"A creative FPS infused with a lot of humour and personality"

Duke Nukem 3D is the game that put the Duke Nukem series on the map. The first two games were your average sidescrollers with a main character who had a quirky name. They weren't bad games, but they weren't anything special either. Along comes Duke Nukem 3D, a radical departure from the first two games, being a first person shooter and completely redesigning the character.

STORY:
The story picks up right where Duke Nukem II ended. Duke Nukem, supreme badass and ladies man, has just finished kicking some alien butt and coming home back to Earth only to find that the aliens he just exterminated have taken over and kidnapped all of the women for nefarious purposes. Duke decides to take things into his own hands, cracking one-liners and preparing to kick more butt. There's plenty of humour found in the game, largely from the clever jokes in the levels as well as Duke's one-liners. Duke is wildly different from the first two games; now a character in the vein of Bruce Campbell's Ash than the soap-opera watching wuss he was before.

Score: 8/10

GRAPHICS:
Duke Nukem 3D's graphics don't really hold up today, but for their time they were quite good. Duke Nukem 3D competed with Quake back in the day. It didn't have the same technology (Duke Nukem 3D still relied on sprites while Quake had all polygons) but it still looked pretty good. While 3D Realms did opt to rely on sprites, they were well animated. Each enemy has distinct animations, and they don't look so bad, even now.

Score: 8/10

SOUND:
Sound is impressive, to say the least. The Duke Nukem theme is enough to get your adrenaline pumping, and there's tons more music; one track for each level. If you don't like the current music track that's playing, you can switch to a different one. The sound effects are pretty good, but the best part is the voice acting. Jon St. Jon does the gruff voice of Duke Nukem, spouting off one-liners often enough to keep you laughing but not enough for you to get annoyed by them. Notable ones include "It's time to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and I'm all out of gum" and "That's one DOOMed Space Marine," in reference to the DOOM series.

Score: 9/10

GAMEPLAY:
The gameplay is same as every mid-90's shooter: you, and you alone, face off against tons and tons of enemies. You can have as many weapons and as much ammunition for them as you can carry, and in order to finish the level you'll have to look for keys, switches, etc to make it to the level exit switch. The game is split off into 3 episodes, and each of them ends with a bossfight and each of them also contain some secret levels. What makes this game different from the others and so great is in the execution.

The level design was great, and memorable levels such as the Red Light District and the final showdown were well done. There were tons of places to explore and lots of secrets to find. The Earth based levels looked pretty darn realistic when I first played this game, although obviously newer games have done these types of levels better.

No other game comes to mind when I think of interactivity. You can interact with ANYTHING in this game. Want to use that toilet? Go ahead, Duke will relieve himself with it. How about that water-fountain? You can drink from it to regain health. Touches like this were simply amazing.

The sheer amount of creative weapons in this game is amazing. You'll start off with a standard handgun, and you can kick people with your boots as a melee weapon. You'll move onto the standard shotgun and machine gun, and then the interesting stuff comes. You get pipe bombs, which can be tossed and remote detonated, as well as a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and laser trip-mines. The most interesting weapons though, and the Duke's trademark weapons, are the freeze gun and shrink ray gun. The freeze gun allows Duke to freeze any non-boss enemy for several seconds, allowing you to shatter them with your foot or another weapon. The shrink ray gun shrinks enemies down to miniscule size, allowing you to step on them like cockroaches. A few times you'll get shrunken yourself, and you'll have to do so in order to solve a few puzzles.

Score: 10/10

OVERALL:
Pros:
- Voice acting
- First humorous FPS (as far as I know)
- Interesting main character
- Great level design and the most interactivity... ever
- Interesting weapons
Cons:
- Sprite based graphics

FINAL SCORE: 10/10


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/22/07


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