Game Review: Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour (Xbox One)

Time has not been kind to Duke Nukem.

The first-person shooter, Duke Nukem 3D first released in 1996, is considered to be responsible for the rise of first-person shooters alongside Doom. A seminal release that saw major acclaim, it was praised for its inventiveness, interactivity and risqué humour. It also came with a hefty dose of controversy thanks to its violent nature and erotic portrayal of women.

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Duke Nukem 3D is remembered fondly but that is where it ends. We waited 15 years for Duke Nukem Forever and…well…it was a hell of a disappointment.

In between that time 3D has seen port after port after port (even on mobile). To the point where just about everybody who has ever picked up a controller would have played some variation of the original.

Well, on October 11th 2016 it got another port to PlayStation 4 & Xbox One, this one going under the title Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour.

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This time round the game is slightly different from other re-releases, though. Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour comes with both visual and audio improvements. All levels have been given a touch-up with even better lighting. With the simple touch of a button you can flip between the old and new visuals. It’s great to see the enhancements as simply as that.

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That being said it can still be a pixelated mess especially when you get close to things. It’s tough to pick out finer details resulting in a lot of wandering around trying to find the way forward. It might be improved but it’s still the same game with the same issues. It’s ugly to look at even if gameplay is still a blast.

As with the graphics, the sounds and music have also been tided up. It’s still as exciting & rocking as it was in 1996. An additional positive is that original Duke Nukem 3D voice actor Jon St. John has re-recorded all of the Duke’s lines and even added a few new ones!

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Perhaps the best & number one reason for fans to pick up this edition is the inclusion of a new fifth episode titled Alien World Order. Seven new episodes for Duke to continue the fight and set in some awesome looking places.

Places like the red-light district of Amsterdam, London, the ruins of ancient Egypt (giving off a Serious Sam vibe), Paris, and back to Hollywood. It culminates in outer space with a new boss battle that is unfortunately disappointing.

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Impressively each level has been designed to feel exactly like it did back in 1996. Find key-cards to unlock doors, traverse maze-like levels, tip the odd stripper and shoot every alien that comes your way.

This added content is really welcome but it’s still less content then previous releases missing all the added expansion packs that were released in the years that followed. Paid DLC incoming?

There isn’t much else.

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you can enjoy developer commentary about level designs, there is multi-player and a replay-slider save system that allows you to rewind action saving you from unfortunate deaths.

Nice touches that make this a little more than just a nostalgia trip. Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour is a blast from the past that is both fun & memorable. If it’s been a while, it’s well worth picking up if just to get the taste of Duke Nukem Forever out of your mouth.

“Hail to the King, baby”

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Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour (Xbox One)
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