Following a low-key initial announcement in 2020, a remaster of classic ’90s FPS Rise of the Triad has finally been detailed. It’s a collaboration between original developer Apogee Entertainment, remaster specialists Nightdive, and retro shooter fanatics New Blood Interactive, and it’ll be out early next year.
Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition will include all the original episodes and expansion packs, including the fan-made Return of the Triad, as well as a new episode. It’ll be in modern resolutions with increased and adjustable FOV, an updated HUD and UI, and the original sprites and textures. A level editor and Steam Workshop support will be included, as will new netcode for the multiplayer, restored content including assets from the period during development when it was a sequel to Wolfenstein 3D, and the option to choose between the original music or Andrew Hulshult’s soundtrack for the 2013 reboot, which was one of the only good things about it.
A ridiculous gory good time, Rise of the Triad was truly the juiciest shooter of the 1990s. It’s also a historically significant game to bring back in a souped-up form and a modern engine—specifically Nightdive’s KEX engine, as seen in remasters like Quake, Blood, and Doom 64. Rise of the Triad’s multiplayer went up to 11 players and debuted the first capture-the-flag mode. Plus, its LUDICROUS GIBS! message accompanying the red detonations of its enemies is how the word “gibs”, an abbreviation of giblets in Apogee’s studio slang, became part of the gamer vocabulary.
Rise of the Triad was also an innovator in destructibility, with fragile level furniture and walls that could be marked by bulletholes. Its levels were notable for their use of elevation, with jump pads launching the player to higher ledges and platforms, as well as the density of their secret rooms. Beyond all that, it was super fun to play, with power-ups like dog mode (god mode but you’re an invulnerable dog), elasto mode (which takes away all friction, turning you into a kind of bouncy pinball that cannons off walls), and shrooms mode (which transforms your view into a psychedelic haze).
The 2013 reboot, while it didn’t capture the original’s sense of humor or fun, was also significant since it helped bring together the developers who would be responsible for much of today’s retro shooter revival. Dave Oshry, principal director on the Rise of the Triad reboot, became CEO of New Blood, and David Szymanski was enough of a fan of the reboot to send Oshry a demo of a game he was working on. New Blood would eventually publish that game as Dusk in 2018.