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Duke Nukem: Zero Hour

Score: 100%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: GT Interactive
Developer: Eurocom
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Action/ Shooter

Graphics & Sound:

The graphics in Duke Nukem: Zero Hour are very good. In fact, Zero Hour supports the Expansion pack, offering additional Medium and Hi-Res graphics modes. There are loads of hilariously politically incorrect jokes and slurs built into the scenery, as well as typical Duke-speak. The background sound is a hard rock guitar-driven soundtrack that is befitting of Duke. You can really get an appreciation of the detail of the textures when you get the sniper rifle. With the sniper rifle, if you tap the trigger once, you go into a telescopic zoom mode, and you can really get a good look at the textures. The graphics in Duke Nukem: Zero Hour are quite possibly the smoothest I've seen on the N64.


Duke is back. Basically, you get to kick butt and take names in Duke Nukem: Zero Hour. If it moves, shoot it... unless it has breasts, then you rescue it. You'll need all the ammo you can get your mitts on, which shouldn't be too hard since every enemy you face has a weapon, and they don't need it anymore once you've blown them away. You'll have to keep your eyes open for secret areas and switches that need to be thrown, but beyond that, it's pretty much a hardcore shoot ‘em-up. There are eight different controller settings (I suggest Shaken) to allow you to select a control setup that works well for you.


The idea behind this game is simple. You shoot them, while not getting shot yourself. The A.I. of the enemies usually doesn't have them hunting you down too much, either. They will tend to guard an area, allowing you to plan your attack a bit. However, despite the fact that it may sound like an easy task in theory, when you get right down to it, you can find yourself getting shot a lot more than you would expect. The unnerving part about it is that there are a lot of alien enemies to contend with, and they unexpectedly 'beam' in sometimes, just when you thought an area was clear. There are two difficulty settings to choose from: Normal and Hard. Unless you are an absolute expert at Duke games, I suggest you start with the Normal setting. It's hard enough.

Game Mechanics:

The control demands are high in Duke Nukem... meaning that there's a lot of things that you can (and have to) do in the game, which leads to a design challenge when trying to make an intuitive controller setup. One 'out' usually used is to give the player the option of configuring the controller on their own. On games with as many different actions as Duke Nukem: Zero Hour, however, this leaves the gamer with the daunting task. For this reason, I am not disappointed to see that a 'design your own' controller setup feature was not included. This problem was handled instead by offering eight different default setup configurations. While none of them are what I would call intuitive, the Shaken allows you to strafe with your left and right 'c' buttons, which makes it my favorite.

One interesting feature of the graphics engine is that Duke will become translucent (and almost transparent) when a camera angle would have otherwise been forced to show just the back of Duke's head. When this happens, it essentially becomes a first person view. This allows the camera angle to stay the same without sacrificing the gamer's ability to see what they're doing.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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