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Of course, where would your average 3D blaster be without an assortment of particularly nasty hardware? Straight in the bin, that's where. And DN3D has got more lethal weaponry than Saddam Husseins' Christmas list. You start off with the fairly weedy pistol.. okay for sniping, but pretty useless if your foe is carrying anything bigger than a shotgun.
Reviewed by Matt Szpirglas
Next comes the now-traditional shotgun, enough to see the real cannon fodder of the game with one or two shots. Then you get the Ripper, a chaingun, good for most things as long it doesn't chuck missiles. Up one from that, there's the RPG , your standard or garden rocket launcher, good for groups of baddies, or the bigger monsties And that's not all. There are toilets (where were those in Doom, eh?), where you can relieve yourself for a health bonus, or if you're feeling particularly destructive, blow up the urinals, and smash the mirror.
Open the cubicle doors, and you might just find a bad guy doing his business. A blast from the shotgun, and he's dead before he can reach the bog roll. The levels are be-decked with features and effects like this. Go into the sushi-bar and you'll find a karaoke mike, which you can sing into, and even a food-conveyor, with assorted body parts. Yum! Basically, I could go on for ages. Suffice to say, bags and bags of imagination has been put into the levels, and it shows. There's scarcely a thing you can't use, blow up, or both.
"Once in a while a game comes along that will revolutionize a genre. A game of such complexity and ingenuity that it redefines the limits and expectations of the gamers and the game designers. Duke Nukem 3D by Apogee and 3D Realms is not such a game. The graphics are neat, but nothing new, the levels long and sometimes tedious, and the sound is decent, but not amazing. So, why waste the time, you ask? Because DN3D has one feature that many older series do not, one elusive element that makes all its graphical and technolongical mediocrity bearable: Duke Nukem 3D is fun.
And now, I'll tell you why. Duke's graphics are good, but not innovative or mind-blowing. The enemies seem kind of flat, even though they are very cool in design. There is a great attention to detail, but unless you plan to spend your time rubbing noses with the walls, then it is hardly noticeable. But, nonetheless, there are a few redeeming qualities in the visual department. Little things, like the shells kicking off of your guns or the neat-o blood trails Duke leaves behind him when he walks through a dead guy, add just the right zing to Duke's other wise drab world. The levels are erratic. Some, like Red Light District and Spin Cycle, are very cool, with spinning floors and whole buildings to clear out, shoot up, and in some cases, destroy all together. Others, however, are long, boring, and full of annoying little enemies that cause frustration more than difficulty.
Again, why bother? Because just when you think that you're done with this silly, boring game, and are just about to exit and erase the whole bloody thing, something happens. A floor collapses, something blows up, or Duke may say a funny line - and trust me, the lines are very funny. And that is what makes DN3D fun. Passable action, intense gore, and a genuinely twisted sense of humor. If you're looking for the next big thing in computer gaming, try Quake or something, but if you're in the mood for big guns, big bangs, and big fun than try out Duke Nukem 3D.
By Matt Szpirglas Posted 06/25/97
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