Duke It Out In D.C.

WizardWorks and Sunstorm Interactive were notorious for several half-baked mission packs for games such as Doom, Heretic or Duke, intermittently rounding up countless freeware levels and slapping them together on one CD (which you were expected to buy). Duke It Out In DC couldn’t be more different from this approach. There aren’t that many levels here, but the ones included are great, very often exceeding the quality of design found even in the original game.

Whereas the first and last episodes of Duke 3D were largely identical urban shootouts, the theme in DC is a lot more in-your-face with its presentation. It plays like a Build powered tour through Washington, with maps featuring famous monuments and locations in and around that great city. The White House looks like the White House, with front lawn, Oval Office, and all the fixtures. Other maps visually depict the FBI building, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Naval Weapons Plant, the Smithsonian Institute, the Pentagon and an ultra-secret underground presidential bunker. There are ten levels in all, provided you also find the super-secret bonus level.

As a single-player game, it’s excellent. All of the levels are huge, well constructed and engaging. Out of the entire lot, Capitol Punishment (found halfway) is possibly the best – featuring clever level design (a trip through a besieged Capitol Building), good enemy placement and so much stuff blowing up around you that it would have made an excellent boss level with its terrific build-up. Even the crappy sewer level redeems itself, revealing the insides of the Pentagon as you surface. And a later mission inside a nuclear submarine looks absolutely awesome.

The game doesn’t come with any new foes or guns to toy around with, but it has got an impressive collection of textures and destructible objects. But it’s an overall great mission pack even without any radical novelties.

System Requirements: Intel 486 DX2 66 Mhz, 8 MB RAM, 30 MB HDD, MS-DOS>

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