I remember playing this game when I was 10 years old back in 1997 during hangouts with my friends, and it was incredibly a great time to play during weekends and even after school on weekdays when they were available. Duke Nukem has been fighting against hostile aliens long before Master Chief and Isaac Clarke ever existed.
Plot. The game picks up after the events of Duke Nukem II, after Duke has defeated the menacing Dr. Proton and his army. With Proton out of the way, Duke Nukem had plans for a vacation, which involved going to the beach and spend time with many busty and curvy women. But on his way back to Earth, his ship is shot down by hostile forces as he was descending into Los Angeles. While sending a distress signal, Duke learns that aliens are attacking Los Angeles and mutated the LAPD into pig cops. With his vacation plans ruined, Duke vows revenge and to put a stop to the invasion once and for all.
Other items can be picked up as well to help Duke prevent death. He can get an Atomic Health, which gives him over 100 health. The other items are: steroids, health pack, scuba gear, jetpack, HoloDuke, protective boots, and night vision goggles.
Concept. The purpose of the game is to guide Duke throughout various levels in three different chapters. L.A. Meltdown is where Duke Nukem 3D starts, where he must go from Los Angeles to the San Andreas Fault. The second chapter, Lunar Apocalypse, Duke must go through the spaceship to a lunar base, where the aliens prepare an invasion with the guidance of Overlord. And the final episode, Shrapnel City, Duke prepares for a final showdown with the Cycloid Emperor.
Design. As a first person shooter, Duke Nukem 3D involves roaming through different levels whether inside an area or in the outside world, presenting from the protagonist's perspective. The levels are designed in a non-linear manner, like many old games rendered in 2D, and players can go through air ducts, back doors, sewers, or finding enemy caches.
Players can also interact with objects such as turning on the lights, and tipping strippers for them to show their breasts, which sparked both media and parental ire. The environment in the game is highly destructible; most props can be destroyed by the player.
Controversy. Duke Nukem 3D was a target of controversy since it's initial release in 1996. The game was heavily attacked by critics, parents, religious groups, and the media, declaring that the game promotes murder and pornography. Examples include: Duke Nukem tipping strippers while dancing, and saying "Shake it, baby". I was only 10 when I first played the game, and I never imitated it. I am truly sick and tired of the media and these so called religious groups bashing violent games, thinking that they incite violence. That is major bullshit! (foul language, but necessary). The game was banned in Brazil due to a movie theater incident. The Nintendo 64 version was still very violent, but the strippers were excluded and the strip club was replaced with a burger restaurant
Memories. I played this game in 1997 with a few friends after school, I played it on their computer. We would spend hours of fun and excitement playing the game, and sometimes after Duke Nukem, we would play either Doom or Flight Simulator.
Rantings. The Overlord boss fight is the one that I hated the most, it took me ten tries to beat him. Overlord will constantly be throwing missiles and charging at you in an attempt to squash you like a bug. Enemies that I hated were the slimy little creatures that hatched out of the eggs, just like in the Alien franchise. The suicidal flying enemies in the space ship were also a bother as well.
Good Aspects. The graphics and storyline are awesome. Also, before God of War, this is one of the first video games that involves nudity and adult themes. The references to movies such as: Pulp Fiction, Alien, Jaws, Dirty Harry, Evil Dead II, and They Live, really defined the game's aspects. Also, what got me impressed is Duke encountering the corpses of Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, the protagonist of Doom, and a smashed T-800. This in fact is one of those games that I really want to play again.
Overall. Duke Nukem 3D is one of the most early, yet classical first person shooters of the 90's long before GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, Medal of Honor, Halo, and Call of Duty ever existed. This game gets an 8 out of 10