While you were worrying about whether or not the sky is falling in Fortnite or getting your squad together in Sea of Thieves, a very important birthday passed us by: Duke Nukem! More specifically, Duke Nukem 3D, or the 22nd birthday of Duke Nukem 3D's official registered version, which released back on April 24, 1996. It's time we give the Duke his due, as he's one of the greatest first-person shooter heroes of all time, impeccably cool, and oh-so iconic. He also happens to be one of my favorite characters in all of gaming, period.
Duke's effortless cool attitude doesn't mesh well with everyone, but I've been around for every single pig cop massacre, "Shake it, baby" scene, and every game released since the classic Duke Nukem 3D, even Duke Nukem Forever. To think that one of the games that catapulted Duke into the massive amount of popularity he enjoyed is not only old enough to drink, but that I'm old enough (and lucky enough) to have played it with my dad growing up is mindblowing.
If you've never blazed through the city massacreing your enemies in Duke Nukem 3D or enjoyed a brief interlude with a stripper in-game, you've missed out on a pivotal moment of one of the raunchiest games in history, as well as Jon St. John's masterful voiceover for Duke himself. While Duke has seen his share of misfortune over the years thanks to the mishandling of Duke Nukem Forever, there's a resurgence coming in the form of a new film starring John Cena and hopefully more to come from the cigar-smoking, wisecracking hero that we know we can always bet on.
It's high time for a new game too, but we'll take the ability to reminisce about good times with one of the greats when it comes to shooters. Take this opportunity to nab Duke Nukem 3D and play through it, even if you've finished it a thousand times over. Happy birthday, Duke! Here's to many, many more.