Classic 90s first-person shooter Rise of the Triad is to get a remake, swapping its heavily-modified Wolfenstein engine for the Unreal Engine for a serious graphical upgrade.
If you missed it first time around, Rise of the Triad was originally designed as an expansion pack for id Software's Wolfenstein 3D by co-founder Tom Hall. Hall's vision quickly outgrew the capabilities of Wolfenstein 3D, however, and his team - calling themselves The Developers of Incredible Power - would take the engine and rewrite it to include some rather more contemporary features.
For an idea of how upgraded the engine became, take a look at the screenshot of Wolfenstein 3D in this article
. As well as fully texture-mapped ceilings and floors, a skybox, motion-captured actors for enemies, dual-wielding pistols, explosive weapons, multi-level areas, and the ability to look up and down - hey, this was the 90s - the game would feature some of the most over-the-top gore ever seen, with explosions sending claret and eyeballs flying in all directions. Compared to Doom, based on a far newer engine than Rise of the Triad's Wolfenstein origins, it was nothing short of spectacular.
The game also gained popularity thanks to its robust multiplayer mode, being one of the first FPS games to feature multiple game types. Add in some humour, ridiculous weapons and power-ups - such as the 'asbestos armour,' which protects from fire but is described as 'itchy' in the in-game console - and Apogee and 3D Realms ended up with a shareware hit.
Now the game is coming back, promising the same frenetic over-the-top action with a side of polish courtesy of the Unreal Engine. Developed by Interceptor Software in partnership with original publisher Apogee, the game will include the same choice of five characters as the original, twenty single-player levels, new and classic multiplayer maps, all the original weapons - including the excellent Drunk Missile and the bizarre power-ups including Elasto Mode and Dog Mode - local LAN-based multiplayer, and a remixed heavy-metal version of the original's MIDI soundtrack.
If that wasn't enough, the developers promise an increase in the blood and gore - if you're into that sort of thing - along with full dismemberment of enemies and characters with carefully-placed shots. Creative types can also create and share their own levels.
The game is due to release via Steam later this year, with Interceptor promising that low-end PCs will be able to play the game just fine while those with high-end gaming systems will be able to crank the graphics up to insane levels.
If you want a taster of what Interceptor and Apogee have in store for fans of the original, check out the official video
- but crank the volume down if you're in polite company, as the developers have seen fit to add in some rather blue language along with the extra gibs.