Duke Nukem 3D
Release: February, 19966
Genre: Doom game
Developer: 3D Realms
Publisher: 3D Realms (FormGen)
Requirements: 486DX, 66 MHz, 8 MB RAM, 2X CD ROM drive, 25 MB hard disk space, SoundBlaster compatible Summary: Get that freeze-thrower out, aim it at an alien and kick him to ice cubes. You will need the cubes for the drinks at the end of the run. Duke Nukem has 28 levels and a bunch of bosses. Inside the alien infested area you will be up against Lizardmen, Flying Saucer, Pig Cops, Octabrain, Exploding Drones, Aline Commnader, First Boss, Sedond Boss and Final Boss.
History: Duke Nukem in his various adventures and reincarnations is loved by many game players, my son, Mike is included in the group that has fanatical devotion to the antics of this hero in the side scroller type game. This newest Duke-Doom-clone is
Plot: While on his way home in a stolen space craft, our hero Duke finds himself without a space craft and shot down on the top of a tall building in Los Angeles. Now LA is dangerous enough without what Duke finds. A hostile alien species has taken over the most dangerous neighborhoods in Los Angeles and Duke is gonna go in there and save the inhabitants, with both guns blazing.
Wonderful cut scenes divide episodes and reward you for getting that far. The plot is based on the abduction of Earth women by the aliens. This is the excuse for the large amounts of female nudity found in the game. Most cut scenes focus in on Duke and his killing of the alien bosses. The funny, shocking cut scenes are entertaining but they are irrelevant and do not advance the plot, making them useless to most game players. Good thing the cut scenes do not get in the way of game play.
Duke runs the gamut while exploring and searching for the aliens. Since the aliens (Martians) need women, the area they have invaded is the sleazy and objectionable "red light district" full of dirty book stores, XXX movie theaters, topless bars, the disco, and Karaoke bars for the masochistic, all full of scantily clad women, who are billed as strippers and prostitutes. Other locations to explore are the mothership and parts of the streets and buildings of the red light district are not quite so offensive and in bad taste.
Game play: The game play is centered around the time honored standard started in 1992 with the original Doom: kill the bad guys, find the power ups, find the keys and switches, open the doors, move on and kill some more until they are all dead. Additional game play on the exploitive side includes sparing the females and using your Visa card.
I really liked the freeze gun where you kick the frozen enemy into ice cubes. Another nice touch was to shrink your enemies and step on them. The monsters are good in Duke and unless you are careful your adventure will be all to short. Mirrors appear like the monster and are more often shot than not.
Many object in the game break when shot such as the toilets, vending machines, mirrors, and surveillance cameras. The name of the game is violence, maiming and killing evil aliens. Duke says it is ok to kill, maim, and even shoot aliens who are wounded and begging for mercy because they are evil. Not a philosophy I personally espouse.
You also shoot humanoid pig-like aliens in police uniforms and the scantily clad women who invariably end up in the line of fire, and while avoiding killing the women is an option the alien pig police cannot be avoided or they will kill you.
Monsters: Face suckers the aliens that crawl across the ceiling and jump on Dukes face and just stay there causing damage until you manage to get them off.
Weapons: The Devastator, an automatic rocket launcher, pipe bombs, pistols, shotgun, freeze gun that shrinks your enemies, shrinker that reduces them to bite-sized lumps, and laser trip bombs are all a part of Duke's arsenal.
Interface: Duke, first person perspective Doom-like game can be controlled by the keyboard or mouse, but not a joystick as seen in many other games.
Graphics: The realistic graphics of Duke Nukem were the best available for its time at from 320x200 to 800x600 pixels, the graphics really rocked even on low MHz Pentium machines. Real-time shadows made the game even more realistic.
Animation: Animation was smooth without jerks and hesitation on even low level Pentium machines. The characters themselves are not spectacularly animated save the bosses who are at the end of every level.
Voice actors: Duke actually speaks and gives us an unending stream of comments similar to those in a James Bond movie. "I am gonna make them pay for shooting up my ride," "No one steals our chicks . . . and lives", and "It's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I am outta gum," come to mind as some of the most noteworthy lines.
Music score: Huh
Sound effects: huh?
Comparisions: Doom I & II, Hexen, Heretic, Witchhaven I & II, Tekwar, Cybermage, Heretic, Greed, Dark Forces, Powerslave, and other Doom clones.
Another nice feature is the level editor so that players can make and exchange their favorite levels, providing a dimension beyond some of the commercially created levels. Unfortunately the level editor, called a build level creation system, is not easy to use or master. This multiplayer game supports up to 8 players simultaneously. Ten online gaming service runs internet Duke outs. (www.ten.net)
Interesting locations in the game mimic other locations in other games, movies, and television, including Doom, Star Trek: The Next Generation, O. J. Simpson Case, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Indiana Jones, The Empire Strikes Back, Quake, and The Simpsons.
Multiplayer: Duke Nukem 3D will support up to eight players by phone modem, null modem, network or internet play, in free for all (FFA) or team action. Multi-player action is enhanced by special hiding places, air vents, and security cameras that can be used for surveillance of you local area to scope out intruders.
Type these in anywhere in the game.
IDSTUFF: all equipment, weapons, and ammunition
Documentation: The manual is short and sweet and will be especially loved by those who do not want to spend their life reading manuals, but there is enough meat with a few hints on how to take out the dozens of monsters in the game should your action lead you to the obligatory library break. The manual also tells you about the cheat codes and does not lie to the game player that the cheats were pulled out of the final copy, like some game companies we all know.
Hints: Back out of a room with a security drone in it and close the door - the drone will explode on the door. Shoot an entire room of monsters by spreading out your shots and spraying the room to even up the odds. See Prima's Duke Nukem guide for additional hints.
Todd Vaughn, PC Gamer, volume 3, number 7, July, 1996, pg. 78-79. 93%
Peter Olafson, Computer Gaming World, number 144, Jyly, 1996, pg. 130-135, 4.5/5 (90%), http://www.zdnet.com/gaming/content/960716/duke3d/duke.html,
Thierry Nguyen and Dave Salvator, Computer Gaming World, number 146, September, 1996, pg. 71.
Paul Schuytema, Computer Gaming World, September, 1996, pg. 112-118.
Steve Klett, level editing, PC Games, volume 3, number 9, September, 1996, pg. 22.
The Levelord, Build Your Own Duke Levels, PC Games, volume 3, number 9, September, 1996, pg. 43-50.
Jason D'Aprile, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 71, October, 1996, pg. 90-92.
Yarlen, http://www.avault.com/yarlen/duke2.html, 4.5/5, (90%-95%).
Steve Bauman, http://www.cdmag.com/action_vault/duke_nukem_3d_review/page1.html
Ben Hatfield, http://www.gamesmania.com/english/reviews/new/duke/duke.htm, 7/10, (70%)
Tim Soete, http://www.gamespot.com/action/dukenuke/reviews.html, (88%).
Kevin J. McCann, Secret Area Guide, Computer Player, volume 3, number 3, August, 1996, pg. 36-39 Joe Grant Bell, Prima’s Duke Nukem 3D Unauthorized Construction Kit, $19.99, 916-632-4400.