Reviewing every Duke Nukem game

Duke Nukem games have been the casualty of their own success. Know the different games that have been released in this series, which games worked and which ones failed. And know if you can expect any future release of this series or not.

Duke Nukem first game was released back in 1991 and was playable first on MS-DOS, and later on for Windows, OS X, and Linux. Duke Nukem was one of the games that popularized the genre of side-scrolling platformers on computers. Other titles were released later on, and some of their titles were the reason for controversy, and others never got to see the light of day.

The first Duke Nukem is a 2D side-scroller shooter, and your objective was to destroy all your enemies and to finish the level, you needed to find and defeat Dr. Proton. The game contains powerups, gun powerups, among other items. Your objective was also to collect as many points as possible in each stage.

The second installment of the game was released in 1993 in the DOS, and in 1999 it also got a Game Boy Color release. The gameplay remained really similar to the first one, but the game was now much longer than the original, and it also had improved graphics and sound design. You can now collect up to four different types of weapons, new items were added, and to proceed through some stages, you would now need to collect keycards.

Duke Nukem 3D gave the game a new look, and as the title implies, the game was now a 3D first-person shooter. Along with Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, it had a huge impact on popularizing its genre. The game was well-received, as it had fun gameplay, an interactive environment, great level design, and what made it stand out, was the main character's unique sense of humor.

Duke Nukem Forever was the last game of the main series. It was first announced back in 1997, and in 2001, it was said that it was to be released when it was done. The game was to be published by 3D Realms, and in 2007 a teaser for the game was released. But after going through a downsize, they were unable to deliver the game and were sued by Take-Two Interactive, who owned publishing rights of the game. That left fans with no hope at all, but to everyone's surprise, in 2010, 2K Games announced that the game was in development by GearBox Software. So after fifteen long years, the game was finally released.


After waiting for long fifteen years, Duke Nukem Forever was finally released, but sadly, the game did not live up to its expectations. It had extremely long loading times, the controls were confusing, its graphics were not good for the time it was released, and one of the most important aspects of the game, which was its humor, was just extremely offensive and overall, not that great. Critics and fans didn't like the game at all, the game was too linear, and compared to its predecessor, it seemed like a total downgrade.

Since the game was in development for such a long time, most of the jokes and voice lines of Duke are outdated. That was a huge disappointment since its humor was one of the game's most important aspects. One of its levels was extremely offensive and not well-received at all, as Duke comes across women who were impregnated by force by aliens, and he must kill them before they can give birth. That level just felt extremely insensitive, especially since Duke seems to be unfazed by that scenario, and keeps joking.

The only acceptable aspects of the game were its nostalgic value, and the great job John St. John did as portraying the voice of Duke Nukem. Other than that, there aren't any other great values that make the game something to remember in a positive way. The game didn't introduce anything new to its genre and felt like an extremely generic shooter.

Duke Nukem Forever might have been forgotten as it proved to be an awful game, but it will always be remembered as the game that was fourteen years in development. In fact, it will probably always hold the Guinness World Record for a video game with the longest development period. You can still find and buy these old games through online sellers, just find the best steam keys offers and you are ready to go.


Outside of the four main games of the series, Duke Nukem also released spin-offs. The first one was released for the PlayStation, and its title was Duke Nukem: Time To Kill. Its gameplay was similar to the Tomb Raider game, and because of that, the game was filled with references to it. But it didn't stop that, as it also referenced The Evil Dead and Monty Phyton and The Holy Grail, which at the time were well-known movies.

In 1999, Duke Nukem: Zero Hour was released for the Nintendo 64, and it was a 3rd person shooter. It included a four-player split-screen mode that was in first-person, much like the James Bond game, GoldenEye. Its campaign included some more mature content, but overall the game was average and received vaguely positive reviews.

Duke Nukem: Land Of The Babes was released in 2000, and it was a direct sequel to Duke Nukem: Time To Kill. Its gameplay was extremely similar to it, but it counted with all-new
enemies. The game was not that popular and didn't do extremely well either.

The last of its spin-offs was Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project, which was released in 2002 for the Xbox 360, Windows, and macOS. The game has a 3D environment and camera control, but the movement is restricted to a 2D plane. The game has eight chapters, and it was well-received by players and critics. It tried something new, and it worked.

Duke Nukem also came out with portable games for the Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Tapwave Zodiac, Mobile, and Nintendo DS. Other than the original Duke Nukem for the Game Boy Color, none of the other games did great.

Duke Is Gone

It goes without saying that Duke Nukem had a huge impact in the gaming world when its first games came out. Being responsible for popularizing 3D first-person shooters, and also 2D shooter platformers, Duke Nukem was able to leave a mark in history. It is sad that they weren't able to continue that, and as time went on, its games started losing quality. After Duke Nukem 3D, it pretty much started going downhill. Its spin-off was just okay, and Duke Nukem Forever was a failure that took fourteen years to come out.

A new Duke Nukem game might never see the light of day again, it may be gone, but it will for sure never be forgotten. Duke Nukem 3D is still a great game, it might be old, but it is nice to go back to it, and seeing just how much of an impact it had.


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