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