After one hell of a long wait Duke Nukem Forever finally has made its way to gaming systems near you. It had quite a journey being made and most people thought it would never see the light of day and sometimes I wish it didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like certain things in Duke Nukem Forever, but it isn’t really a “good” game from any standpoint. The graphics are okay, but not really that impressive. The game play is very choppy and sluggish and the story is the only redeeming thing, even though playing a Duke Nukem game for its story is considered a joke. I guess it’s just the feel of playing as the classic bad ass Duke Nukem that kept me entertained throughout, but even that slowly starts to fade away in time and the result is a lackluster game that doesn’t fully deliver.
Duke Nukem Forever was doomed from the start. The second it started pushing back the release dates was the second the game was destined to fail. There is absolutely no way you can live up to that kind of hype, especially considering fans of the series liked playing the game because it was so over the top and silly. It never had strong game play to rely on or an intricate story to continue, it was simply a fun way to kill time. Duke Nukem as a character is awesome. He’s everything you’d want to play as in a video game and he shows no limits. He’s an asshole that’s full of himself and you love it! Who doesn’t want to blow up aliens while getting a blowjob from two hot twins? I give Duke Nukem a lot of credit for making my 90’s a lot better. I enjoyed the original games for what they were and I was kind of excited to see if they could bring it back in this modern age.
Video games have really matured over the last decade, going from something simple that kids play to more adult themed interactive stories. Games like Halo evolved the first person shooter and Heavy Rain made us rethink what video games could do as far as telling a story. So Duke Nukem would naturally look odd getting put up against this new wave of video games, but I thought for sure that it would act as a perfect counter to serious games and play it off as more of a retro styled game with updated mechanics and graphics, but that isn’t the case.
The graphics are updated, but maybe to the year 2005. Characters are rough and the environments aren’t as smooth as you’d think they’d be. Loading times are extremely slow and happen way too often. I noticed a lot of blocky movements whenever you would make sharp turns to kill an oncoming pig beast. Nothing really flowed as smooth as it should have been.
The game play is another joke. Duke Nukem Forever is supposed to be a classic first person shooter game and in a sense it is because it never updated anything from past games. It’s very glitchy and very basic for a sequel that took over 10 years to make. The controls are okay, but often times I would have troubles pressing a button to perform an action because everything around it was clickable. For example, you get a mission where you have to climb up some objects and press a button. By the time you make your way up there to press the button, you have some soldier talking to you. So you stand there waiting for him to finish so that you can press the button, then he stops talking and you go to hit the button, but instead of Duke actually pressing the button, he instead reloads his gun.
It’s those types of little annoyances that fill up Duke Nukem Forever. It’s fun being able to interact with a lot of stuff like toilets, showers, slot machines, mirrors and even poop, but it gets tiresome when you realize that nothing happens after that. The game is very empty and those interactive objects just try and fill up space to keep you busy, hoping that you don’t realize that there isn’t anything else to do.
The story is classic Duke Nukem. Aliens are taking over the world and you are the last hero to save the day. Duke is locked and loaded and ready to terminate some alien scum. The best part of Duke Nukem games are the simplicity of the stories. You have step by step objects that lead to the greater cause of saving the world. There isn’t anything complicated about it and you’re just sort of expected to go with it. I enjoyed these elements for the retro Duke Nukem feel, but because the game play is kind of shitty the story doesn’t really help the game much.
I was hoping for updated graphics and game play and a classic Duke story to help rekindle those flames of the past. I didn’t want anything revolutionary or ground breaking; I simply wanted to enjoy Duke Nukem again. But that wasn’t the end result. Instead of having fun while watching Duke slaughter aliens and pick up chicks you are more or less frustrated with the experience. The game starts off pretty strong and reminds you of the fun you use to have with Duke, but then you soon realize that the makers of Duke Nukem Forever haven’t tried adding anything to the series and they just abuse the name of Duke Nukem hoping to collect a steady pay check.
Overall, Duke Nukem Forever is a very flawed game. If you’ve never experienced Duke then go back and play some of the original games, but if you’re a fan of Duke like I am then you probably have played those games a million times, so I wouldn’t be fully against renting the title. I picked it up for $40 dollars and I’m not too bummed out about the purchase. It’s fun walking around and shooting things, while listening to Duke crack jokes, but it isn’t nearly as good as you’d expect it to be. I’m not sure if it’s simply because of the horrible game play or if Duke Nukem is just a thing of the 90’s that can’t be replicated again. Video games have changed and Duke doesn’t like change!
Duke Nukem Forever – 6.5/10
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