Duke Nukem and South Park. Sure, perhaps you don’t immediately think of one after the other, but after playing Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour at PAX West (and having to sit restlessly through its incredibly long embargo period), and watching the first episode of the 20th anniversary of South Park, the comparison is forever engrained.
To anyone who hasn’t yet seen the newest season of Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s 20-year show, Member Berries are a luscious-looking grape-like fruit that speak to you about how awesome the past was, covering anything from Star Wars to Ghostbusters. Looking at the footage I captured on my playthrough at PAX, I can only think “Member Duke Nukem?”
Just to answer the question, yes, I most certainly `member Duke Nukem too. I `member the fast-paced, Doom-esque shooting, the cheesy lines lifted directly from Army of Darkness, and the rampant machismo. However, just like in South Park, the Member Berries' questions become more and more sinister. “`Member when female characters in games could just be strippers who show us their boobs?” the Member Berries ask. Why, yes. And I also `member the milk from last month that’s still in my fridge, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to drink it.
It’s reminiscent of watching the climax of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, where an entire police force gags, spits, and vomits because they found out they kissed *gasp* a man. Sure, I `member laughing at it, but I also `member really liking the sequel, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, so we’re going to go ahead and not trust my opinions back then.
All this being said, I am not one to fault a game or a movie for being of its time. Sure, they weren't treading new ground, but they were no worse than anything else that released in the early '90s. It’s also worth noting that, even though certain parts of this remaster will feel dated, Gearbox has offered up a lot to enhance the experience this time around, from new weapons (did someone say flamethrower?) to new game modes and other elements that are completely redesigned.
As you'll see in my capture footage, the faux-3D design of the levels has been completely re-rendered into a true 3D environments, which make the game (pixeled as it may be) much easier on the eyes.
New additions also include a brand new level, Alien World Order, created by the original level designers, Allen Blum III and Richard Gray. Instead of being everything you loved—again—this new stage helps the 20th Anniversary become everything you loved, and then some. You'll also notice that I had to turn off what's called "developer commentary." The developers have gone through and added interactive commentary buttons throughout each level that will allow you to hear the developers talk about what went into various aspects of the game.
All in all, Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour is a worthwhile revisiting and, in some respects, a tasteful update, which makes in a rare commodity in the video game industry. At a $20 price tag, it looks like they're fine with milking nostalgia instead of milking your wallets. `Member when all games did that?
Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour releases on Oct 11, 2016 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.