Duke Nukem 3D

4 stars

Come get some! Duke Nukem comes to the Macintosh

by Misha Sakellaropoulo

     The first in their line of highly anticipated Macintosh games, MacSoft has finally brought the hero with an attitude to the Mac with a flawless port of the now-Classic PC shoot 'em up. Duke Nukem 3D, as its name implies, is a first-person action game. But Duke Nukem 3D distinguishes itself from other Mac shooters, such as the Marathon Trilogy, by using a far more advanced game engine.

     While Duke Nukem's plot is nothing out of this world - aliens are invading Earth and it's Duke to the rescue (well, okay, it is out of this world, technically speaking) - Duke is unique because, rather than only doing battle on Earth or on the aliens' home planet, Duke must also survive the lengthy space trip to the alien planet, and the ship is infested with more aliens!

     Duke's graphics are more realistic than Marathon's, and the quality seems to be a slightly higher caliber although when you approach an object really close, all you see is handful of multi-colored giant pixels. Duke's game engine, though, helps make the game a much more enjoyable experience. No more "grenade hopping" to reach a platform that's at knee level-Duke supports both the jump and crouch actions (which can also be found in PrimeTarget and Damage Incorporated , both of which use a modified Marathon engine). Duke also features numerous on-screen shootables, those little background objects that do shatter or explode when shot at. Along with bullets that leave holes in the walls, and cans than dent when you kick them, Duke Nukem is able to look and feel more realistic, two things that help keep you interested when your looking for that last access card

     Duke's arsenal is vast, with 9 weapons in all, as well as the mighty foot (no punching in this game!). The weapon that you start out with is an automatic machine gun with a 15 shot clip; a delightful change from the usual pistol. As you advance through the game, though, you'll pick up some classic weapons (shotgun, chain gun, RPG) as well as some diabolically delightful ones: pipe bombs, laser trip-wire bombs, a shrinker/expander (which you can use on yourself if you aim it at a mirror!), freezer (freeze your enemies then shatter them with a kick), and the double barreled, missile-launching, "Devastator". Duke can also pick up various items that he can use at any time, including a portable med kit capable of healing you to 100%, steroids (which gives Duke a temporary speed boost), night vision goggles, and more. 3D Realms, the original creators of Duke Nukem 3D, thought of everything when it came to giving Duke stuff for his journey.

     The levels in Duke follow the traditional find-the-key-to-unlock-the-door idea, but focuses more on the act of killing rather than puzzles, something that Marathon lacked. Focusing on the killing means that it's more spectacular-body parts go flying after an explosion, blood stains the floor and walls, Duke trails bloody foot prints after walking in a puddle of blood, and my favorite: the sound an alien makes when it is squashed by an air lock door (and Duke kicks by saying, "That's gotta hurt!")

     Duke Nukem features 30 action-packed levels that take you through four different "worlds", which is one more than the original PC version since Duke for Mac is the "Atomic" addition, which features a couple of popular add-on levels for the game. Already, though, add-ons are on the market, with 'Duke it out in DC' being the first.

     Coming off of two very successful releases, first-person shooter games, Prime Target and Damage Incorporated, MacSoft once again is able to convince the Mac gamer that he (or she) needs Duke, too. Copies of Duke Nukem 3D for Mac have been flying off the shelves, or rather out of the warehouses, while MacSoft readies itself for the release of another PC port, the highly-successful Quake (the first game to use a fully 3D engine, where everything is comprised of 3D polygons).

     If you haven't bought your copy of Duke Nukem 3D yet, you're missing out on quite a gamer's treat. While long time Marathon fans may be disappointed by the lack of a progressive story line, Duke's witty humor and all-around better game play will more than make up for that. While Quake will be more graphically impressive than Duke, it is more of a display of the capabilities of the 3D graphics engine than a game.


  • Great, imaginative weapons
  • Challenging
  • Network play supported


  • Obscene language and content may be frowned upon
  • Poor enemy animation
  • Lacking story line
  • Get Info.

      SRP: $39.99
  • MacSoft

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