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Our famous hero, long on attitude and short on bubble gum, continues to kick some alien tail in this follow-up to 1997's Duke Nukem 64. This time the aliens have the audacity to stink up the Big Apple and, well, that's not gonna fly with the ol' Dukester. The aliens aren't the only thing worry about, however: rumor has it that another Duke Nukem is trapped somewhere in time! Confused? Don't be! Duke has to focus on wiping out the alien scum and completing his mission objectives to save the world (once again).
Duke Nukem Zero Hour has players stepping into the well-traveled combat boots of the blond and buff Duke Nukem, who began his career on the PC platform in 1991. The single-player game is played from a third-person perspective as you run around trying to complete multiple objectives within each level. Of course, there will be some resistance in the form of Pig Cops, Lizard Enforcers, Road Hogs, Plague Zombies and other creatures, so you're going to have to rely on your wits and weapons in order to survive. Okay, maybe more on your weapons.
The game features an arsenal of nineteen "toys," ranging from the standard issue M-80 Pulse Gun to the BMF Thunderstrike, which can vaporize crowds of aliens in one giant blast of transmagnetic energy. Duke Nukem will also be able to use pipebombs, dynamite and "normal" bombs as well as a Radium Cyanide Launcher, Alien Freeze-Thrower and Voltaic Projector (a.k.a. Volt Cannon). For the first time in the series, Duke can find and use a .50 Sniper Rifle to zoom-in on his foes and take them out with a single shot to the head.
Since each level is broken down into various objectives, Duke carries with him a TACS (Tactical Assessment Computer System) console to keep him informed on the situation at hand. Besides listing his current objective, the TACS also clues him in on how many secrets and "babes" there are on the level. Yes, there's nothing quite like a damsel in distress to get the juices flowing, and Duke must always keep an eye out for potential rescue victims.
After completing a mission, which usually involves finding and throwing switches, eliminating targets, locating objects and using the odd vehicle or two, Duke will be able to travel to another time period. It seems the aliens have decided to change history in order to control the future! There are 21 different levels to play through (set within New York, the Old West and Victorian England), but the carnage doesn't have to end once you've completed them.
Duke Nukem Zero Hour features four-player deathmatching (from a first-person perspective) on a split screen in one of fourteen arenas. Five settings can be adjusted for multi-player matches: time limits (between five and sixty minutes), frag counts (five, 100 or none), radar (on or off), screen layout (horizontal or vertical) and friendly fire (whether or not you can be killed by your teammates).
The four different modes in the multi-player game include the following: Dukematch, Last Man Standing (all players have one life), King of the Hill (the player who shoots the "king" receives five points and then becomes the king) and Team Dukematch (players are divided into red and blue teams).
The game also supports the Rumble Pak for vibration feedback, the Expansion Pak for high-resolution graphics and the Controller Pak to save game data. Continuing the tradition set by 1996's Duke Nukem 3D on the PC, the voice of Duke Nukem is played by John St. Jon. As always, parents should be warned that the game carries a "Mature" rating for violence and suggestive themes. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide