I remember in late 1996 when I had the chance to play Duke Nukem 3D for my first time. As a young kid with aggressively religious parents, it was educational material. I learned about how much I really enjoyed explosions, and how funny cussing was. The moment I heard, "I've got balls of steel", I knew I was playing something that would change what I thought games could be.
Duke Nukem 3D was quite an accomplishment for its time. It was the next big step after DOOM: better graphics, more gore, greater gameplay, and some nudity sprinkled in for good measure. Parents remember it for being incredibly inflammatory, even more-so than I ever remember Mortal Kombat getting flack for. But kids remember it for being tongue-in-cheek and a whole lot of fun to play.
While the game's sexual suggestive nature is what received the most attention, that isn't what most people who actually played it remember it for. It was actually an incredibly fast paced and polished experience, one that rewarded you for being quick with the WASD keys. It ran incredibly well even on lower end PCs, demonstrating that 3D shooters had a bright future ahead.
It even had a multiplayer mode. Sure, you had to rely on IPX LAN, but it was possible. It was worth telling your friend to come over to your house on Friday night, as long as he brought his own serial cable and some pizza.
There's a reason people were willing to wait more than a decade for a sequel to materialize. Duke Nukem 3D was incredibly well received, with roughly an 8.8 average (did you know we reviewed it?). 3D Realms had a strong showing, and gamers wanted more.
So, when I see Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour, I see an opportunity to head back to my childhood and play one of the most remarkable games of the 90's. Sure, it's got some all new episodes, re-recordings, and other neat additions, but I'm just glad to be able to re-experience it without having to figure out how to install MS-DOS on my system.
Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour comes out on October 11th for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.