Hail to the king…again baby?
Duke Nukem 3D is like the Resident Evil 4 of FSP games. It has been ported to almost everything, and now it comes to this generation of consoles, but for the first time, it doesn’t come alone. For the 20th anniversary publisher Gearbox has really packed a lot into this version. There is developer commentary, they spruced up the engine, and even went as far as to add a whole new episode to the core game. Duke may be old, but he is still just as sharp as he was in the 90’s.
Let’s start with what is new. Gearbox has been pretty vocal about their new graphics and lighting system in this edition. Now, don’t expect Duke 3D to be up to par with current games, but it is definitely noticeable. I am also a huge fan of the new, more condensed HUD in the game. This version also comes packed with developer commentary. Scattered around the levels (yes, it can be turned off) are little points of interest where the developers talk about the game, and the levels themselves. There is a lot of really neat information in these tidbits. Sadly, they seem to focus on specific levels, as those have numerous audio clips to hear, while other levels are mostly barren.
Platforms: XB1 (reviewed), PS4, PC
Price I’d Pay: $19.99
The biggest addition to this package though is the brand new episode “Alien World Order.” This handful of new levels is actually designed by Allen Blum III and Richard Gray, two developers who worked on the original release. It also features new dialogue from Duke himself, Jon St. John. These new levels feel like they belong in the core game, with intricate design and of course a bevy of secrets to discover.
Sadly, in addition to all the new things tossed in, there are a few omissions. Unlike the Atomic Edition which was released a few years back, this entry does not include the later expansion packs. Duke It Out in DC, Duke Caribbean: Life’s a Beach, and Nuclear Winter are all absent, making it feel less like a complete package. I hope it gets offered as DLC, but I am not holding my breath.
The rewind feature from the Atomic Edition also makes a return, allowing players to go back to any point in the level and start from there. It is a really neat option that makes runs on hard difficulties much more bearable. Players can also play any level from any episode whenever they want. There are a ton of options to play with, including being able to use legacy or new Duke speak, which sounds much better. Multiplayer is also here, but feels as dated as the core game should. Not a lot of options, and for some weird reason the capture the flag mode is also absent.
It is clear that this package had a lot of care put into it. I am glad Duke Nukem has made an appearance on this console generation, yet I really want them to move forward. Duke Nukem 3D is a classic, but after the disappointment of Duke Nukem Forever, I am ready for a truly next generation of the series. I grew up on its lame humor and ridiculous settings. I want a proper sequel so I can once again make those alien bastards pay for shooting up my ride.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.