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Release Date: October 11th, 2016 Movie Release Year: 2016

Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour

Overview -

As the overly long title would suggest, 'Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour' is in fact a re-release of the 1996 classic 'Duke Nukem 3D.' The faithful port brings the iconic first-person shooter to modern console, with a few big additions. This includes an all-new fifth chapter in the game's story (complete with new voice acting and music), made by members of the original development team, and the ability to toggle between a new game engine that features enhanced lighting.

Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
October 11th, 2016

Video Review


Aside from the new chapter, 'Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour's biggest addition is enhanced graphics. Called True3D rendering, this optional feature (which can be toggled on by simply pressing down on the directional pad) uses all of 'Duke Nukem 3D's original assets, but uses 3D modeling and lighting to make it look better than ever. Since it's using the original assets, this overhaul still has all of the nostalgic charm of the original but with a layer of polish that was never there before. It basically makes 'Duke Nukem 3D' look like how I remember it looking, not the pixelated mess that it can sometimes be. It also fixes the game's skyboxes, which are no longer broken when players look up and down.

If you want to see the difference for yourself, the picture above shows a screenshot in the default mode, while the picture below is rendered in True3D. It's really a dramatic difference that makes 'World Tour' feel much more than yet another port of 'Duke Nukem 3D.'

Audio Review


For 'Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour,' Gearbox Software had Duke Nukem voice actor Jon St. John re-record all of his old lines, and read new ones made for the additional levels. These sound great, and there is even an option to enable the original dialogue for those wanting a more nostalgic delivery. Similarly, original composer Lee Jackson returned to create music for the fifth world as well so the chapter really does feel like another set of 'Duke Nukem 3D' levels.

Another big addition comes in the form of some fantastic behind-the-scenes commentary. This comes from members of the original development team including Richard "Levelord" Gray. While the discussions are always interesting, the audio mixing is pretty poor. Sometimes sound effects would make it difficult to hear what is being said, and I often had to trigger commentary multiple times in order to fully hear it.

Sadly, there is a major disappointment about the audio and that's a lack of subtitles. It's completely ridiculous to limit who can experience Duke's one-liners and the director's commentary. Hopefully Gearbox Software will do a better job in the future with accessibility options (and start by patching this game), but they completely dropped the ball here.

Final Thoughts

'Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour' is the best way to play the iconic first-person shooter. The new levels are some of the best in the entire game, and show that Nerve Software understands what makes 'Duke Nukem' great. While I was initially disappointed that several 'Duke Nukem 3D' expansions weren't included (such as 'Life's a Beach') it might just be for the best, as it makes for a much more focused experience that serves to celebrate the 1996 title. Hopefully this will lead to Nerve Software getting a chance to make a follow-up to 'Duke Nukem 3D,' but until then this package is a good reminder as to why the game was special in the first place.