When it comes to iconic video game characters, as time.com helpfully reflects on, Duke Nukem undoubtedly ranks among them. A long-standing favorite of gamers across the globe, he’s the embodiment of popular 80s and 90s action heroes.
Combining machismo, wit, and an armory of large guns which are continually at his disposal, the character of Duke has featured in numerous games across the years, though his most enduring outing is arguably his first in 3D, aptly titled Duke Nukem – 3D.
Here are just a few of the reasons why he remains our ultimate retro action man.
He introduced us to 3D
Released six months pre-Quake, Duke Nukem brought 3D gaming to our screens all the way back in 1996. Introducing us to this new and exciting tech, he featured in the most advanced FPS on the market at the time, giving us an initial taste of the more immersive video gaming experience we would later come to expect. With plenty of interactive environments for us to sharpen our teeth on, his was a game of firsts: the first time a player could look up and down, the first time a character swam or used a jetpack in 3D… It was an experience our baby gamer hearts never forgot – one that gives us a wave of nostalgia even now.
He had a fully-kitted out armory
Not only did Duke introduce us to 3D gaming, but he also had a fully-kitted out armory for us to play around with – which you can find more on at segmentnext.com. Featuring an array of imaginative weapons, this included, not only the shotguns and pistols we’d grown used to, but many zany additions such as a shrink ray and a hologram that could be put to work to distract problematic opponents.
He had some seriously funny dialogue
While we’re currently experiencing a retro revival of popular video games and consoles from yesteryear, as explored by slotsonlinecanada.com, there are aspects of vintage play that are better left in the past, including some of the slightly aged humor found in the Duke Nukem universe. That being said, there’s no taking away from much of the fun – albeit puerile – dialogue that’s found in the game. With lines lifted from iconic films including The Evil Dead and They Live, Duke’s wit and ripostes are a homage to the era in which they were written and will instantly transport you back to that time.
He has the power to take us back two-and-a-half decades in seconds
While the above are all good reasons for Duke’s enduring popularity, and his status as our ultimate retro action hero, there’s one final factor that cements his crown: he can take us back to the glory days of 1996 within seconds of appearing on our screens. Representing a new and innovative time for gaming, when huge advances were being made and everything still seemed novel and exciting, he reminds us of why we fell in love with the pastime in the first place, and that’s something no hero since has been able to replicate.