Duke Nukem 3D

  • Developer: 3D Realms
  • Genre: Arcade/Action
  • Originally on: Sega Genesis (1996)
  • Also known as: Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition
  • Works on: PC, Windows
  • Editor Rating:
    Duke Nukem 3D Rating
  • User Rating: 6.4/10 - 5 votes
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Game Overview

Listen up punk today we are talking about Duke Nukem 3D and you better be ok with that! Sorry about that intro there, but when you are talking about Duke, you cannot help but get a little aggressive and macho. It is crazy to think that this was released on PC all the way back in 1996. It by many is regarded as the last hurrah for the sprites based first person shooter.

He Is The Duke

We kind of take Duke for granted these days, but this icon of video games got his start here. Duke is the ultimate macho dude. He is clearly inspired by all those awesome 80s action heroes and that is part of what makes him so great. The story of the game is pretty simple. There is an alien invasion and only Duke can stop it. Duke's motivations though are also scoring with chicks and pounding some beers! Duke's one-liners are a major highlight of the game for me. It really does make you laugh. The pop culture references through the game are also a ton of fun. Duke Nukem 3D is one of those games that you can clearly tell the developers were having a great time with it when they were making it.

Straight To The Point

The gameplay of Duke Nukem 3D is rather linear by today's standards, but I do not hold that against the game. Each level is kind of the same thing. You need to collect a bunch of keys and kill a ton of enemies. You would think that this would make the game get very old quite quickly. The game though is so much fun that you do not mind how linear it is. The level design is fantastic. You will visit some of Dukes favorite locations such as the XXX movie theatre and the strip club. You will also have to go to more insane places like an alien spacecraft. So, while the actual game is linear, there is so much variety and craziness to the game that you tend to not notice it as much as you would think so.

Guns, Girls, And Aliens!

Duke Nukem 3D is one of the most over the top first-person shooters of its time. Sure, the core gameplay is similar to games like Doom. Doom though does not mate the over the topness that Duke Nukem offers. The weapons are a lot of fun and all feel fantastic. While you get your standard weapons like shotguns and pistols, Duke also is able to get his hands on some pretty cool and crazy alien tech which is a lot of fun to use as well. My personal favorite weapon is the shrink ray. With this gun, you can shrink down one of those butt ugly aliens and then just stop on them. The variety of the weapons is another thing that helps make up for the more linear approach of the overall game.

Play With Friends & Make It All Up!

While this is regarded as a pretty big game for the Nintendo 64, the PC version is where it is really at. You can still play Duke Nukem 3D online with people if you are on PC and that is great! The modes may be a little limited in comparison to what a Call of Duty offers, but there is still a lot of fun to be had. While it may be more work than some of you are willing to do, Duke Nukem 3D also has a pretty dedicated modded community. So, if you are into that kind of thing and enjoy player created content. Be sure to dive into it as there are some pretty crazy Duke fans out there.

I freaking love Duke Nukem 3D! I really do think that the game is still a lot of fun to play. I do think that it is a product of its time and it clearly is not offering the same kind of experience that a 2019 first person shooter is. However, Duke Nukem 3D is an awesome time and him being so over the top, crude and just generally awesome is a reason why so many people love him to this day.



  • This is where the Duke got his start!
  • There is a lot of variety to the levels
  • The weapons are pretty crazy
  • You can still play this online
  • The game is really over the top and fun


  • The humor is a bit dated, but some may love that
  • The things you do are pretty much the same on every level

You do not get much more tude than Duke Nukem 3D. Today I am having some fun as I go all the way back to 1996 and check out the original badass first-person shooter. Even if you have not played any of his games, chances are you have heard of Duke. He is loud, crude and he is not scared to rip off your head and take a dump down your neck.

Back To The 80s

What I love about this game and the series, in general, is how self-aware it all is. Clearly, Duke is based on the action movie heroes of the 1980s and that is great. There is a bunch of ugly aliens that are trying to invade and our hero Duke is having none of it. Duke Nukem 3D may not be the most cinematic game, but there is more than enough here to ensure that you help Duke kill aliens so that he can smoke cigars, have a few beers, and bang a bunch of hot chicks. Duke's constant one-liners are awesome and make you love him even more.

Sexy Sprites

It has been said that this was one of the last first-person shooters that was built around using sprites and not any of that “fancy” 3D polygon tech that was becoming all the rage. It works and gives Duke a style that was starting to fade away by the time this game was released. Duke has a ton of personality and each location which includes such family-friendly places as a porno theatre and a club with nude dancing look great.

Shoot First, Shoot Second & Ask No Questions!

The gameplay of Duke Nukem 3D may seem very linear and basic by what we have in a first-person shooter these days. However, there is so much charm here that it is impossible not to get into it. Most levels do have you doing the same thing over and over. This is getting keys so that you can unlock doors, killing a ton of enemies, and so on. It is much more challenging than modern shooters are too. So, while you are encouraged to go balls to the wall, you do have to think about what you are doing too. To go with the over the top nature of the game, you have some pretty funky and cool weapons that you can use as well. Duke can use normal weapons, but he also can get his hand on some alien technology as well!

Bringing Duke To Console

Let me state that there is no substitute for the PC version of this game. However, I have to give a special mention to Duke Nukem 64 on the Nintendo 64. Seeing this game on a console and on a cartridge was very impressive back in the day. Being able to play local co-op with your friends was so much fun. So, while I would always recommend playing the PC version of the game, do not just flat out ignore the port that was released on the Nintendo 64.

As a kid of the 80s, Duke Nukem 3d clicked with me pretty much right away. Duke is freaking hilarious and he is a total badass. I do admit that I am using a very large pair of nostalgia goggles in this review and it is far from a perfect game by today's standards. However, as far as 90s first-person shooters go there are not many, if any that can match Duke in terms of its over the topness and attitude!


Final Score


  • How can you not love Duke?
  • I loved the alien weapons that you could use
  • It is impressive how good the game looks
  • The Nintendo 64 version is really solid
  • If you play on PC, you can still play with other people online!


  • Duke may be too much man and have too much attitude for you!
  • The objectives are near enough the same throughout the whole game

Download Links

System Requirements

Processor: PC compatible, SystemP-200

OS: Win9xWindows 9x, Windows 2000 WinXPWindows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.

Game Features:Duke Nukem 3D supports single modeSingle game mode

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Duke Nukem 3D Screenshots

Sega Genesis Screenshots

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