This post is written by Jake Parr.
After the immense success of Duke Nukem 3D, it was only a matter of time until companies started to crank out some expansion packs. Duke it Out in DC, was developed by Sunstorm Interactive and published by WizardWorks Software in 1997. This was no cesspool of trashy fan-made maps, but a whole new episode of alienroasting, boomsticking excitement!
President Clinton ends up being kidnapped by those alien S.O.B.’s! After a successful attack on Washington DC, our hero, Duke Nukem, enters the equasion to paint the White House red with the aliens’ blood. I suppose we’ll never see Master Chief rescuing President Obama in any games these days. The addon includes a short slideshow for its ending, with a funny twist before the credits are shown.
Nothing has changed with the gameplay; Duke it Out in DC still retains plenty of the action-packed, keyhunting gameplay of Duke 3D, not like anyone would have it any other way.
Unfortunately, there are no new enemies to fight and no new weapons available to fry some mutant pig backside with. Whilst there are a great batch of songs that parody themes like Robocop, The X-Files, and more, that are on the disc, they do not actually play ingame due to copyright reasons.
Instead, the game will just play the old soundtrack in its place. A shame, really. One can only listen to the same ol’ tunes for so long without getting bored.
Sunstorm Interactive did a brilliant job with the level design, creating levels based on monuments and areas in DC, alongside a few other interesting zones to battle in. Missions include liberating the the White House, gunning through the FBI’s headquarters, raiding a submarine, and even stepping into a time machine that sends Duke deep into the past!
Maps are well balanced and are a good challenge, although finding the keys can be rather confusing at times. This is especially true with the dreaded Smithsonian Terror level, which is absolutely massive and features switches, keycards and other things that are smuggled in hard to-spot places. Dukematches, therefore, are a real pain, unless you have large parties to players to fight against. Still, the amount of detail put into things like statues and museum exhibits are excellent.
Furthermore, the final boss battle could have been better, for it takes part on a small platform with little area to dodge and strafe around, especially so when a jetpack with plenty of fuel is available.
Alternatively, a good tactic would be to just keep firing whilst jumping and ducking to dodge the Cycloid Emperor’s rockets. The screenshots on the back show quite a few Overlord bosses to be found, but that bad dude is nowhere to be found.
Another minor flaw with this addon is the shameful lack of interactivity with the enviromnent. Also, Duke is mostly quiet in this, unless it’s the same oneliners he’s cracking when in combat. It could have done with a few more lines from Duke to spout when, say, entering a room full of splattered foes, or perhaps some secret rocket traps to use against the baddies.
On the whole, Duke it Out in D.C may be lacking in new content, as well as the little things that made the original game brilliant, yet it certainly delivers with some topquality, brilliant level design. Despite some minor flaws that need an amendment or two, we the people think this is a very nice expansion.