Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition

Duke Nukem is a bit of a relic.

His quips - delivered with a bronchitis snarl - are ripped from ancient movies like They Live and The Evil Dead. And he parodies a style of schlocky action movies that haven't been made for decades.

The mechanics of the game are creaky too. Props are 2D sprites that spin around on the spot to face you, the levels are about as blocky as Minecraft, and the gunplay isn't much more advanced than Doom.

But it's still a lot of fun. This is a zippy, twitchy, first-person blaster. A game where you seem to skate around on ice, nuking lizard-like aliens and mutant pig cops. A game that gives out rocket launchers like they're going out of style.

Blow it out your ass!

It also has an intricate, labyrinthine, and secret-filled level design not often found in today's straightforward shooters. You can easily find the goal in level one, for instance, but you'd miss a rocket launcher, a jetpack, and several hidden jokes.

The game's bawdy humour is a little less funny (and a lot less shocking) today, but there still some goofy moments that will make you laugh, like shrinking an alien and then stamping on it, or finding the corpse of Doom Guy in a hidden hallway.

While the original game is old and rusty, this revamped Megaton Edition is quite welcoming to new players.

The ancient aiming system where you could only look left or right has been replaced with full dual analogue controls, and there's a new rewind system when you die that lets you pick up your progress at any point in the level.

Hail to the king, baby!

The Megaton Edition is also reasonably comprehensive. Alongside the classic Atomic Edition version of Duke Nukem 3D that we all know and love, you can play four of the most important expansion packs.

In Duke Caribbean: Life's a Beach, Duke fights off aliens using super soakers and pineapple pipe bombs. Duke It Out In D.C. sends us to Washington to save the president and Duke: Nuclear Winter is an icy Christmas side story.

None are created by 3D Realms - they're all made by fans in Duke's level editor Build, and authorised by the developer. So they're not exactly essential, they're definitely not incredible, but they're a nice addition.

Similarly, the port has online multiplayer (which will be dead in a few months) and, yes, the strippers still show off their tassels if you press the 'Use' button. The only things missing (I think) are cheat codes. Rest in peace, dncornholio.

You're an inspiration for birth control

Duke Nukem 3D is still a fun game, even if it feels painfully outdated. It reminds us of a time when first-person shooters were intricately designed mazes to explore, when games were just plain dumb - and totally cool with that.

You won't miss much if you skip Duke Nukem, and newcomers will find it tough to stomach at times. But nostalgic PC players and those curious about Duke's cult classic status would do well to get it on Vita.

Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition

Duke Nukem 3D somehow holds up as a wicked fun shooter in 2015, and this Megaton Edition is a worthwhile compilation
Mark Brown
Mark Brown
Mark Brown spent several years slaving away at the Steel Media furnace, finally serving as editor at large of Pocket Gamer before moving on to doing some sort of youtube thing.