Duke Nukem: Planet of the Babes Review

For PlayStation

By Contributing Writer Chris George

Rating: Average
   There have been a lot of sequels hitting the shelves in recent months, 
and most of them have done excellent jobs of improving on their predecessors
(Tony Hawk 2, Parasite Eve 2, Dino Crisis 2, etc).  Unfortunately, Duke 
Nukem: Land of the Babes just does the opposite.  The control lay-out, basic
premise, and third-person view are exactly the same as they were in Duke 
Nukem: Time to Kill.  The sequel also has some new flaws that drag down the 
entire experience.
   As the last surviving man on Earth, you have to work with the Unified 
Babe Resistance to save women and kick some alien ass.  There's no doubt 
that this is a stupid story line, but it fits the Duke Nukem universe 
perfectly and it has that "so bad it's good" quality.  Besides, any story 
with a group called the Unified Babe Resistance is fine with me...
   So, the ridiculous story line magic is back in full force, but that's 
where the magic ends.  Land of the Babes is action-oriented to a fault 
because in order to make up for the excessive amount of action, the 
developers dumbed it down.  The game encourages you to simply run into rooms
and fire until everyone is dead or you run out of ammo, whichever comes 
first.  There's not a whole lot of strategy involved, despite the increased 
selection of weapons and items.  Any attempt to maneuver around enemies and
dodge their fire is quickly shot down by the sluggish control.
   The developers at N-Space also threw together a multi-player mode, with 
the key words there being "threw together" rather than "skillfully crafted."
A couple of the arenas are well designed, but most of them are too small to 
be anything special.  The fun of the multi-player mode is further dampened 
by the awkward first-person view, which often prevents you from seeing a 
ledge or jump until you're falling.
   Not only has the gameplay worsened, but somehow have the graphics have, 
too.  If you're going to have pixelated and blocky graphics, you should at 
least make sure that they're not also glitchy.  Major slowdown and poor 
character models limit the game's visual appeal from the get-go, and this 
only becomes more grating when you encounter lighting effects that make the 
game almost unplayable at times.
   What would a Duke Nukem game be without Duke's famous one-liners?  In 
this case, the answer is "more fun to play."  The one-liners are funny at 
first, but it doesn't take long for them to become repetitive and thus 
annoying.  The audio quality itself is also very low, which is a shame 
because the music is actually pretty good.
   Duke Nukem: Land of the Babes is a shameless cash-in that only the most 
hardcore Duke fans should rent.  The lack of quality design leads me to 
believe that N-Space has been consulting with former employees of 989 
Studios on the fine art of making each new game in a series less fun than 
the last.

Send your thoughts on this review to chris@mastergamer.com
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