Previewed by Hank Leukart

Note: These screen shots of RISE OF THE TRIAD may not be completely accurate after the final version of the game is released. The game is not yet completed and is subject to change.

          Computer      Graphics        Memory          Disk Space 
Minimum   486/25        320x200x256     4mb             3.5mb? (shareware)
Max/Rec.  486/33                        8mb             19mb (registered)

Control:  Keyboard, Joystick, Mouse, and Gravis GamePad.
  Sound:  All major General MIDI compatible sound cards including the
          Sound Blaster, Gravis UltraSound, WaveBlaster, Pro Audio
          Spectrum, Adlib, Sound Man 16, Sound Canvas, and AWE32.
  Notes:  A 9600 baud (or higher) modem or LAN network is useful to play
          the two player mode.

Previewed Beta version on: 386/40, 486/33, 16MB RAM, Sound Blaster v2.0,
                           Logitech MouseMan, and Gravis UltraSound card.
     Previewer recommends: A General MIDI wavetable synthesis sound
                           card, a Microsoft compatible mouse, and a 14.4k
                           baud (or higher) modem.

Digustingly violent. Putrid. Horrid. Inconceivably bloody. These are all words I would use to describe the screen shots I took for this game. RISE OF THE TRIAD (herein known as ROTT) is probably the most graphically violent, first person, 3-D game yet. I love the carnage!

The game is loads of fun. Using either a Pistol (Walther P38), Dual Pistols, an MP40 Machine Gun, a Bazooka, Firebombs, Heatseekers, Drunk Missiles, Flamewalls, Split Missiles, or the Excalibat (yes, a baseball bat), you must destroy all of the digitized actors before they destroy you. Yes, there are a lot of weapons, but you will need them to defend yourself against more than sixteen different types of enemies.

You have got to love the power ups in this game. Apogee did something very creative with these: there are good and bad powerups. For instance, god mode makes you ten feet tall and allows you to fire incredibly powerful "energy" called Godfire. However, "Shrooms" make you dizzy and move you around in random directions, making it very difficult to dodge incoming grenades. Of course, you can't forget Dog Mode, which turns you into a dog, makes you two feet tall, and allows you to bite enemies. You can also use this to sneak into small spaces.

There are even three types of armor: bullet proof, asbestos, and gas masks. Bullet proof armor protects you from bullet weapons (obviously), asbestos protects you from flying fireballs, and the gas mask will protect you if one of your "buddies" releases poison gas into the room you are in. The poisonous gas is something you will not want to come across without a mask; your screen turns greenish, you start coughing, and you lose energy quite quickly. Better find a power up fast, or you could be dead meat!

ROTT's environment is very interactive. Using PGUP and PGDN, you can look at the ceiling and floor and shoot enemies that are higher up than you. You cannot, however, use the mouse to control this movement, and ROTT does not support the Cyberman. You can fire your shots into ANY object (including flowers and lights on the ceiling) and they will explode. (YES!) Another one of my favorites is glass windows. If you see a window, shoot it! It will shatter into thousands of pieces! In ROTT there are often hidden places on the floor you can step on to open secret doors. ROTT's doors open many different ways, including splitting diagonally and sliding open. Some other exciting things include spinblades (you have got to love it when an enemy walks into this and he or she explodes into a hundred pieces), firejets, crushing cylinders, lava walls, spear stabbers, trampolines, and crates of TNT.

By popular demand, the game allows you to play five different characters, two of which are women. The graphics on the "hand" holding the gun change as well as your voice (not in real life, in the game, silly!). For you "violence desensitizes children" lobbyists, ROTT even has a password option to keep the flying intestines to a bare minimum.

Many are probably asking, "Is it better than DOOM?" Well, it is a hard call. It is definitely more graphically violent, although some of ROTT's digitized actors look a little more like cardboard than DOOM's enemies which were created with clay models. DOOM is extremely playable on a 386/40 with 4mb of RAM, but ROTT does not quite cut it. ROTT needs a 386/40 with at least 8mb of RAM to do the caching fast enough, but I would simply recommend a 486/33 with 4mb of RAM (but 8mb is even better for graphic caching). Some of ROTT's levels are much bigger than DOOM's, but DOOM's ability to connect walls at angles that are not ninety degress definitely gives it an edge over ROTT when it comes to artistic level design.

I have not tested ROTT's Comm-Bat (tm) mode to compare it to DOOM's DeathMatch, but I assume that ROTT's will be as fun as DOOM's. ROTT will contain thirty (yes, I said 30) levels designed specifically for killing a friend. Additionally, ROTT supports networks with up to ELEVEN players. That has got to be cool!

For people who drool at the mention of graphic violence, no doubt ROTT is the game for you. Die-hard DOOM fans, however, may have trouble moving away from their favorite game, especially with DOOM's sequel shipping as I write this. Watch for ROTT's release in late October or early November.

This preview is Copyright (C) 1994 by Hank Leukart for Game Bytes Magazine. All rights reserved.