Hail to the king, baby! I was going to talk a bit about the news that Duke Nukem Forever is actually coming out now, but I'm sure we've all heard about that already. Instead I'm going to talk about one of my all-time favorite PC games, Duke Nukem 3D.
When I first played this game, it totally blew my 13 year old mind. Guns, aliens and pixelated tits. What more could a boy ask for? When it came out in '96 it was like nothing people had ever played before. It was loud, crude, and totally hilarious. 3D Realms managed to capture everything I love about PC gaming. It had fantastic gameplay with tons of innovative weapons like freeze rays, shrink rays, pipe bombs and trip mines.
What was really memorable to me though was how much you could interact with the environments. Many games today STILL aren't as interactive as Duke 3D. If you saw a crack in the wall you could blow it open to access secret rooms. You could turn lights or projectors on and off. You could play pinball or give money to virtual strippers (Note to children: this is bad don't give money to virtual strippers).
The voice acting was also great and John St. John provided the gravelly sleeze-ball voice that has become so memorable. Duke has some great one-liners and makes fun of himself as well as just about everything else.
It's a shame more games these days can't have such a sense of humor. In what other game does the hero greet a level boss with "I'm gonna rip off your head and shit down your neck!"...Then when you beat them, you get a cutscene of Duke whipping out a newspaper to deliver on his promise.