Tradition again continues from Duke Nukem I and Duke Nukem II in stage/episodic format, which facilitated shareware distribution.
10 weapons of varying degrees of lethality exist in Duke Nukem 3D, ranging from Duke's ever-present Mighty to the RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) which is mostly reserved for environment destruction (cracks in walls often lead to secret areas) and end-game 'boss' creature removal. Laser tripmines are perfect for hallways and small rooms, and are great multiplayer area denial weapons.
Monsters are unique and deadly in this installment, with mutated and strong Pig Cops in the cities (with L.A.R.D. emblazoned on their uniforms, which stands for Los Angeles Riot Department), Assault Troopers/Commanders, Enforcers, Protozoid Slimers, Protector Drones, underwater sharks and enigmatic Octabrains in the waters and flooded areas you will pass. All however, are based on the framework of an evil alien invasion on Earth supervised by the Overlords, Battlelord and the alien Queen herself.
Duke Nukem 3D is first in the series to offer multiplayer game modes such as DukeMatch and co-op. Connectivity was mostly done via WON during its lifetime, but other 3rd-party methods still exist, as well as serial connection.
The game is unique for a 3 dimensional game environment, especially since it was pioneering in its time. The levels are designs in 2D using 'sectors' wherein ceilings and floors are determined and connected with other sectors. Each sectors lighting is unique and sectors are often subdivided to imitate where light would shine on floors, etc. 3 dimensions can be simulated by 'overlapping sectors'. A way to simply create multi-leveled areas is through the use of solid sprites as bridges which when given the proper texture blend perfectly with the level design. Game events such as earthquakes, explosions, lighting changes, can be triggered by sprites or entry into sectors.
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