When all else fails, re-release. While we’d all like to forget that Duke Nukem Forever finally came out from development hell much to most everyone’s disappointment, there is still a strong sense of nostalgia that accompanies the name Duke Nukem. Devolver Digital is hoping to capitalize on that nostalgia with the release of Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition for the PlayStation 3 and Vita.
Available for $9.99 (free if you’re on PS+), you get the definitive base edition of the game, optimized for the aforementioned consoles, plus extra episodes that had released after the game’s original launch. Multiplayer, both ranked and unranked, is also back and ready for action. Cross Buy and Cross Play is supported, as a welcome touch to complete the package.
The ancient controls map fairly well to the Vita, with movement and aiming tied to the analog sticks, and changing weapons mapped to the touchscreen. Aiming can be a bit of a chore, but luckily the game includes auto-aim functionality that makes up for the awkwardness. There’s no aiming down the sights, no reloading, no recoil. Simply get your crosshairs aimed close enough, and you’ll hit the enemy.
This Megaton Edition renders the game using the same assets that were on the PC release. The environments hold up okay, but the pixelation of the enemies, Babes and interactive things like monitors and weapons definitely date the game. You can see pretty far, and the game plays very smoothly, which you would expect for something this old. There are occasional hiccups when a scripted event is loading, but nothing too jarring.
The audio is also ripped from the PC release, so expect a soundtrack that mostly stays in the background, playing almost MIDI-like tunes while you blast alien scum to Hell and back. Duke’s one-liners sound just as you remember them. While hardly high-definition, the audio is sure to strike a nostalgic cord among any gamer old enough to remember DN3D when it originally released.
When Duke Nukem 3D originally came out, games were actually hard. If you haven’t picked up a ’90s shooter in a while, expect to die a lot in this one. However, in a wonderful move, Devolver Digital has included replay functionality that enables you to retry a level from any point before you died. This replay engine is constantly on, including in multiplayer, so you can relive some of your greatest moments over and over again.
For those looking for a blast from the past, Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition fits the bill pretty nicely. The Vita plays the game without breaking a sweat, and the controls map pretty well. Duke Nukem is most assuredly showing its age, and some people may be turned off by the game’s portrayal of women. But if you remember playing the shareware game in its heyday, or want to experience a first-person shooter that really tests your reflexes, then pick this re-release up.
Review copy was provided by the publisher. For information on scoring, please read our Review Policy here.