Friday, 15 March 2013

Replay: Duke Nukem: Zero Hour Review

Reviewed on: N64

Duke Nukem: Zero Hour is classic Duke. Aliens are using time travel to disrupt key moments in history and wipe out Duke's ancestors in their attempt to conquer earth and Duke, the badass, gunslinging, one liner generating muscle machine is the only one who can stop them. Across a group of levels you'll have to travel to post-apocalyptic New York, Victorian London, the old West and more as you face off against the alien horde, save the world and get the babes that Duke so lovingly cares for. A ladies man and a world saver. Such a legend.

Like the PS1's Duke Nukem: Time to Kill Zero Hour takes place in third person. It borrows the control set up from Turok which, although initially unusual, is pretty good. However if you find it too complex then you can customise it in the options menu. You'll use well over twenty different weapons and fight enemy types that are both old and new, sometimes using items like gas masks and med kits and will generally wreak havoc and death wherever you go. The levels consist of death dealing, switch flipping, item finding and babe saving and are all superbly well designed, challenging, varied and fun. The only issue with the levels, and although I say only it is huge, is that there are no save points. You have to finish the level to save. This wouldn't be a big problem if it weren't for the fact that a) the levels can be quite challenging and b) feature unpredictable scripted moments that can often result in instant death. Like Reviewed on: N64

Duke Nukem: Zero Hour is classic Duke. Aliens are using time travel to disrupt key moments in history and wipe out Duke's ancestors in their attempt to conquer earth and Duke, the badass, gunslinging, one liner generating muscle machine is the only one who can stop them. Across a group of levels you'll have to travel to post-apocalyptic New York, Victorian London, the old West and more as you face off against the alien horde, save the world and get the babes that Duke so lovingly cares for. A ladies man and a world saver. Such a legend.

Like the PS1's Duke Nukem: Time to Kill Zero Hour takes place in third person. It borrows the control set up from Turok which, although initially unusual, is pretty good. However if you find it too complex then you can customise it in the options menu. You'll use well over twenty different weapons and fight enemy types that are both old new, sometimes using items like gas masks and med kits and will generally wreak havoc and death wherever you go. The levels consist of death dealing, switch flipping, item finding and babe saving and are all superbly well designed, challenging, varied and fun. The only issue with the levels, and although I say only it is huge, is that there are no save points. You have to finish the level to save. This wouldn't be a big problem if it weren't for the fact that a) the levels can be quite challenging and b) feature unpredictable scripted moments that can often result in instant death. Like the time I stepped outside and got run over by a speeding car with no warning at all. Spending half hour making progress only to be forced to start again is incredibly soul destroying and has caused me to rage quit several times so far. Also the frustration it causes makes the game very hard to revisit for a second run through. It makes it worse that the game is so damn good as well because this sort of design flaw will put many people off and I can understand why.

Sadly that's not the game's only big flaw. The frame rate for this game is crazily inconsistent. When the frame rate is running smoothly the game looks great, Duke is well detailed, as are the aliens and the worlds look great with numerous buildings, enemies and objects populating each mission. And when you consider that these buildings can be as tall as skyscrapers then this really is some impressive work. On top of the great environments there is also great attention paid to the aliens as you can blast off individual limbs and they are animated to accommodate this. Decapitating aliens with a shotgun will never get old.The problem is the frame rate ruins this way too often and it really messes up the experience. Which is a shame because this is a good looking game.

Fortunately on the sound front this game is superb. There are countless one liners, brilliant weapon sounds and plenty of alien groans and grunts. The highlight though is definitely the voice work of Duke himself. Blasting an aliens' face to have Duke say 'Hail to the King baby' is just awesome and it really makes Duke seem even more badass.

Despite being a mixed bag with a lot of big flaws Duke Nukem: Zero Hour is a good game with plenty of fun to be had and Duke himself is still a great video game character. If you own an N64 then you should definitely check this out.

2 comments:

  1. Besides a spelling error saying (Hurd) Instead of Third* It was a very interesting retro review. :) Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks ill edit that straight away.

    ReplyDelete