When it comes down to popular first person shooter games from the 90’s one of the few titles that people think aside from Doom ’93 and GoldenEye 007 is Duke Nukem 3D from 1996. As many people already know the Duke Nukem series began back in ’91 on MS-DOS and was followed by a sequel entitled Duke Nukem II released in ’93. The first two Duke Nukem games ended up becoming solid first person shooter titles in a era of gaming were the genre itself was not too popular. Following the release of Duke Nukem II we got Duke Nukem 3D created by video game developer 3D Realms. Duke Nukem 3D had multiple publishers since it was released on various game consoles such as MacSoft, GT Interactive Software, Piko Interactive and others depending on system it was ported to. The initial publisher for Duke Nukem 3D was MacSoft when it first appeared on the MS-DOS during ’96 and was a game that was critically acclaimed by many fans of the series. In Duke Nukem 3D players were responsible for destroying various types of enemies such as aliens & mutants while having access to a variety of weapons.
The type of weapons that players could acquire included pipe bombs, landmines, shotguns, pistols and even shrink rays while plowing through enemies in consecutive non-linear levels; each with ending with boss battles at the end of each episode. Similar to the Doom game from ’93 Duke Nukem 3D consisted of episodes that contained a set of levels such as: LA Meltdown, Lunar Apocalypse and Shrapnel City; for those who had access to the Atomic version of Duke Nukem 3D they could also The Birth episode as well. Aside from the gameplay one of the aspects of Duke Nukem 3D that people found intriguing was how the setting of the game was constantly changing. Players had travel to many places such as: space stations, military bases, cities and deserts to complete their missions while appreciating how some of the in-game level designs reflected real-life locations within the world. In addition, to having a variety of weapons to choose from players also had numerous accessories they could utilize that would help them complete each level with ease. Accessories featured in Duke Nukem 3D included jet packs, steroids, portable medkits, night vision goggles and even scuba gear in order to breathe underwater. In terms of quality Duke Nukem 3D was arguably a better game than Doom ’93 but not necessarily more popular.
Similar to the Doom game from ’93 Duke Nukem 3D had a basic plot that involved saving the earth. However, opposed to fighting off demons from the underworld players had to deal hordes homicidal aliens which made for a great science-fictional first person shooter game. Since its initial release on MS-DOS during the mid 90’s Duke Nukem 3D has appeared on various game console including the PS1, Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn, Sega Genesis, Xbox 360 along with Android Mobile devices which is a testament to how popular the was. While its debatable on which version of Duke Nukem 3D was the best everyone can definitely agree that it was one of the few first shooters games from the 90’s that helped put the genre itself on the map going into the 00’s decade.