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Duke Nukem 3D Review

by on September 24, 2014

Duke Nukem 3D was the third in the Duke franchise and one of the original FPS games that made a huge dent in the gaming biz.

# of Players



Responsive, easy controls--even on mobile.
The secrets.


The sequel.
Seriously, the sequel.
Ugh, the sequel.

Editor Rating


Sound Effects and Music


Writer's Score

Bottom Line

This is a classic and a must play. Along with Doom and Wolf 3D, this was one of the, how you say?, OG 3D FPS shooters?


Duke Nukem 3D. Hail to the King Baby! (Although I love this game, I can’t help but think of some of the rip-off from Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness).

This was one of the top 3 FPS from the 90’s that made FPS what it is today. Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Duke Nukem 3D–they were the originals. Then there were some other less popular ones that were cool in their own right like Blake Stone, Rise of the Triad, etc. But they didn’t get to this status.

Most Duke fans still try to ignore the terrible sequel that finally got released in 2011. I have tried to erase it from my own mental Google Chrome history…something like Duke…Nukem…Forev…must not…can’t…

Duke Nukem 3D Screenshot


On the PC, of course this game was classic, fun, blah, blah, blah. I am going to write this as from the new generation of mobile gamers, since I think that is where this one is getting a lot of its revived fan base and deservedly so.

I played this also on the iPhone and it was great! I was actually kind of surprised. It was smooth, easy and although it did take a little getting used to I found myself cruising right along through the game with no attention on the controls even though I was on a mobile platform. I think I did tweak the HUD a bit to my liking but once I got that muscle memory of what’s where, I was right at home.

Duke is fun and easy to play, easy to shoot and get the hang of. It has this intangible charm and humor to it…that was exploited and shit all over later but I digress…There is a reason this is a classic.

If I think back on the gameplay, one of my favorite parts about it was to get 100% stats in every level. Something that this generation of gamer may not care that much about. But I loved trying to find all the secrets. That is saying something since you would think with Wolf 3D and Doom, you would have been possibly tired of secret wall or passage hunting, but Duke did it in a different way. Not only are there secret walls, but also areas you need to skillfully jump into, use a jetpack to get to, dive underwater for, etc. It was challenging, which is why the secrets remain my favorite part of this game.

duke3d screenshot


Now, I love the old blocky graphics and anyone feeling nostalgic should TOTALLY play it how it was meant to be played. But for the younger generation who just can’t get past that “old” feeling, they did come out with a release in hi-res that you can get. I will show you guys some of the screenshots. I haven’t tried the hi-res version. Like I said, I did the old PC version and the iPhone version, both of which still look great to me. But I gotta say the hi-res looks nice.

They did a new hi-res version of Star Control 2 over the last year or so, which is surprising since it is open-source, and I did play that one. It was awesome. So, I can’t blame anyone for bringing these games up to the present. It’s sort of the like the people who want George Lucas to leave his movies alone and George keeps updating them. Well, it’s up to your gaming politics, I guess, but it looks nice either way. You won’t lose either way. Check it:

duke hi res duke3d in hi res

Sound Effects and Music

The sound effects are one of the things that made this game go down in history. There is still soundboards you can download to this day, YouTube videos which are hilarious, etc. Especially the voice over acting of Jon St. John. I think people who don’t even know who Duke Nukem is know some of the sound bytes from Jon on this game.

Once again, as much as I love the humor in Jon’s one-liners in Duke 3D and sounds of an alien body exploding and all the other great sounds of its day, I still try to ignore the one with Forever in the title so it doesn’t ruin this classic. Must…not…admit…


There isn’t leveling like leveling-leveling, like you think of leveling. But you did play and there are levels that you go through. Levels. I am sure this makes sense.

I’ll plug GOG and and Steam here for the download if you haven’t tried it. I’m pretty sure it’s still on iTunes and Android:

Duke on Steam

Duke on GOG

Duke 3D Hi-res

To quote Duke, “Blow it out your ass.”

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