Duke Nukem 64
One of the most popular first-person shooters for the PC is slowly making its way to the home systems. The latest version, for the N64, is perhaps the best so far. Duke Nukem 64 goes beyond a simple straight-to-console port. The designers are adding enough new features and changing enough old ones to make gamers want to take a closer look.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Duke, here's an abbreviated history: Aliens invade Earth, Duke kills aliens. OK. no big deal there, but Duke's winning formula on the PC wasn't a result of the story line. Duke Nukem 3D became a big hit because of the wonderfully designed stages, unique weaponry and killer personality.
Duke Nukem is the first major first-person shooter to take place in present day and futuristic environments. You must explore many earthly locales like movie theaters, book stores, hotels, subway stations. office buildings, pool halls and much more. In the second episode. Duke visits space stations. alien bases and other sci-fi levels. Each level is crafted with special attention paid to every detail, from the graffiti on the walls to the pay phones in the night clubs.
The weapons also make for an interesting game playing experience. In the Nintendo 64 version, you can wield shotguns with high-explosive rounds, twin submachine guns, grenade launchers, heat-seeking missiles, shrink rays, plasma cannons, laser trip mines and pipe bombs (unfortunately, the freeze ray from the original game has been taken out). So not only can you blast an enemy apart, you can set traps and shrink them (then squish 'em).
Duke 64 will support two to four multiplayer action. What if you don't have three other friends to play Duke with? Well don't fret, because Duke 64 has a new feature called the Al Bot, ported from Duke Nukem: Atomic Edition on the PC. You can simulate multiplayer DukeMatches with computer-controlled opponents.
Duke 64 also has 32 large levels that will feed any Duke fan's appetite for destruction. Three of these are N64 exclusive Duke-Match levels, and the other 29 are modified levels taken from the PC's Duke Nukem: Atomic Edition. Each of these has been redesigned from the ground up. The secrets have been moved around, and the level layouts have been changed. Upon first playing Duke 64 you may see much resemblance to the previous versions, but you'll realize that things have been changed significantly.
GT Interactive is certainly making an effort to make this Duke stand out over the others. The changes may give this version just what it needs to beat out the multitude of other "Doom clones" on the market. Besides, what other console version is going to let you play a four-player match of one of the best first-person shooters around?
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It has blood, guts, big guns and strippers. Or maybe not. The N64 incarnation of Duke Nukem 3D-although it will surely be the best-looking of the console ports--will lack some of the PC blockbuster's more R-rated elements. Namely, the game's infamous stripper bystanders will wear T-shirts instead of their usual G-storm bikinis. But Nintendo has made up for its tinkering by upping the game's violence level and adding a few. N64-specific missions (there are more than 30 levels, and yes. they're still set in strip clubs and other seedy locales).
The N64 will also offer the most trouble-free multiplayer mode, arguably the game's coolest feature. Instead of fiddling with modem add-ons or link cables, players will only have to plug in four controllers to engage in some deathmatch mayhem.
MANUFACTURER - GT Interactive THEME - Shooter NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1-4
The gravel-larynxed hero of the PC sticks his Docs onto the N64, with creditable effect. Although Duke Nukem 64 looks rougher around the edges than Goldeneye, it boasts more levels and a refreshingly lax attitude to collateral damage. Despite it being an 18 certificate, Nintendo have nevertheless insisted on cuts (no more booze or nekkid babes), but it's still entertaining.
Rattling good fun with the quip-spewing antihero. Straightforward Doom-style gameplay, done with imagination and humour.
A commendably violent and vastly enjoyable conversion. Gorgeous new explosions and a brilliant multiplayer game.