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The AMC TC delivers ten flavours of free Duke Nukem 3D fun

Always bet on Duke modders

There's still a handful of modders hacking away at Duke Nukem 3D, and today they released the long-awaited third episode of The AMC TC. Possibly the most self-indulgent standalone Duke fan-game you'll ever see, featuring a convoluted story, ten playable characters and sprawling adventures across multiple worlds. I've had a soft spot for this beautiful mess for years now, but feared the project had stalled out after the second episode launched four years ago. I'm glad to be wrong. Check out the trailer below, and grab the (free and standalone) game from Mod DB here, no Duke needed.

While I've not had a chance to dig into the new episode, the first two were a truly wild ride. Missions range from pseudo-realistic tactical shooting through Russian streets (punctuated with the occasional tank battle) to some otherworldly adventures. There's a particularly good mission set on Mars and featuring enemies borrowed from Doom, with the level itself growing increasingly corrupted and twisted as you pick up each key. Eventually players dive into hell itself, and are forced to rely on magical weapons found there. It's uneven, but consistently imaginative.

Between missions, you get to wander around your home base, which is vastly more convoluted than it needs to be. There's briefing rooms, personal quarters for every playable character, a world map that extends out to the solar system and more. There's even a convoluted research and upgrade system, letting you buy permanent upgrades for weapons and characters. It looks like this new episode continues adventuring through time and space, with a few interesting new off-world locations, more vehicular battles, plus apparently a jaunt into ancient Egypt to battle monsters from Exhumed/Powerslave.

The most bananas thing is that it's all technically Duke 3D fan-fiction, with ten original characters fighting for the spotlight as their personal story arcs collide. Expect some clunky writing and some endearingly amateur voice acting paired with some top-drawer level design. Each of the ten playable characters offers a wildly different set of weapons and abilities, and the missions are as varied as their protagonists. It's daunting to even look at and a little user-unfriendly, so read the developer's tips on the download page here. As this mod only works in software rendering mode, you'll also need a decent modern CPU, too.

You can grab The AMC TC here on Mod DB, entirely standalone. The new release includes all three episodes, which the developers reckon will take over thirty hours to finish, all combined.

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Duke Nukem 3D

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Dominic Tarason