Review by Joe the Destroyer
"Who knew killing piggies could be this fun?"
Getting into shooters was one reason I literally begged my parents for a PC. Of all the shooters I've played, quite a few seem to come to mind as the ''classics'' (being that they were the first few I played): Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, Heretic, but especially Duke Nukem 3D. Duke Nukem 3D is a much different game from the first couple of games in the Duke Nukem series (which were action/platform games). This one, instead, takes you to more of a 3D, first-person perspective, much like Doom. This game, however, had one thing that Doom doesn't: Attitude!
''Nobody steals our chicks... and lives!''
In Duke Nukem 3D, some aliens are trying to take over the world and have captured many of the inhabitants, especially women. This angers Duke Nukem, who has faced this sort of thing before, and he springs into action, armed with various weapons and catch phrases ripped off of Bruce Campbell. Sounds like another really basic alien takeover storyline. Oh well, this game isn't very storyline driven.
Yet Another Typical FPS
This game is much like many other first-person shooters out there, only this one includes a lot of extras beyond looking left to right, moving forward and back, and shooting. This was one of the first shooter games (along with Heretic, I don't know which came out first) to include an inventory for some items that you can use throughout the game.
A key item in these inventories was the jetpack, which also made this one of the first shooter games, if not the first shooter game, to include flight. When I first played this game and found out you had the ability to fly, I thought it was the coolest thing since the BFG. Well, maybe not as cool as the BFG as far as battle is concerned, but as far as exploration and adventure, the jet pack added quite a bit to the game.
Duke Nukem also has his own ''bag of tricks.'' Much like every shooter game, Duke gets his own collection of deadly assault weapons such as a pistol, a shotgun, a chaingun, an RPG, etc. When he's out of bullets, all he has to rely on his his trusty, black boot. This game has a great array of weapons, especially for as old as it is. A lot of them will remind you of weapons found in Doom, but with a different name and graphical effect. I thought the pipe bomb was cool to have! I liked throwing that in hard to reach places and inducing an explosion, thereby kill anything near it.
Duke Nukem: Then and Later
What separated this game from other shooters? The fact that it was just a bit different. Different looking enemies, different types of weapons, an inventory for your items. This game has a lot in it. It's just too bad to see that this became a big franchise and is sadly over-milked in my view. After Duke Nukem Forever, I honestly think they should pull the plug on this series before they severely burn it out (that could be too late if this review lives to see any Duke games come beyond DNF).
The graphics, considering the time this game was made, are pretty good. They were indeed a step up for a shooter game. While they still seemed a bit pixilated, I didn't expect them to be extremely smooth just yet. Graphics hadn't evolved that far along just yet. The enemy and weapon designs were really cool along with the explosion effects. All of this adds together to make for an all around pleasant graphical experience.
The sounds, well... I hate the music, but the sound effects and the voices are pretty good. I actually hate almost all the music from early FPS's for some reason. Sure, the music is basic as expected to be considering it's age, but it's also very annoying and has a crappy, distorted edge to it. The sound effects sounded on cue. I love the explosions and the impact noises made when you fire rockets or other heavily artillery. The voices were pretty cool to have as they added that extra attitude the game ran on.
Graphics: Good considering The Times 8/10
Sounds: I usually turn the music off, but the other sounds range from bearable to good 7/10
Control: The controls work easy enough. Learning the tasks of the buttons can be a chore, though 7/10
Plot/Storyline: A man out to save the world. Seen it all before 4/10
Gameplay: It's a pretty fun game, yes 9/10
All Together: 8/10
*Good graphics for its given time
*Slightly revolutionary in some areas
*Packed with attitude
*Why not make up some of your own catch phrases, Duke?
I recommend this to almost any shooter fan. Don't expect anything advanced as far as gaming features. This is a pretty old game, but a good one that that (an oldie but goodie, I guess you could say).
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/12/01, Updated 11/05/01
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