13 years ago Duke Nukem rocked my world. Unlike FPS games before it, Duke Nukem (mostly) featured level designs that you could relate to. Gone (mostly) were brown corridors, instead you had bars, movie sets, hotels and strip joins. The levels were a heap of fun to explore and had a good many secrets to exploit. Occasionally designs are a bit obscure. I still get really stuck and have given up on a couple of levels (Bank Job).
So why would you pay to get such an old game when you still have the game for PC? A good many reasons. The controls (mostly) transfer over to the controller perfectly, it’s much easier to find people to play online against, and it’s quicker and easier to set up than on PC.
As well as all this, Duke 3D features an interesting ‘timeline’ feature. Die and you can rewind the level to any point of your game. Could have done something better? Rewind to a second before. In multiplayer the game also automatically saves your replays and you can watch from any player during any part of your match. If I get schooled in a game, I watch the replay to see what the other player did that I didn’t.
Multiplayer is usually very playable, but I did have some games where lag spoiled the enjoyment. Especially games with more than a couple of players. Oddly enough, whilst you can choose any level to play on, if you use the match-making only a handful of levels will come up and will be selected randomly. Granted a couple of these levels are classic Dukematch levels. A few gems aren’t selected unless you set up a custom game.
Thirteen years on, the single player game is still also a blast. The gameplay is fast and brutal. I still don’t ‘get’ the space levels but love ripping through the first and third episodes. The fourth episode from the expansion pack is also included, but I still haven’t battled my way through all of these.
All up Duke 3D on XBLA is a worthwhile purchase. Dukematch, for me anyway is where the meat of the game is, but co-op and single player are welcome distractions.
Come get some!