Duke Nukem Forever has received some of the most controversial reviews I think I’ve ever read, starting with the larger sites blasting it, and the smaller sites following, sheep-like, in their footsteps. It seemed more like a competition to see who could write the most scathing review, rather than anyone actually giving the game a fair chance. Was Duke Nukem Forever worth the wait? Let’s find out.
First I would like to note that the gameplay and graphics are outdated in Duke Nukem, keep in mind, this game first started development in the 90’s, and was probably never meant to be released to this generation. Some may say the humor is outdated as well, unless you’re like me and enjoy crude, over the top, borderline disgusting humor. If you’re easily offended by nudity, foul mouthed, women degrading comments and actions, expecting Call of Duty gameplay or graphics, then Duke is definitely not a game for you. Duke is for gamers who grew up in the 90’s, who played games like Postal and Painkiller, and aren’t afraid of being offended.
Duke Nukem brings me back to the days of blasting my way through every level, in a time when game developers didn’t care how far they took their games, and only developed with hardcore gamers. The more offensive games were back then, the more we loved them. There’s plenty of nostalgia and hidden Easter eggs throughout the game and the campaign is longer than most games nowadays, which probably one of its best features and downfalls at the same time. The puzzles and platforming in Duke give you a nice break from the run and gun gameplay you’re normally used to and the vehicles don’t drive half bad. Duke is the same badass he was 15 years ago, even though he still talks the same as he did then, I still enjoyed his corny, outdated commentary.
The levels soon became more of a chore, halfway through, the nostalgia wears off, and you realize you’re doing the same things over and over. I found myself just wanting to hurry up and finish so I could move onto to something else. The price point was way too high, I think one of the worst things 2k and Gearbox did was “Bet on Duke” and priced the game way higher than it should have been, $29.99 would have been a much more acceptable price for a game meant for the 90’s. Multiplayer was less than desirable and most of the minigames are quite difficult to control, one of the achievements in Duke, is to rack up 1,000,000 in pinball. This would be fine if the pinball game didn’t play so bad, same goes for the air hockey table. You’re supposed to beat your opponent without them scoring; I usually scored all of their points for them.
The mutliplayer in Duke, probably isn’t worth even bothering with. It felt more like an afterthought than anything. The only game mode that I had fun with was capture the babe, though having to run around carrying a “babe” who is constantly squirming and trying to get away is rather annoying, especially since the only way to get her to stop squirming, is to slap her on the ass. I’m still not even sure why this was even a necessary addition.
I personally had fun with Duke, but I would recommend waiting for a price drop or even renting instead, unfortunately with so many outdated features in Duke, it didn’t justify the $59.99 price tag. If you’re an old school gamer, you’ll definitely appreciate the crude, ridiculous, over the top humor; and it might be right up your alley. With so much potential after 12 years in development, sadly, Duke Nukem failed to deliver the goods.
Duke Nukem Forever was provided for review by the publisher.
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC; Rated M
Developer: 3D Realms, Triptych Games, Gearbox Software, Piranha Games
Publisher: 2k Games
Release: June 14, 2011