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Hail to the king, baby. Duke Nukem 3D was right up there with Doom in terms of early FPSes. The graphics are crap by modern standards, but for the time they were amazing. The action was good, fluid, and hard enough to keep the player interested, and there was a great selection of equipment.
But the best part of this game, and what really sets it apart from Doom, is the voice acting.
We all know Duke's voice. We all love Duke's voice. It's suave and deep, it sounds the same as he acts: A confident ladies' man who is not afraid to crack skulls. But even better are his lines. At some point you just played through the game and went around in every corner trying to find out what sort of things Duke would comment on. It never got old, and it was always tongue in cheek and funny.
When you're awesome enough that Megadeth makes a theme song for you, you know you're badass.
But why a 4 out of 5? Well, one reason: Control. I know that FPSes were just hitting their stride around this time and a "standard" control scheme was far off into the future, but really, why are the basic controls so butchered? The most important thing about an FPS is the ability to pick up and play.
I wouldn't even have so much of a problem with it if it wasn't such aggravation trying to shoot upwards or downwards. Once I reconfigured the controls to my standards it got a lot easier, but the flying enemies were still a pain, and that's why the fifth star stays knocked off. Those goddamn hoverbike swine.
Oh well. Still a classic.
"Oooh, that's gotta hurt..."