Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition (PlayStation 3) Review

By Albert Lichi 31.01.2015

Review for Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition on PlayStation 3

The 1980s was a very important decade for many young future game designers, particularly developer 3D Realms, who took liberal inspiration (or just plain ripping off) from a greatest hits of 80s action (and a few horror) movies. Classic movies like They Live, Aliens, Jaws, Full Metal Jacket, Dirty Harry, 0Predator, Scarface, Die Hard, and most famously for cribbing from Bruce Campbell's character Ash Williams from Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness. Modeled after Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) from Rocky IV, kicking ass in locations from an apocalyptic Los Angeles to H.R. Giger-esque alien crafts, Duke Nukem - the king himself - has finally made it to the PS3. Cubed3 hails to the king.

Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition on PS3 looks every bit as good as it did back in 1996. Visually, this game is very much intact and unchanged, but with a few extras to make it worthwhile for players who never got to grace his majesty or for those who are already acquainted with the Duke. Fast as hell, frantic pacing and hyper aggressive enemies keeps this old game relevant as an action game for the ages. The creative and dense level design holds up very well today and is actually more inventive than modern level design in the latest releases. Each level is jam packed with secrets and hidden areas that will stump many players who are uninitiated with old-school game design that doesn't spoon-feed all the information. It would be completely unheard of for a modern game to have such a bombastic focus on action, but also have secrets that require almost adventure game levels of obtuseness - it never would happen. Back in the 80s and 90s, however, this was common practice and players loved it. Players still love it because despite the abominable Duke Nukem Forever, users still hold Duke Nukem 3D in high regard. Why? It isn't because of Duke's character (not entirely), but because the game was great because of its levels, creative weapons, core mechanics and frantic action.

In Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition, while smooth for the most part, there are a few instances of the game having a half second-long pause. There are also some weird bugs present, like getting stuck in areas due to a glitch in the game's scripting. Some other weird graphical hiccups include skyboxes not quite being complete, or shadow effects bugging out. While Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition does maintain itself for the most part, its control scheme is obviously meant for a keyboard and mouse. Sadly, the analogue controls feel stiff and there is no pressure sensitivity for moving Duke. This is because the control scheme is still under the binary means of pressing a key for moving the player character. Duke is either standing still, or he is at full speed. The running is unfortunately toggle only and the crouching has no toggle at all - so players have to do some finger gymnastics in order to do more advanced moves to make Duke jump and go into a crouch. These are very basic things that should have had some attention, but sadly went unnoticed and hurt the speed and pacing of the action because they make the player less accurate considering the input methods.

Screenshot for Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition on PlayStation 3

Just how big of a package is Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition anyway? For starters, the original three episodes from 1996 are present: L.A. Meltdown, Lunar Apocalypse and Shrapnel City; plus the fourth episode from the Atomic Edition, The Birth, which features the fan favourite "Duke Burger" level. It wouldn't be a true celebration of the 90s without the inclusion of the Bill Clinton levels from the episode Duke It out in D.C., and finally the last two episodes, Duke Caribbean: Life's a Beach and Duke: Nuclear Winter. While this is a hefty amount of levels (around 50), this compilation sadly doesn't have any of the thousands of community created levels. A true testament to Duke is just how dedicated the fans are and the decision not to include a few of the thousands of user created levels feels like a missed opportunity.

The most tragic part of this compilation of classic Duke action is the laggy and dysfunctional multiplayer. There are so many great options, like eight-player co-op, that it almost feels like an insult that they are there due to how poor the online is. Practically unplayable in its current state, but thankfully, Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition has enough main campaign to make the purchase feel worthy, but it is still a massive disappointment that this basic feature was so lazily implemented. For anyone who likes old-school run-and-gun action, Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition may not be the definitive and final answer, but it is still one of the great classic first-person shooters thanks to its level design, fluid action, unique atmosphere and 90s charisma.

Screenshot for Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition on PlayStation 3

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Slightly buggy, but very functional, it is an okay port of Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition. It is very peculiar that such an old game has the issues it does on modern hardware, especially when during the online action. While the multiplayer was an unfortunate casualty, the single-player action totally rocks. The lack of fine-tuning of the control scheme and core mechanics clearly illustrates that this is a very lazy port of the PC version, but should players overcome these glaring oversights, Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition is still a very fine first-person action game. It still is one of the fastest ones around, and in an age of hyperrealism, it is a breath of fresh air to play this immortal classic that ignores realism and stole so much from Hollywood. The world will never see a game quite like this ever again. Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition may not be perfect, but it is still a lot of fun.




Devolver Digital


First Person Shooter



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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