Many years ago gamers had a tough time. For years we suffered until the fateful day came, the day that Doom 4 and Duke Nukem Forever were released. Seriously, it was like the second coming of Jesus for gamers. But unlike Jesus, whom we’re still waiting for, these long-awaited sequels came out, and by God, Doom amazing! Duke Nukem Forever is best left forgotten, but wasn’t Doom amazing?!
Both Doom and Duke Nukem 3D were epic rivals that demanded your attention. Doom was The Godfather of the FPS genre, while Duke Nukem is considered to be the game that redefined it. I’m taking a look back to see which one stands out after 25 years!
I will be looking at the original versions of these games, not the 20-year anniversary editions or any of the re-releases with new levels and extra stuff. It’ll be just the pure, unmodified, untainted original titles we’re looking at today.
Now by personality, I mean the style and substance of the video games themselves and not the characters. That comes later on, don’t worry.
Now both these games were crammed with awesome visuals, cool locations and plenty of colorful creatures to shoot in the face! Now Doom centered its epic amounts of mayhem in a Lunar base on the Moon and eventually ended up in Hell.
Duke Nukem’s adventure took our loveable rogue through an Alien infested L.A, Lunar Base on the Moon, Alien Spaceships, Secret labs and big budget film sets! While I do love the variety of locations in Duke Nukem, they do tend to repeat the aesthetic and look similar to one another. Now if I was counting the newly released levels then Duke 3D would take the gold. But for the original release, it just didn’t amount to Doom’s epic setting.
Come on, its Hell! Players get to traverse through a creepy looking Moon Base and then journey through Hell itself. Plus Hell looked freaking amazing for the time with surreal images, great variation of color and detail to make it really stand out. Plus, the soundtrack was amazing, setting the mood perfectly for the demon killing.
Sorry Duke, the point goes to Doom.
Now Doom may not have been the first FPS but it was indeed a driving force to redefine the genre and show developers what they could be doing. Doom ignited a long line of ambition developers and designers who created some of the best FPSs around and one of these games being Duke Nukem 3D.
While Doom is pretty awesome, it does get quite repetitive by the halfway point. You’ve seen everything killed everything and ventured into every type of level design two times over by Act 3. While Hell is visually pleasing, it’s not enough to hide the fact that Doom was held together by a single note. It’s a very entertaining single note but one that’s mindless and shallow. The guns and level design were limited, the old find the colored key puzzled had overstayed its welcome and the bosses (awesome visually) were just big, demon themed bullet sponges.
Now Duke, on the other hand, is something else.
Duke Nukem 3D gave was highly creative in every aspect and its impact influenced games like Blood and Shadow Warrior. The level design was brilliant, it had some of gaming’s best weapons and the various set pieces and bosses were epic. Even little touches such as the Jet Pack gave a dynamic boost to combat and exploration. Nothing could top Duke’s adventure in terms of action, exploration and it even added some interesting lateral elements. Okay, there was some find the key card moments but even Duke pointed this out as dated in 1994.
What I’m talking about was the scale of the puzzles and how clever they were. The Shrink Ray segments were some of my favorites due to its awesomeness as a weapon and it’s used for a couple of puzzles in the game.
When it comes to the most entertaining FPS, always bet on Duke!
The Ultimate Ass Kicker
Now let’s discuss who the better man is. Who is the king of the FPS Genre and the Godfather of kicking ass?!
Doom Guy is an awesome, silent protagonist that takes no crap from anyone, demon and authority figures. He does everything due to his primal instinct and his hatred for demons and we love it. Although saying this, Doom 2016’s incarnation of Doom Guy was perfect and is the crowning king of badass-ness.
Back in 1993, he’s just a guy. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a bad ass and even with blood on his face, the guy never gives up! He’s an awesome character but only through that animated gif of his face, he’s not holding a presence like the Duke.
Come on, admit it. Duke is the King. I know his appearance in Duke Nukem Forever was lame but you can’t pin bad writing on the Duke. Back in 1994, this guy was the King and his witty one-liner can do attitude and ego made his desirable. Even when he shouts out in pain it’s manly and just like Doom Guy, he shows pure grit and determination with comebacks. Plus he’s influenced other bad ass characters like Wang (Shadow Warrior), Caleb (Blood) and recently Shelly Bombshell (Ion Maiden).
Sorry, Doom Guy, you do rock but the Duke is King.
Who is the King?
While Doom is an awesome game and one that helped shape the FPS genre. It’s a sure thing that Duke Nukem 3D is the ultimate shooter of the two. Its creativity, leading character and the awesome array of level designs and weapons made this the most entertaining FPS of the 90’s.
All Hail the King Baby!