R.I.P. Duke Nukem (Part 2)
Duke Nukem 3D was released to a lot of praise and in 1996 the first official expansion pack is released. Called the Plutonium Pak, or as part of the a bundle called the Atomic Edition. This Expansion added another new chapter to the original game along with a new enemy types and a new weapon. The reason people bought this was for the new chapter, which starts with a video of a general showing the birth of a new alien/human hybrid.
The first level, called ‘It’s Impossible!’, parodies pretty much every spy film and television series that had ever been released. It covers everything from The Avengers, Mission Impossible, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and the original Get smart TV series. This really sets the tone of the rest of the game, pretty much very level contains some kind of parody, including Beavis & Butthead and Disneyland to name some of them. Once you complete the new chapter you get the message that Duke will return in Duke Nukem: Forever.
Two other semi official add-on packs were released, the first is Duke Caribbean: Life’s a Beach. This is a highly modified version of the original game, the plot is duke is on holiday when aliens attack and the weaponry consists of varieties of water pistols. The second pack is Duke it out in D.C. Where Bill Clinton has been kidnapped and the levels are all based around Washington D.C. So Fallout 3 isn’t the first game set around the American capital.
1998 and following on from the various console ports of Duke 3D, Duke turns up in his first console exclusive game Duke Nukem: Time To Kill on the Playstation. The plot is that the aliens are trying to go back in time to change earth’s history in their favour. The game departs from the first person view to take on a third person perspective, with platforming and problem solving very similar to Tomb Raider.
1998 also saw the first trailer for Duke Nukem: Forever, shown at E3. This first version of the game was made using the Quake 2 engine and shows fully 3D environments, enemies and copious amounts of lens flare.
Later that year 3D realms announced they were ditching the Quake 2 engine and were switching to Epic’s Unreal engine. This was only supposed to delay the game by a few months and the game would be released in 1999. The game wasn’t released that year.
In 1999 Zero Hour for the N64 was released. This game used the same third person view and platfoming from Time To Kill and even has a similar plot about time travelling aliens. Also in 1999 saw the release of Duke Nukem for the Game Boy Colour. This saw a return to the original style side-scrolling platform action of the original 2 games.
By 2001 Duke Nukem: Forever had become an ongoing joke. Especially George Broussard the head of 3D Realms, with his comment that â€œIt will be released when it’s done.â€ Though this year did see the 2nd trailer being released at E3, which again sparked interest in the franchise.
Apparently in 2002 3D Realms decided to rework the game engine and modify it heavily, though by this point the majority of people were really past caring. Though two new Duke games were released, the first being Duke Nukem: Advance. This was an FPS game that was released for the Gameboy Advance. Instead of being a rehash of the Duke 3D it was a completely new game. Also released for PC was Manhattan Project another side scrolling platformer that uses a 3D engine, even though it doesn’t really make use of it. It just may as well have been another 2D affair, but it does look pretty good.
2008 saw the release of Duke Nukem 3D for XBLA for more information read Tiq and Matthew’s review. Though to put it in a nutshell the game was blurry and the time reversing mechanic was poor. If you want to play an updated Duke Nukem in true 3D then I would recommend downloading the Duke Nukem: High Resolution Pack. This is a fan made update that updates all the graphics textures and all the character models are now fully 3D.
Apart from the three mobile phone games (Duke Nukem Mobile, Mobile II and Mobile 3D), Manhattan project was the last original Duke game to be released. Though there will be the Duke Nukem: Trilogy being released for handheld consoles later this year. This is because as of May 2009 3D Realms fired the development team for DNF and found itself being sued by the publishers Take Two for failing to finish the game. All that’s left of the game are some screen shots and this video that was leaked after 3D Realms basically shut down.