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2011/01/29

Apocalypse Then: Duke Nukem 3D

15 years of Duke Nukem 3D

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On this in gaming, one of the greatest games ever made (in my opinion) was released: Duke Nukem 3D.

Developed and published by 3D Realms (one of the biggest and most respected companies during the 80’s and 90s and perhaps all time), and first released in early 1996, the game went on to become one of the most successful and enduring first-person shooters of all time, with people still buying and playing it today. A very committed and talented community keeps it alive and kicking, with projects like the EDuke32 source port (with the polymer renderer), the HRP, and Duke Plus in ongoing development. And with the sequel, DNF, just around the corner, this has only gotten stronger, with other projects like Duke Nukem 3D: Reloaded in the works, which is essentially a modern remake of the game – which was green lighted by Gearbox.

But when the game was released a decade and a half ago, they said it was on top of its game – technologically advanced. Hardly just another Doom clone, as the term was back then, it had some brilliant level design, courtesy of one of the greatest in the business, Richard “The Levelord” Gray, as well as some awesome music, by talented and respected video game musicians, Lee Jackson and Bobby Prince, who had also worked on previous Apogee games too.

And not to mention that DN3D no doubt had in my mind, the first “real” character in a game. No more silent, faceless protagonists like other FPSs of its time, Duke was and still is an egotistical, misogynistic, one-liner spouting jerk – but we all loved him just the same, and he is considered one of the “coolest” game characters ever conceived. Several characters, such as Serious Sam, and most recently the protagonist from Epic Games’ Bulletstorm, are strongly influenced by the King himself. Maybe these should be called Duke Clones!

I could go on and on about how great the game was and still is today, but I’ve all ready done that so many times. Like you might have guessed: I’m a huge Duke fan. And if you’re reading this, maybe you are too.

I also have a surprise up for the anniversary of Duke Nukem 3D. It’s an article which covers the evolution of the Duke Nukem character throughout the last twenty years. That’s right: Duke Nukem 1 was released in 1991, so also don’t forget about its anniversary in July! Check out the article here.

                           Happy 15th Birthday, Duke Nukem 3D!

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