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Rise of the Triad: Dark War (PC) artwork

Rise of the Triad: Dark War (PC) review


"Much of RotT isn't very memorable or special, which is something a game like this needs to be distinctive in a crowded FPS market, both at the time of its release, AND now. Fat monks and good graphics from far and close up graphics that are far from good isn't quite enough. Thankfully, there are great moments that help raise this game above the level of mediocrity, if only slightly. Well, only one great moment, really. "



Know thine NME!

What's up with this game? It's crazy weird. It's like Doom right, but the theme behind it is way out there. You shoot monks! Yes, monks. They're usually fat, and their cloaks are a nasty shade of brown. True to FPS form (that's First Person Shooter, to you newbies), you get to take out soldiers as well, with a variety of weapons. Pistols, machine guns, and best of all, a good selection of rocket launchers make up your arsenal. Personally, I liked using the drunken missile launcher; it fires its salvo of missiles all over the place, doing great damage... when it manages to hit something! There's a napalm-like launcher as well, that really tears up foes.

RotT looks better than Doom for the most part, and other similar games of the time (Wolfenstein: Spear of Destiny, Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold, Doom, CyClones), especially when you see the panorama from a distance. Things can get ugly and fuzzy and pixelated close up though. The level of graphic gore can be turned up or down, which is a plus. You can put a rocket through a guy, and not see much more than a fallen soldier, or you can see him blasted to bulgy, bloody bits. The sound is passable, and music mostly not noticeable.

Much of RotT isn't very memorable or special, which is something a game like this needs to be distinctive in a crowded FPS market, both at the time of its release, AND now. Fat monks and good graphics from far and close up graphics that are far from good isn't quite enough. Thankfully, there are great moments that help raise this game above the level of mediocrity, if only slightly. Well, only one great moment, really.

While some of the bosses are jokes (a nerd in a wheelchair bearing a bazooka), the crowning glory is the face off with NME. KNOW THINE NME! He's an R2-D2 type robot who moves like lightning and confronts you in a massive room with big pillars all around. You've got to run and strafe like mad, using the pillars as cover EXPERTLY, because NME's missile salvos don't only pin you down with their direct impact, but with intense splash damage. Know what that means? If you LEAD the missiles too close to a pillar and manage to dodge them by a hair, they'll still do damage to you when they hit the pillar itself.

Anyway, RotT is worth playing just for the NME confrontation. Really, the battle is that good--some of the best FPS action you can be involved with OFFline, by yourself. Most everything else is pedestrian FPS fare, with the usual strafing and gunning going on. Stepping on 'touch plates' to open passages, avoiding moving pillars (some composed of fire--HOT, OUCH), and hopping up weird staircases to collect power ups that make you faster, or give you godly powers... all of this is nice, and hey, it's even INNOVATIVE. But it's just new, often silly coloured paint on an old model and it doesn't charge the final product, and the final product just doesn't MOVE you. Just get to NME, save your game before you reach him, and keep fighting him, 'cause that's all the fun you'll want from Rise of the Triad. And that's a good thing, 'cause that's all the fun you'll GET from Rise of the Triad. Considering it's either dirt cheap or freeware right now, that's enough to make it worth the price of admission.

Rating: 4/10

Masters's avatar
Staff review by Marc Golding (January 14, 2004)

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