Written by Erik Kubik, kube00 Wednesday, 22 June 2011 11:00
Duke Nukem Forever is a game I personally had been waiting to get for over 14 years. I remember seeing the cover of PC Gamer in the fall of 1997 that gave gamers a little taste of what DNF was. When I heard last year at PAX 2010 that DNF was actually being finished I was blown away. Finally, after 15 years gamers would get to experience the awesomeness of Duke once again. A game like this could be a breath of new life in a stale FPS market.
Where to start? Duke Nukem Forever has a number of issues from dated graphics, linear game play, and aging concepts. But forget about those. If you played Duke Nukem 3D back in the day and that’s where your expectations for DNF are, then I think you will be satisfied with the final product. For the rest of the hard core FPS fans, this isn’t your CoD.
The game is mostly about humor as you listen to Duke crack one liners while killing enemies and watch him work his magic on the ladies. I think the funniest parts of the game are either the references to other video games or how Duke acts like he knows he’s in game.
Game play is standard in that you go here and shoot that while trying not to die. Seems to be on par with standard FPS game play from the 1990s. There are a few driving sequences and platforming mixed into the game as well. Platforming in an FPS does not work well most of the time and DNF struggles with this. The bits where Duke was shrunk or had to swim were a welcome change to the generic game play. But even these bits of game play became stale near the end. I was disappointed by DNF linear game play since I distinctly recall Duke Nukem 3D having a lot of secret areas/easter eggs; something I would have liked to see more of in DNF.
The weapons are mostly the standard Duke Nukem fare and gamers can only carry two guns at a time. I would have preferred the entire arsenal.
The multi player doesn’t add much to the game. It’s basic, there are some levels to gain and items/decorations for Duke’s room to unlock. Overall, the multi player feels like its stuck in the past with the rest of the game.
In the end I felt a little let down after all those years of waiting. I knew the game was going to be tongue-in-cheek, which was well executed. But the overall hype behind the game finally being published may have not been worth it. If anything, gamers could compare DNF to Homefront, another over-hyped game that was also over-advertised. In the end, Homefront, like DNF was was nothing more then a generic FPS game.
Should you buy it? Well if you were a big fan of Duke Nukem 3D then I’d say go ahead and buy Duke Nukem Forever. If you want a different FPS, go buy Portal 2, or wait till DNF comes down in price in a few months. If you want a hardcore FPS, then pre-order Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 3. In the end, Gearbox was doing fans a big favor by finishing the game, and despite reviews Duke Nukem Forever has sold pretty well. But it may be time for the King to hang up his guns and move on.