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Developer Aadvark Options
Distributer GTI 1-2 Player
Game Type Shoot-em-up Memory Card
Review Date January 1998 Link Cable
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Setting the Scene
Following his triumph over Rigelatins, Duke Nukem returns to Los Angeles in a captured alien craft expecting a heroes welcome. After all, he had recently single handidly saved the human race from the evil Doctor Proton. Instead his ship is shot from the sky. Barely escaping with his life he ejected with seconds to spare and only just reaches relative safety on a skyscraper rooftop.

L.A. is under siege by an alien race who have captured many hundred of earthlings and encased the female of our species in green slimy cocoons. Your mission is to once again save the human race and discover why the sex starved extra-terrestrials want our babes.

A Doom style blaster set in a 3D environment which is packed with humorous innuendoes. It follows the tried and trusted shoot-em-up formula where your character must collect ammo and weapons then destroy everything in sight. To complete each area you must discover the Nuke button and blow the level to smithereens. Should you fail..... you must restart the level armed only with a rather crap pistol. Be warned, only the toughest and most sexist will survive.

A couple of years ago Duke Nukem hit the PC and was acclaimed to be the new Doom. You could now look up, look down, jump onto higher platforms or crouch down to crawl into confined spaces. The shoot-em-up genre has moved on since the Doom days (although the PSX classic still remains a firm favorite in my link-up collection). Lifeforce Tenka opted for polygon.... well everything really and was a worthy effort but in my opinion the only shooter to improve on Doom was last years offering from Labotomy - Exhumed/Powerslave. Superb lighting, atmospheric sound effects, moved at a cracking speed while retaining the gameplay that kept you hooked until the final showdown. I love shoot-em-up games and Labotomy's effort was the highlight of this genre last year. Thank God they have been selected to port Quake onto the PSX.

Graphically I was initially disappointed with the PSX version of Duke Nukem. I expected better for the console that now has Lara Croft portraying her charms around realistic locations such as Venice. It brought back those haunting memories of last year when I cast my eyes over the 32-bit versions of Hexan and (excuse me for swearing) Dark Forces. Blocky 2D enemies, flat featureless backdrops (you feel like your wandering around cardboard cut-out town) and lifeless explosions. Okay, it would be an unjustified exaggeration to claim that Duke looks as bad as Dark Forces, but the difference between Exhumed and this offering is colossal.

At least the game moves fast and includes plenty of challenging puzzles. You need to track down colored access cards to open locked doors where you will find passage onto the next stage. The enemies range from floating swamp creatures to LAPD pig cops who are a bitch to kill due to the fact that they keep lying down to shoot at you. This leaves you fidgeting about with the control pad trying to aim down but when you finally get the cross hair over their horizontal bodies they jump to their feet and start trotting around. Of all the enemies, these porky 2D cops look the smoothest and most detailed, which is more than can be said about the end of level boss. Captain Blocky.

Sounds and Effects
Forget the music. I found my mind wandering occasionally trying to fathom out just where I had heard similar tunes. I settled on the old TV series Starsky and Hutch. Dated!

The sound effects are rather good especially Duke Nukems famous one-liners. "Those Alien bastards are gonna pay for shooting up my ride" is his first muffled retort. Don't keep him hanging around too long or he will pitch in with something like "What are we waiting for - Christmas." It seems that everything from the PC version has remained untouched.

Duke Nukem 3D is split into four sections. When a new game is selected you are offered the choice of playing the earliest episode which is LA Meltdown, a space orientated Lunar Apocalypse, back to the big lights for Shrapnel City or the console only ultra special tough episode Plug 'N Pray. Each section has several levels to wade through therefore lastability is not in question and it will take quite some time to complete the entire game correctly. As in most shoot-em-ups there are many secret areas to uncover of which some are seriously well hidden and may never be stumbled upon.

Thankfully the controller layout may be adjusted to your liking and the ridiculous single strafe button may be reset to the more comfortable Doomed setting. Strafes belong on the shoulder pad and on this configuration you feel in complete control of the Duke. Other actions include jump, crouch, fire and use. Four actions for four face buttons. Excellent. Combinations of the shoulder buttons allow access into the inventory and essential Automap which allows you to change the perspective from first person to top down. You can even mix the two together so that you view from behind the gun but overlay the top down map over the screen ala Dark Forces. If you own an Analog controller then the left stick replaces the directional pad and the right replaces the strafe buttons. There are three difficulty settings which are Piece of Cake, Let's Rock and Come Get Some - need I explain?

To help you through the mayhem Duke Nukem includes a Quick Save feature that allows the action to flow along nicely. When you pass a tricky stage simply enter the in-game option screen and click the option to instantly record your position, but don't forget to transfer this info onto your memory card before you switch the unit off or all the data will be lost.

As you progress through the game the Duke will collect an impressive selection of weapons. Beginning with a standard pistol and a right boot that produces a hefty kick in the nether regions, he will soon be armed to the teeth with the firepower of a shotgun (packs a punch), chain cannon (gobbles up ammo), freeze-thrower (turns 'em into ice), devastator (the bizz), grenade launcher (keep your distance) and a pipe bomb (just throw and press the detonator when ready).

There are some nice touches during the game which is packed with tongue-in-cheek humor. On entering the cinema level you are faced with movie posters featuring strange titles such as 'Faster Piggy Cop. Kill. Kill' and 'The Duke Brothers'. Heading down to the wash room you catch a glimpse of an alien creature in the darkness ahead. Taking aim with your on-screen cross-hair you pump him full of bullets but he just won't go down. You edge a little closer and unload your entire stack to no avail. You are only a few metres away when a cool looking dude wearing shades steps in front of you and mimics your every action. It's a damn mirror and that alien was a reflection of a creature who is now right behind you. Dead meat.

Further investigation around the mens room sees Duke stop for a pee, sighing when relieved. Kick open the cubicle doors to reveal and alien having a dump - waste the piece of shit! Check out the air vent to reveal a secret passage into the projection room where you can switch on a 10mm movie of a scantily dressed dancer. Want a closer look? Then head down to the auditorium for your own personal showing. Moving further on the Duke enters the arcade room where an attempt to play the machines has the man warning you that "there isn't time to play with myself".

There are many interactive elements to Duke Nukem 3D. Jumping onto the pool table actually scatters the balls around the baize. Entering the seedy Red Light area sees Duke visit the dingy wank booths of a peep show which can be switched on for a view. There's even a paper towel dispenser for discharge, and if he climbs onto the stage in the night club he can offer a few bucks for a flash of the dancers boobs. Soon he is crawling around the sewers and climbing the highest mountains in his quest to rid the Earth of these alien beings. Once again the sewer levels and mountainous regions were very reminiscent of Dark Forces.

Value for Money
Should you buy it? Tricky one but.... yes. Well.... maybe. Then again there is always the link-up option for multiplayer mode. No, rent it first.

GRAPHICS: 14/20 Aside from the graphical disappointment Duke Nukem plays very well. There are ample levels of which some are huge sprawling areas. I haven't completed the entire game as yet but I'm sure that I will. However, I cannot see myself returning to discover all of the secret areas (which I did with Doom). The inclusion of link-up mode will ensure the games lastability.
SOUND: 9/10
VALUE: 18/20
GRAPHICS: Average I have got to be honest an say that after playing the P.C version of this game what seems like years ago, and considering the amount of time that this game has taken to reach the PlayStation, I was very disappointed with the final result. This game is by no means rubbish, but is a long way off being a classic!
SOUND: Average
VALUE: Average

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