Monday, June 20, 2011

Duke Nukem Forever

Many things have been written about Duke Nukem Forever. There seems no end to the tyrades of people who love to point out every flaw, or to over exagerate the slightest of issues. The one thing few people have said, is that it's fun. I enjoyed Duke Nukem Forever just as much as Duke Nukem 3d back in 1995, when I was 20 years old.

Now, I don't mean to say there isn't room for improvement.  I think overall today people expect too much from every aspect of life. It seems reasonable expectations have gone the way of the dodo and if a thing isn't flawless then it is to be shunned. I know many people have steered away from Duke's latest game due to the 12+ years of development and because reviews for it have been brutal.

In this latest episode of Duke's quirky misadventures some time has passed and Duke has grown wealthy and famous from previously saving the world. Richer he may be, but he is still the same old duke, using corny yet hilarious catch phrases. Basically still kickin ass, and chewing bubble gum.

The gameplay wasn't flawless, but it wasn't terrible, I didn't feel like I was trying to steer a train around a map or anything. Lord knows I have certainly played worse shooters in the last decade. I have seen Duke compared to the most popular of shooters out there today.  What people fail to realize is in the sea of games where you play bland nameless characters Duke is  his own man. The game's engine isn't terrible. Certainly flaws can be found in all current generation FPS games, Including Call of Duty Black Ops, Brink, and Halo Reach.

The story was basically Same Sh*t Differant Day for Duke. While Duke is living up his fame and fortune,  Aliens have shown up again, to Steal our Babes! On a Scifi level Aliens using human women for breeding purposes is plausible enough. And Someone's gotta stop them! The story is very action movie stylized and less of the standard boring fps crud that gets shoved at us yearly.

I have read many reviews where people trashed duke for having differant elements than standard FPS games, such as the shrink ray/being shrunk, Driving an RC Car, Driving a Monster Truck. For me these elements were refreshing. The only weird thing to me that should have  been removed was the ability to write on white boards, it seemed pointless and difficult to do on the control pad.  What DNF really needed was a freedom of movement system like Brink, so that when you are shrunken Duke in the back room of the diner you could do freedom of movement jumps and vaults on the shelves, cabinets, and stoves.

In playing the game, it had far more levels than I expected. Perhaps the years on years of development had lowered my expectations of what we'd get in the final product.

A few of my favorite things, The Variety of Guns; It's nice to know you can hang on to the freeze ray as a back up gun because it regenerates ammo. The shrink ray is great as you then get to stomp on your tiny enemies, the RPG was a faithful old companion used to eradicate the Bosses and was great to see again. The Shotgun still amazingly great for taking out a Pig as it rushes straight at you in berserk mode. I could go on and on about the weapons I loved them so much more than any standard game these days with a variety of 20 weapons of which most people only use 2-3 ever.

Graphically DNF was fine, my only real complaint was in seeing Duke in a mirror he had no natural movement, it was like he was frozen from the waist up. I will say I suffered far less graphical glitches playing DNF than I have in more modern and well lauded titles.

In the the end DNF is all "Boy Humor" which is fine with me, lord knows there are titles out there I would never ever play with things like "Barbie", or "My little Pony" in the title. If you want a game that's got dirty jokes, epic boss fights, and just plain fun I would recommend at least giving it a rent. I would absolutely love to Own the Balls of Steel edition of this game, but alas I had to rent it. Give Duke a chance, make up your own mind rather than listening to the countless groans of the critics, I think you'll enjoy it.
Hail to the King, Baby!


  1. Looking forward to the review. The fact you can only carry 2 guns at once really put me off this one.

  2. Looking forward to the review too

  3. I don't think it's as good as the original but it's ok.

  4. Maybe games like this will give me a reason to get Gamefly. Don't want to buy, but don't want to miss out on a game all because of pricing.

  5. If games aren't PERFECT people hate them. And the criteria fitting perfect is constantly shrinking.

  6. I love DNF so far, look forward to your review.

  7. DNF is one of the best games in the HISTORY! Thanks for posting man :D

  8. Great review i completely agree. Its not some kind of prophetic genre defining FPS and anyone who believed it was going had expectations that will never be fulfilled. EVER. The game was exactly what i expected it to be, very reminiscent of the old dukes.

    Follow me Breh!

  9. I think the reviews for this game were overly harsh. Anyone who loved the original Duke should give this a run. It's not a perfect game (but what is these days?) In my opinion, this game would've picked up a 8/10 if it was released in 2006-2007. Games like Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Halo, and any other AAA game have raised people's expectations so much these days.

    The Bad: Graphics and feel are not as polished as they could be. Turret sequences are very "meh". Carrying only 2 different weapons kinda ruins the whole "search every nook for equipment and goodies" element that was present in the original Duke. MP is not going to impress many people. No jetpack?

    The Good: A fine homage to the original with the same actor playing Duke. Puzzle elements from the 90's and early 2000's are back and well used. Mostly the same weapons from the original, everything feels familiar. Lots of funny one-liners and general comedy about other popular games of our time. "That's one dead space marine!" Where is Doom now these days? ;)

  10. I thought it was funny that the "That's one dead space marine" line was used on Isaac Clarke's helmet (Dead Space) :)