Rise of the Triad
As is the norm, the plot behind Rise of the Triad is razor thin, but thatâ€™s not really an issue with this sort of game. This time around, youâ€™re a member of the HUNT (the High-risk United Nations Taskforce), a covert group of troubleshooters. Seems the evil Oscurido cult has destroyed Los Angeles, and youâ€™re trapped on their secret island. Youâ€™ll have to stack up dead cult members before you get to their boss, El Oscuro. That means exploring more than 30 levels, avoiding a huge assortment of hazards along the way.
Itâ€™s those hazards that make Triad different — youâ€™ll have to dodge moving walls, rolling boulders, lava pits, flame jets, gas traps, and spinning columns of razor-sharp blades. Traps were around since Doom, but you really didn’t see them get this sophisticated in that game. Triadâ€™s mazes are also peppered with levitating platforms, secret doors and jump-pads that can bounce you over obstacles or onto your enemyâ€™s head.
All those gadgets make for some interesting puzzles. You might use a jump-pad to hop into a fenced-off area and grab an all-important key, then realize there arenâ€™t any jump-pads to get you back out again. If you canâ€™t find the hidden exit, youâ€™re stuck. The moving walls can put you in some interesting situations, too — nothing gets the old adrenaline going like charging down a narrow hallway with a huge wall barreling down on you. But one of Triadâ€™s few drawbacks is hidden here, too — the designers made it just a little too easy to get yourself into a situation where there is no way out, other than dying or restoring a saved game. The complexity of the game is also very limited by the engine, resulting in some very blocky, Wolfenstein-ish levels.
The game features a wealth of nifty items and weapons, too. In a nod to Wolfenstein , youâ€™ll get most of your healing from little bowls of food. The weapons are pretty straightforward. You start with a basic pistol, and youâ€™ll eventually find a machine gun and various missile weapons. The missiles range from a simple bazooka to a heat-seeker to the wicked Firewall, which can crispy-fry a whole hallway of bad guys. Thereâ€™s also the occasional magical weapon, like the Dark Staff.
Apogee wasn’t a stranger to action games, and they’ve shown themselves to be accomplished in making a hectic shooter with Triad. It’s midway between Wolfenstein and Duke Nukem 3D, with the former’s blocky levels and the latter’s bloody, adrenaline-fueled action.
System Requirements: 80386DX CPU, 4 MB RAM, DOS
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