Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition Review (Switch eShop)

The ’90s: A Decade of Wild Marketing and Rise of the Triad

The 1990s was a decade defined by outlandish marketing campaigns, provocative magazines, and the rise of the PlayStation. It was a time of rich experimentation in the world of video games, particularly with the use of polygon graphics and a deliberate push to challenge boundaries.

A Standalone PC Title with a Unique Twist

Rise of The Triad, initially conceived as a sequel, ultimately became a standalone PC game in 1995. Developed by Apogee Software (later known as 3D Realms), this remastered version called ‘Ludicrous Edition’ is now brought to us by Nightdive Studios, known for their expertise in enhancing classic PC titles.

A Bizarre and Otherworldly Adventure

In Rise of the Triad, players assume the role of H.U.N.T, a special UN covert team on a mission to infiltrate San Nicolas Island and prevent a dangerous Nazi-like cult from launching nuclear missiles at Los Angeles. As a member of this team, you’ll navigate through maze-like stages teeming with dark and peculiar elements, surreal landscapes, occult symbols, and futuristic devices.

The game world is filled with bricked towers, towering flames, magical columns, spinning pylons, and floating platforms that lead to hidden bonuses and powerful weapons. To replenish your health, you’ll come across unconventional food items like ‘priest porridge’ and ‘monk meal’, often concealed within giant urns or candelabra.

A Pulp-Inspired Adventure with a Twist

The enemy you face in Rise of the Triad is a cult adorned in trench coats and SS uniforms, bearing a striking resemblance to Nazis from a different era. Led by a shaman named El Oscuro, they unleash fireballs while shouting Latin phrases such as “Eat your veggies.” One intriguing item you might discover is the Excalibat, a green glowing baseball bat infused with Oscuro’s power.

Rise of the Triad immerses players in an irreverent era, alongside other iconic games like Earthworm Jim and Sega’s Cyber Razor Cuts. This first-person shooter is known for its Mortal Kombat-style blood sprays and humorous “ludicrous gibs” messages when enemies are obliterated by Drunk Missiles. The game also includes trippy mushroom trips and moments where enemies beg for mercy before meeting their doom.

A Game Filled with Secrets and Intense Action

Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition offers players five different campaigns packed with hidden secrets. From touchpad areas and moving walls to floor pressure points and tricky obstacles, these hidden treasures often reward players with powerful weapons. The game’s arsenal ranges from twin pistols and machine guns with unlimited ammo to larger firearms, bazookas, and missile launchers with finite supplies.

Rise of the Triad is an action-packed game where conservation is rarely a concern. It cleverly incorporates verticality into its maps, allowing players to use air and overhead areas strategically. The game offers a range of power-ups, including flight abilities, god-like magic spells, and even the ability to transform into an invincible dog armed with a ‘Barkblast’ shockwave attack.

The Ultimate Remastered Package

This remastered version of Rise of the Triad is complete with all the content the game has ever had. It includes every pre-existing expansion and introduces an entirely new episode designed by the original creators. With adjustable difficulty settings, a plethora of achievements, and extensive customization options, this version offers a definitive experience for fans.

A Blast from the Past with a Modern Twist

Playing Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition does come with its challenges. The game’s fast-paced movement can sometimes make navigating hovering platforms and combat a bit difficult. The difficulty level also varies greatly between stages, with some being incredibly challenging while others are relatively easy. The visual design may require some adjustment due to its labyrinthine layout, but it offers a unique vertical gameplay experience.

Despite its creative flair, Rise of the Triad doesn’t feel as fresh as modern games like Doom. However, for dedicated players, it provides moments of adrenaline-fueled excitement and unforgettable highlights. With its polished graphics, extensive content, and online multiplayer mode, Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition remains the definitive version of this classic game.