Like most of you, I picked up my free copy of Duke Nukem 3D this week over at GoG. If you somehow missed out on this deal, you can read on below about what a gloriously exciting classic the game is, and why you should go out and play it today!
Developed for a budget of $300,000, Duke Nukem 3D is heralded as one of the three games to popularize first person shooters (the others being Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM). Released in 1996, the game was both an immense hit and a controversial one.
Taking place after the events of Duke Nukem 2, the game sees Duke returning to earth, only to be shot down by an unknown assailant. Quickly learning that Los Angeles is now under attack by an alien force, Duke sets out to stop them. Sure, it’s not the deepest story going in video games, but it sets the stage for many an action filled level.
Battling your way through LA, you fight Pig-Cops (the cops have been mutated you see), Octabrains, and a whole host of other alien monsters. The levels themselves are nicely varied, and include locales such as subways, strip clubs, malls, the moon, and more. Duke’s often lowbrow humor is present throughout the game, and is famously brought to life by the venerable John St. John. The game is funny, action packed, and is remembered fondly by a lot of gamers who grew up in the 1990’s.
And then…there’s the controversy. Upon release, many criticised the game for the presence of nudity (there’s a lot of stippers, ok?), the ability to kill NPC characters (again, mostly strippers), and the ability to pay women to expose themselves (again, strippers). The game was released in a time where Grand Theft Auto did not yet exist, and nudity and extreme violence were not present in many of the video games widely available. Was most of it done in a tounge-in-cheek manner? Yes. Was it morally questionable? It depends on who you ask. Either way though, the game was akin to playing through an R-Rated B-Movie, and it was a hell of a blast. Just make sure you don’t go into it if you’re easily offended by the aforementioned things. Then of course, the game was rated M, so anyone complaining should have known what they were getting themselves into.
The game of course would later be ported from MS-DOS to Windows, MAC OS, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Mega Drive, Xbox Live Arcade, iOS, and the even Maemo 5. It would also see various spin-offs, including the Atomic Edition, Duke Caribbean: Life’s a Beach, Duke it out in D.C., and many more. Needless to say, the game was an immense hit that spanned an incredible amount of platforms and was enjoyed by countless gamers. If you have yet to play this 90’s classic, I suggest you wander over to GoG and snag yourself a copy today.