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Duke Nukem: Zero Hour – Second Opinion

Dale Weir's picture

If you didn't yet "get it" from Chi's review, then let me say it again. Zero Hour is a fine example of going to the well one too many times. When I was younger, I was too caught up in the game's overuse of T&A and Duke's "witty" retorts to really criticize Duke as being a blatant Doom-clone. That was then—game machines have since evolved and so have the gamers (sort of); it's 1999, we're on the Nintendo 64 now, and I am a much more discerning player. For a game from the past to appeal to me, it would have to show some sort of acceptance of these simple facts of life. I mean, look at how popular Pac-Man was back in the 80s, but when was the last time we got an even halfway decent sequel prior to the 8-bit days?

Duke Nukem is an aged marketing concept, where a hulking guy destroys everything in his path and highlights the destruction with cool one-liners. It was worked to perfection in the 80s when Arnold Schwartzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were dominating the box office. But in the 1990s, even Sly and Arnold have conceded to the times and have changed accordingly. Why haven't the developers of Zero Hour realized the same thing? Sure Zero Hour is now in real-time 3D and a "new" third-person perspective. But it's all been done to death by now and he doesn't even bring anything new to the table. It's as if his old lines and enviable machismo was enough to overshadow the complete absence of gameplay. There are no new or interesting weapons, no new or interesting environments, and certainly no new or interesting storylines. It's just one long, boring remake of the original Duke Nukem.

The 90's are now winding down and we're entering a possible golden age of gaming with all the technologically advanced systems already on the market and on the horizon. The expectations of gamers are at an all time high and for a game like this to be thrown at them is a sure sign that there are still many developers that aren't learning from their colleagues' missteps. Forget the porn and violence, I am offended by the sub par quality of this game. It shows a total disregard for the industry, the fans of the franchise, and players in general. Rating: 1.5 out of 10

Category Tags
Platform(s): Nintendo 64  
Developer(s): Eurocom  
Publisher: GT Interactive  
Genre(s): Adventure/Explore   Shooting  
ESRB Rating: Mature (17+)  
Articles: Game Reviews  

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