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The Strife Commando

Half-Life Or Duke Nukem 3D?

Why do I have to put two titles?  

76 members have voted

  1. 1. Which do you like?

    • Half-Life
      21
    • Duke Nukem 3D
      33
    • Both
      21


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Both, for different reasons. As someone else once said (paraphrasing): "They are like my children, I love them all, I can't choose just one."

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It's still apples vs oranges. If you wanted a more valid comparison, you could've chosen Quake or Quake 2 instead of Duke.

 

Anyway, both...

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Theyre quite different games. 

 

I dont like Half-Life, it feels like one of the first FPS's to abandon the classic Doom-style level design in favor of linear hallways and scripted sequences. Whereas Duke 3D continued with largely Doom-style abstract levels, but gave them the atmosphere of realistic places with interactive details & environmental effects. And besides that the gunplay of Duke is a lot more satisfying too.

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This thread probably exists because I criticized his previous thread "Doom or Half-Life" for being a softball down the center of the plate, and therefore pointless, to ask on a Doom forum. So I floated several other ideas like HL or Unreal, HL or Halo, and, well, HL vs Duke, so the results can be more diverse, and an actual discussion gets started.

 

The comparison doesn't come from absolutely nowhere, and I don't agree that it's "apples and oranges". Both games were praised for their (at the time) realistic contemporary environments. People can obviously relate more to Duke's Downtown L.A cityscapes than HL's underground laboratories and abandoned military bases, but the full 3D-engine gave HL1 the advantage of making those environments feel more "real", I guess. I guess the point is to decide which does a better job of this, and which do you think is the better game overall.

 

As for my opinion, I'd say both. They're both personal favorites of mine, but I guess Duke edges out HL1 in the balance department. HL1 has pretty good balance overall, but it just has one too many useless weapons. That Hornet Hand is ASS, and the tripmines suck in both games, but Duke's laser trips are slightly better, because you can carry 10 instead of only 5, and it's easier to manipulate the enemies into running into them. 

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58 minutes ago, Maggle said:

This thread probably exists because I criticized his previous thread "Doom or Half-Life" for being a softball down the center of the plate, and therefore pointless, to ask on a Doom forum. So I floated several other ideas like HL or Unreal, HL or Halo, and, well, HL vs Duke, so the results can be more diverse, and an actual discussion gets started.

 

The comparison doesn't come from absolutely nowhere, and I don't agree that it's "apples and oranges". Both games were praised for their (at the time) realistic contemporary environments. People can obviously relate more to Duke's Downtown L.A cityscapes than HL's underground laboratories and abandoned military bases, but the full 3D-engine gave HL1 the advantage of making those environments feel more "real", I guess. I guess the point is to decide which does a better job of this, and which do you think is the better game overall.

 

As for my opinion, I'd say both. They're both personal favorites of mine, but I guess Duke edges out HL1 in the balance department. HL1 has pretty good balance overall, but it just has one too many useless weapons. That Hornet Hand is ASS, and the tripmines suck in both games, but Duke's laser trips are slightly better, because you can carry 10 instead of only 5, and it's easier to manipulate the enemies into running into them. 

Those two weapons have their uses. Hive Hand can take down weaker enemies to preserve ammo, and you can have enemies run into mines if you know what you're doing.

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2 minutes ago, The Strife Commando said:

Is there a mod that modifies the Hive Hand and trip mines?

Not one for the trip mine that I know of, but I think old versions of Sven Coop gives the Hive Hand a proper ammo pool instead of 8 recharging shots, making it kinda like a love-child between the nailgun and Halo's Needler. It's a welcome change, but I think newer versions restored it to vanilla, which is disappointing.

 

Don't quote me on that. I don't play a lot of HL1 mods.

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This comparison makes no sense. They're both two of my favorite video games, but I prefer Duke Nukem 3D on account of being extremely nostalgic towards it. 

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Duke 3D all the way.

Never in my life have I ever thought of playing as a scientist that all of the sudden knows how to use arsenal & never felt badass playing as Gordon. He's also mute, so I feel nothing when kicking alien/human asses. Very bland.

 

With Duke, you feel badass cuz you know you play as someone who's military trained veteran with one-liners.

Also Duke weapons feel better. Half Life weapons (with few exceptions) always felt like you were using toy guns, especially in Half Life 2.

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Unpopular opinion here but I feel that Half Life is very overrated these days particularly when people say that it's the best FPS game ever, I did play and finished it quite a few times in the past but when I try to play it now it just bores me a fair amount, there's plenty of 3D shooters I'd rather play over it these days.

 

I never really cared for Duke Nukem 3D and I generally enjoy Blood and Shadow Warrior more, but I will still play it sometimes. I don't care for Duke's character but I do appreciate the references especially the ones I finally understand after watching the Evil Dead movies for the first time last year.

Edited by Avoozl

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I voted Duke. I'll be honest, I don't like playing Duke Nukem 3D as muich as I would like but mainly because of how buggy the gameplay can be. I think it has a great level design, the weapons feel satisfying to use (except the Laser Tripbomb which has a very specific use), the monsters are varied and versatile and the sound effects are iconic, not to mention the legendary soundtrack. It's the game's engine that ruins it for me. If only it was a little bit more stable and consistent, I would consider it as awesome as Doom. Also kicking while holding a weapon as a secondary attack is like the thing of legends. I wish it was featured in Doom.

 

Half-Life to me is like a One-night stand, I enjoyed it the first time and that's it. I never want to go through it again. Same goes for Half-Life 2.

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Duke Nukem 3D gets my vote.

 

4 hours ago, Uni said:

Half-Life to me is like a One-night stand, I enjoyed it the first time and that's it. I never want to go through it again. Same goes for Half-Life 2.

For years, I was looking for proper "way" to express how I feel about Half Life. Today, I have found it.

Edited by High On Berserk : Grammar and structuring.

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I don't see the point of this poll, people like and dislike different things.

 

Anyways Half-life, I haven't finished Duke3D and I don't think I ever will, not a fan of the floaty physics, character moves way too fast and getting lost too often.

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I like Half-Life more, but since I like both (OP) I said "both".

 

Duke 3D is old school fun. Cool guns, funny oneliners, humour, good music, and kicking ass. A lot of buttons are pushed in the right place. Fun is its main selling point.

 

Half-Life is a really quality game, one for the record books. Well-known for its physics, sound effects, great level design, music, good graphics (for the time) and (sometimes dark) atmosphere. Quality is its main selling point.

 

For the record, I like HL2 and its episodes more - close to one of the best games I ever played.

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i prefer half life but that's probably because of nostalgia, i haven't played duke3d until a couple of years ago and i didn't really like it much, the shooting felt underpowered for me, but i really liked the city levels

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5 hours ago, Uni said:

Half-Life to me is like a One-night stand, I enjoyed it the first time and that's it. I never want to go through it again. Same goes for Half-Life 2.

I found HL2 to be a one-night stand because only the story actually interested me, but after I finished it it was no longer interesting anymore, also the shooting part felt weak and I didn't like the linearity. I at least played through HL1 quite a few times though.

Edited by Avoozl

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5 hours ago, Mr. Freeze said:

Half-Life for me. For a time, it was the game all other FPS games were measured against. It's a classic through and through. 

 

Since I didn't use my initial post to go into detail of why I said Duke 3D, I'll do it now, but I'll do it in the least rude way I can.

 

Duke Nukem 3D is just very good fun to me. It's not at the tip top of the list of great FPSes but it was important, in that yes, it was the first time levels started to look like actual places that could exist. However on top of this it also maintained the a fairly open approach to level design where there's tonnes of places to explore, alternate routes to take and was even willing to do something that later game designers would have an anyeurism over. That of course is the jetpack. It took the wings of Wrath from Heretic and actually made it a real means of taking your own route through missions, and the designers clearly have no issue if the jetpack is used in this way. 

 

And Half Life? Well, I've said a lot already in regards to what I think about it, but to be on topic, why do I think it doesn't measure up to Duke 3D is fairly simple. It doesn't have any freedom in its design. You WILL stand and listen to inane monologues that characters bark at you that doesn't mean anything because the story isn't any more interesting than Duke 3D (aliens are invading, you have to stop them). You WILL fight the same enemies in the same way in the same order every time you play it. And the arsenal is pretty boring compared to just about every great FPS that came before it.

 

The genre going the way of Half Life was a mistake, and based on what I've played of System Shock 2 which I'm playing for the first time properly, that may not be strictly an FPS, but its a game that would be far more worth that kind of praise, but it made the mistake of not having as simplistic design or writing as Half Life. 

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Half Life Upsides:

+ Creative stories

+ A lot of very tiny details most players miss (even for 90's standards)

+ C r o w b a r s

+ Head crabs are adorable as ever but do a lot more damage than one may expect.

+ extremely basic emotions for NPC characters

 

Half Life downsides:

- Difficulty of the later black mesa missions (past chapter 12 and 13) is pretty BS since the marines do an insane amount of damage, even on easy.

- Slot 4 = shotgun. w h y

- Armour supplies was either very plentiful or non-existent (though better than HL2).

 

 

Duke Nukem 3D [Atomic Edition] upsides:

+ Very raunchy with it's sex jokes

+ Fun weapon variety like a freezethrower, a laser tripmine, pipe bombs and heck, even a shrinker! (expander as well if you have atomic edition).

+ Memorable soundtrack

+ Shop-N-Bag's little diddy that plays on the internal speaker. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Url3QHHNKSA)

+ Duke bots were a fun thing to mess around with (though I can only get it to work usually with duke plus).

 

Duke Nukem 3D [Atomic Edition] downsides:

- Glitchy. It's quite easy to kill yourself by crushing duke in some of the doors around the maps. It's also possible to completely nuke a level's geometry by standing on top of a door then letting it bump against you but then you push it into a piece of geometry that has a different height and BAM level corrupts like mad. Notable doors is one of the doors of the Duke Burger and the door in the briefing room of E4M1.

 

- Some of the enemies got really cheap in their placements, especially the commando guys who can blow you up or slice you into pieces. The alien with the chaingun also makes a frequent appearance and are just as annoying as the chaingunners in DooM II.

 

- Some of the bosses felt kinda lack luster compared to the rest of the episode. Episode 1's boss, battle lord, was decently threatening but the overlord is quite easy to blow up with rockets and the cycloid emperor is a wuss. Only other boss that was threatening was the queen.

 

Pesonally though I side with Duke 3D. I have more nostalgic feelings for it.

 

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7 hours ago, Avoozl said:

Unpopular opinion here but I feel that Half Life is very overrated these days particularly when people say that it's the best FPS game ever, I did play and finished it quite a few times in the past but when I try to play it now it just bores me a fair amount, there's plenty of 3D shooters I'd rather play over it these days.

 

I never really cared for Duke Nukem 3D and I generally enjoy Blood and Shadow Warrior more, but I will still play it sometimes. I don't care for Duke's character but I do appreciate the references especially the ones I finally understand after watching the Evil Dead movies for the first time last year.

I agree with this. We all have to acknowledge what Half Life did for FPS genre & I understand it went into a different direction as opposed to your typical "Doom clone" at the time (then again, System Shock 1 did that 4 years earlier but nobody cared) but I do believe that video games should have replay value to them. Half Life does not besides harder difficulty & maybe to refresh your experience every now & then. (I'm not talking about mods.)

 

Personally, it doesn't bore me but I just don't see any point in replaying it. There is no incentive to do so. "Doom clones" at least have stats you can max out. Though, even that can get stale if you played those games over & over again for many years.

Like you said, there are many 3D games you can play in that similar to Doom style. I can't find a single "Half Life" clone with 'narrative-with-no-cutscenes-&-no-text' style.

 

I think Deus Ex 1 destroys Half Life in every way possible. I know they are different but Deus Ex had dialog that varied & you could choose which approach you wanted to take on the enemies.

Also, much more unique plot. Half Life is basically Doom except aliens/human enemies, scientist player, NPCs & them talking.

 

Game is definitely not the best FPS. It's best to those with nostalgia goggles on, Valve fanatics or gaming journalists wanna-be's who are severely biased.

 

Don't get me started on Half Life 2, though. Oh my god. That game is beyond overrated.

 

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4 minutes ago, The_SloVinator said:

I think Deus Ex 1 destroys Half Life in every way possible. I know they are different but Deus Ex had dialog that varied & you could choose which approach you wanted to take on the enemies.

 

I'm playing that after System Shock 2, and whilst I have actually played through Deus Ex Human Revolution so I have a bit of an idea what to expect from it, I'm going in with an open mind and curiosity to see if it did some things better.

 

The thing here is that Half Life had presentation that clearly wanted to be taken more seriously than other FPSes of the time, however in terms of design I'd argue it simplified too much and was the start of what I'd call the cinematic approach to shooters, a style I loathe in everything from Half Life to The Last of Us.

 

If you want to be a "grown up" game, be more sophisticated, because the writing in these games isn't impressive to anyone remotely well read. System Shock 2 and Deus Ex seem to be the games that do that, expanding the genre to doing more things. 

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9 hours ago, The_SloVinator said:

Duke 3D all the way.

Never in my life have I ever thought of playing as a scientist that all of the sudden knows how to use arsenal & never felt badass playing as Gordon. He's also mute, so I feel nothing when kicking alien/human asses. Very bland.

 

With Duke, you feel badass cuz you know you play as someone who's military trained veteran with one-liners.

Also Duke weapons feel better. Half Life weapons (with few exceptions) always felt like you were using toy guns, especially in Half Life 2.

 

Some of HL's weapons weren't that awesome to use, I agree, but to the point of feeling like toy guns? Not that much, almost all of them use epic sounds and carry quite a bit of punch, except for maybe, the Pistol. HL2's USP does hit closer to feeling like a toy gun (and it definitely looks like it's entirely made of plastic), but the Shotgun, AR2, Gravity Gun, RL? Those were all awesome to use.

 

As about voiced characters... that's up to personal preference. Playing as a silent protagonist feels a lot more personal and like you truly are "there", whereas playing as a voiced character feels much more impersonal. Although it can go both ways, especially when playing as a character that resonates with you (hi Caleb).

 

12 minutes ago, The_SloVinator said:

Game is definitely not the best FPS. It's best to those with nostalgia goggles on, Valve fanatics or gaming journalists wanna-be's who are severely biased.

 

Don't get me started on Half Life 2, though. Oh my god. That game is beyond overrated.

 

Hm...

 

Overrated? Nah, I don't think so, but HL2 in particular was indeed a bit too much of a product of its time, and as a result, things that were amazing back then (the Airboat chapters were pretty cool to play at the time, for instance, due to the groovy physics the game had) are no longer that fun to play anymore, and it also dragged on after a while. This is why these days I prefer playing the Episodes instead of the OG HL2 - shorter, and more combat focused. The vehicle sections in EP2 are also more fun to play and much shorter.

 

There's also the games' influence upon the industry, and honestly I think the influence was mostly good, and definitely more positive than the likes of CoD which sprung a ton of military shooters. I think it all boils down to whether the person in question likes the design philosophy adopted by these games more than anything. Not a fan of linear design for instance? Then yeah, that's definitely going to ruin your day, but I think linear design was the right choice as it prevents missing occasional important parts of the maps, not to mention getting lost on the said maps, at the expense of giving the players less freedom overall.

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Half-Life, easily - alongside the first Doom I'd say that Half-Life was the equal most rewarding FPS game that I have completed.  Its emphasis on storytelling was innovative for the time and immersive.  I haven't gone back to it as much subsequently, but that's mainly because I wanted to create mods in the Doom universe and although Half-Life's Xen comes fairly close, it wasn't as good a match for my creative visions (and I say this as someone who did quite a lot of Half-Life modding between 1999 and 2004).  The Xen levels are generally criticised as the weakest, and I did find those to be more variable in quality than the others, with a few jumping puzzles too many, but I enjoyed the atmosphere of Xen.

 

As for Duke3D, I found episodes 1 and 4 to be right up there with Half-Life, but Eps 2 and 3 dragged a bit in places for me, but overall it was still one of the next-best FPS games of the 1990s for me.  In terms of ratings I'd be giving Doom and Half-Life around 95%, and Duke3D around 90%.

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