Duke Nukem 3D
Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Wednesday, 24 November 2004

Duke Nukem 3D was released in 1996 just before Quake hit the market. With Duke Nukem 3D a new game engine called Build were introduced for the first time. The Duke Nukem series had been seen on the gaming scene before as platform games but this was the first time gamers would see Duke Nukem in 3D.

The story in Duke 3D is that aliens have invaded earth and the human species are endangered. Mankind is looking for a solution to survive, what can be stronger than an army, stronger than a nuclear bomb, harder than Rambo? The answer is simple; Duke Nukem.

Duke Nukem 3D starts when Aliens shoot down Duke over Los Angeles, he crash-lands on a roof and the action starts for three episodes. The first episode is set in LA, the second one in space (on the alien space ships) and the third in LA again.

Each episode consists of about ten levels, each of them very different. Overall I love the level design in Duke Nukem 3D, itís very special for its time. I especially like the level design of the alien spaceships, which is similar to what you might imagine their ships to be like.

Of course you have a set of weapons to crush your alien opponents with. The weaponry consists of the usual pistol, shotgun, and automatic rifle but also more interesting weapons for example the freezer thrower. The thrower can be used to freeze your opponents to ice and then kick them to pieces. Another weapon is the shrinker, which as the name hints is used to shrink your opponents.

The Alien AI is not that good and on most levels they have pre-defined places and routes. This means that if you have played a level a couple of times you will learn the enemy positions quickly. However on the more difficult levels the enemy positions wonít matter that much since there will be a load of them.

Duke Nukem 3D is built by something called sprites. Sprites are virtually 2D objects modelled to look like 3D; they can be animated but doesnít have to. Doom and Doom II among other 3D shooters were also built using this technique.

However in game development today real 3D objects are used (first time in Quake) instead of sprites that give a more natural look. I donít know what Aliens are supposed to look like but the Aliens in Duke 3D arenít that frightening and they donít look that natural.

3D Realms has been kind to include several editors on the Duke Nukem 3D cd-rom. These editors can be used to build your own levels, add your own sounds and so on. They are not that hard to learn and there is a lot of documentation available.

I really like Duke Nukem 3D, it might be violent and without taste but it still a really fun game. Parents concerned about video game violence might be on their guard towards this game, itís recommended from the age of 18.


Developer: 3D Realms
Website for game: N/A
Publisher: US Gold
O/S: Win 98/ME/2000/XP
Cost of Full Game: Can be hard to find, about $15

486 DX 66, 16mb Ram
Tested on:
Pentium III Mobile 850 mhz, 384 mb RAM, Windows XP


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