile weapons, each of which has significantly limited ammunition. And you'll need it, because multiple reichs worth of Nazi scum are lining up to get blown to ludicrous gibs.

ROTT (sigh, that acronym) uses the Wolfenstein 3D engine, which naturally limits what it can do. But said engine is pushed as far as it can possibly go here, if not farther. All manner of ridiculously over the top things are thrown in here. Spear traps, grinders, fireball launchers, springboard and floating platforms, elevators, push walls (secrets, basically), collectable coins (there's a lives system), God mode that literally turns you into a smiting-ass God, Dog mode that gives you a bark that's literally worse than your bite, Shrooms mode to send your vision into a psylocibin hell, Elasto mode to bounce you all over the place like rubber... it's just an onslaught, a deluge of idea after idea after idea. And I absolutely love it for that.

So is Rise of the Triad a great FPS? No, absolutely not. It's far too scattershot and slapdash for that. But this is an incredible version of it, at last a definitive way to play with sensible balance changes (which can of course be reverted) and a suite of options that's so generous it's pretty much unmatched. Nothing less from Night Dive, my new saviours of PC gaming. And we've got Dark Forces coming soon, as well! Star Wars, mate! It's gonna be good!