By Dalton McClain / November 11th, 2017
|Title||Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour|
|Developer||Nerve Software, Gearbox Software|
|Release Date||Oct 11, 2016|
|Platform||PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Age Rating||M for Mature|
I’m sure by now most of you at least know who Duke Nukem is. He was an icon of one of the quintessential FPS games back in the 1990s. This game, along with Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake was highly praised for its contributions to the FPS genre. Now I know what you might be asking: What exactly is Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour, and what does it have that sets it apart? In order to tell you that, we’ll have to go over what the original game was all about. So why don’t we do just that?
For those of you who may not be familiar with him, Duke Nukem is a crude, wise-cracking man just oozing with machismo. He never spoke in his first game, Duke Nukem, and was a completely different character than the one we know and love today. He didn’t evolve into this personality until 1996 with the release of Duke Nukem 3D. He became sort of the embodiment of every action movie star. This helped him stand out among other FPS games, because while you were still killing demons and aliens, you were doing it with an air of comedy.
So now that you’re accustomed to Duke Nukem, what does this game do to be different from the original? Well, besides having everything from the original, as well as the rewind feature that lets you rewind time if you die or mess up, they also threw in an entire new level that was created by some of the people behind the original game. The levels play exactly like you’d expect, with the newest one containing a new enemy, as well as a new weapon. Deep within the Alien World Order level, you’ll find a mysterious enemy that can shrink and erupt in flames. This is known as the Firefly, and is a really cool enemy design that meshes really well with the Duke Nukem world. And if you’re feeling like you need more fire in your life, then you have the ability to light things up as well with the brand new flamethrower. These are really welcome additions and make the game seem new and fresh, but familiar at the same time.
These weren’t the only additions however, as there were a bunch of aesthetic tweaks to the game as well. There is an entirely new lighting and effects system implemented, as well as a new rendering option that you can turn on and off at will called “True 3D.” This option turns the game from 2.5D to what you would expect from a modern 3D game. In both options, the art looks very pretty, but familiar at the same time. I absolutely love the design of this game. The new level in the game also includes new lines from Duke’s voice actor, as well as an entirely new musical score. The new music score fits perfectly with the tone of the game, being upbeat and heavy at the same time. It really gets you in the mood to blow up some of the hideous monstrosities throughout the game. It makes you feel like the Hollywood hero that you’re supposed to feel like. If you’re a fan of the game or just game design in general you may also like the Director’s Commentary option. I always love getting to peek behind the curtain and it was a real treat for me, being a fan of this series, to go back and listen to what the directors of the game had to say.
Overall I think that Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour is a fine game, though there are a couple of glaring issues that I absolutely can’t ignore. For one the sound quality just sounds off. I can’t quite place why but it sounds muffled to me and it really sucks me out of the game because I’m used to how the old game sounded. The other problem would be the price tag, because $20 just seems a bit too much to me, especially for people who may already own the title. But if you see it knocked down a bit price wise I would definitely recommend picking it up. I’ve spent over 10 hours in this game just going back and playing the levels that I knew and loved from the original, and the new level only extended my playtime. Whether you’re a returning vet or a fragile newcomer, you’ll enjoy this game.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
Duke NukemDuke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World TourGearboxNerve Software