Duke Nukem Forever Review

by Gaetano 'Xbot' Prestia Featured

54 Comments 40 Votes 7510 Views 14/06/2011 Back to Reviews

Duke Nukem Forever Review

I’ve finally met the hero I’ve waited ten long years to meet. What a shame he turned out to be the massive disappointment I feared. Duke Nukem returns in Duke Nukem Forever, but the game is just as dated as many of us anticipated. It’s quite obviously a project that has been dragged through multiple design choices, two different development teams and years of uncertainty. Duke Nukem just isn’t the same character he used to be, which is a big, fat slap in the face for those of us wanting to relive his once-charismatic charm.

What Duke Nukem Forever Got Right

Self-mockery - This is a game that has gone through development hell. Everyone knows it. Duke Nukem Forever defines vaporware. It was this game that led to the penning of “When It’s Done”, a now infamous industry saying that is instilled whenever a game’s release date is unknown. Interestingly enough, Duke Nukem Forever knows it’s not very good and that it’s taken far too long to be released, and in its own self-mockery one can’t help but feel slightly amused whenever it references its failures. It does it often throughout the experience, and this at least attempts to dilute the game’s seriousness (if there even is any) amidst ten years of development chaos.

Decent Mini Games - Amidst the game’s horrible platforming elements (detailed later in this review) are a ton of mini games that have Duke interacting with objects so as to gain an Ego health boost. These mini games don’t take very long to complete, but they do add some depth to the experience, allowing you to improve Duke’s health in a way other than simply collecting health pick-ups and the like. They’re not particularly exciting but the mini games are about as entertaining as Duke Nukem Forever gets.

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What Duke Nukem Forever Got Wrong

Gameplay - There’s nothing charming about playing a game that is as dated as Duke Nukem Forever. Some games are able to rely on dated gameplay, pending they instill mechanics that offer some sense of originality. Duke Nukem Forever does not do that. This is quite obviously a game that was first created over ten years ago. It shows on an enourmous scale and it’s very difficult to look past it. There is absolutely nothing deliberate in this game’s 90s charm (if one could argue it had any), and I’d even go as far to say that had this game been released back in 1999, it would have been received just as poorly as it’s going to be received in 2011.

Not Enough Shooting - A vast majority of the experience is dedicated to tedious and dull platforming elements, many of which are broken due to a terrible physics engine that makes playing the game too frustrating for words. Duke Nukem Forever takes elements from popular games such as Half-Life 2 and simplifies them down to the core, offering mechanics that are neither enjoyable nor particularly accessible or challenging. It’s actually hilarious that it takes roughly 45 minutes before you’re actually given your first gun once you finish off the Duke Nukem 3D boss fight at the start of the game.

Terrible, Out-Dated Humour - The humour we have all come to expect from Duke Nukem Forever – fueled by pop-culture references and downright vulgarity – just isn’t as funny as it was back in the 90s. Maybe it’s because we expect more from a video game these days, especially in the way of humour. Portal has definitely spoiled us, but Duke Nukem Forever shows us how far we’ve come when it comes to humour. This game tries to be funny by relying on the most tasteless, moronic humour that even the most obnoxious of people won’t find much to laugh at. I just don’t get the whole “aliens raping human women” thing. There’s also a nice little stab at Halo, although Duke Nukem Forever is not in a position to be bagging out other games, especially ones as critically and commercially successful as the Halo franchise.

Frustratingly Inconsistent Quality - When playing through Duke Nukem Forever you may find some areas to be of a higher quality – both visually and gameplay wise – than others. What this alludes to is Gearbox’s desperate attempt to stitch together pieces of code left over from 3D Realms’ initial effort, leading to a game that looks great in some part, but horrendous in others. This is a very evident inconsistency throughout the experience, and if you needed proof that this game has been development hell, you need not look further than its up-and-down quality, which is evident throughout.

Horrendous Multiplayer - The three multiplayer modes in Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch and Capture the Babe (Capture the Flag…but with chicks) are all plagued by horrible map designs and frustrating combat. Fans of Quake will see similarities in the multiplayer offering’s design and functionality, but Quake is still a better multiplayer offering, even today. That’s saying a lot. Duke Nukem Forever’s multiplayer campaign is complete and utter rubbish, a component that was quite clearly derived in the late-90s with inspiration from multiplayer games at the time. The game hasn’t evolved at all since that time. It shows.

Get the Adobe Flash Player to see this video.

Facepalm Graphics - Put simply, Duke Nukem Forever looks dated. It also looks horrible. Absolutely horrible. Some NPCs stand motionless, while others move around the place in the most awkward of animations. Enemies lack polish, although it’s quite clear that some designs have been touched-up to give the game a bit of visual pizzazz. Unfortunately, that hasn’t worked, and the end product is a game that looks highly inconsistent in design. Duke Nukem Forever is a very, very ugly game.

The Final Verdict

It’s a real shame to say this, but Duke Nukem Forever is a terrible game. The weight of expectation was too much for this game to bare. It lacks originality and polish throughout, with terrible platforming elements, a distinctive lack in shooting combat (I thought this was a FPS?) and a multiplayer component that is just too bad for words. After over a decade in development it’s safe to say that Duke Nukem Forever would have been better off remaining as vaporware. The character of Duke Nukem is all but dead after this tiresome, frustrating and ugly affair.

By Gaetano Prestia

3.0
About as entertaining as being sexually abused by an alien.

Duke Nukem Forever

Platform: PS3 / Xbox / PC
 
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Duke Nukem Forever Review Comments

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3? C'mon, its worth more than that. :P
Change it or I'll throw poo at you. :@
Here we go ;)
Good read. That Is All. [MOG]
14 years for a complete failure

[Facepalm] [Facepalm] [Facepalm]

How disappointing

What would be nice is if Valve bought out the franchise and made a good game now or back a few years ago.
'About as entertaining as being sexually abused by an alien.'

...dont knock it until you've tried it [Rage]

black070 said: 'About as entertaining as being sexually abused by an alien.'
...dont knock it until you've tried it


this.. i like being abused [Derp]
'About as entertaining as being sexually abused by an alien.'

Love it.
Sad to read... I am now crying at work.
"The character of Duke Nukem is all but dead after this tiresome, frustrating and ugly affair."

Really yet here in the UK Duke managed to outsell Infamous 2 and knock L.A Noire off the top spot? He's far from dead.

The sequel will rectify things especially coming from Gearbox. This was merely giving the fans what they wanted, an end to a long piece of gaming history.

It could have been thrown in the bin, some may say it should of been... me as a Duke fan? I'm glad to have it and i've enjoyed it, this has been a part of my life for way too long and yes its not great but i thank Gearbox for letting me play it.

This review is way too harsh. I take it this is the 360 version you reviewed? The console versions are bad ports, play on PC.
^Sale figures don't make a game good, it only sold so well because of the massive hype and expectations of the fanboys. I'm by no means hating on the game, I myself picked it up, but we should just accept the game is not good.
Geez a bit harsh but about what i expected from this game but i bet sales of the game still do well.

Undertoe81 said: 3? C'mon, its worth more than that.
Change it or I'll throw poo at you.




I approve of this poo flinging =D

black070 said: ^Sale figures don't make a game good, it only sold so well because of the massive hype and expectations of the fanboys. I'm by no means hating on the game, I myself picked it up, but we should just accept the game is not good.



Not saying sales make a game good just that Duke after all these years still sells.

A piece on Kotaku featuring some comments i agree with
uk.kotaku.com/...
Wow a 3!!!!

Have you guys reviewed a game and given it lower than this before?

So glad i did not buy this.
It's better then a 3 imo, maybe a 5. If you're a super hardcore fan, 6 is still pushing it. But at least it was released, so people can play it and move on.
It's here now and people can play it. I think it's horrendously inconsistent on many fronts, and it's blatantly obvious that a new developer took over development at a later stage. Multiplayer is dated, and the gameplay just isn't that fun.

For me at least.
Wow. I'm so not buying this.

Now people will stop bitching about Homefront's shitty graphics
wow that bad? never thought it would be good but figured it would at least be serviceable, like a 6 or something, still gonna play it though, definitely a rental
Gameinformer gave it 7.5/10. They do know it feels outdated FPS but it looks like the developers are aiming for that 'old skool' feel but since game culture always changing every year looks like ppl don't feel that same feeling when Duke Nukem 3D 1st came out.
3 is being generous

/thread
Good review
Call a turd a turd
poor duke R.i.P. 2011

(evil)
:(
why so bad?
poor duke nukem :( :( :(
Crap game, great review.
Duke is dead. Rest in piece big fella. Thanks for the memories but you are like an 90's child tv star trying to make it big in Hollywood in the 2000's. It is just an embarrassing exercise that is not needed.
I don't think this will hinder sales all that much, especially amongst die-hard old school Duke fans. They can see the game's failures and limitations and just laugh it off knowing full well the game wasn't going to ever be fantastic amidst all the trouble it had in development.

Is it dated? Yes. Is it bland? Definitely. Is it the worst game ever made? Hardly. Its not overly broken or unplayable...its just nothing special.
:'(
The humour is meant to be lame and cheesy, thats what duke is. Having said that, the killer for me is loading times, WTF??? I'm playing it on the hardest difficulty and it's so annoying waiting a few minutes each time I die for it to load my check point. Makes me not want to play it because of that, but I push through just because I want to finish it.

Having said that the game isn't too special and I find it a bit boring. I'm basically playing it for the side missions/mini games and the cheesy one liners
Everybody: "Omg teh Crapixs suxz, this iz bad cuz it has a Gwich! Itz needz moer moar gunz!"
seems to be the worst game thats been reviewed on this site... that makes me sad.
ITS NOT THE WORST GAME GUYS =D
360.mmgn.com/...

That got an amazing...... 1!
This makes me sad

Codeman34 said: Everybody: "Omg teh Crapixs suxz, this iz bad cuz it has a Gwich! Itz needz moer moar gunz!"


English please

Helloween6 said:


Codeman34 said: Everybody: "Omg teh Crapixs suxz, this iz bad cuz it has a Gwich! Itz needz moer moar gunz!"


English please


Nope.avi >:3
out of curiosity are you guys going to review ALICE? can you? ill be interested if it gets a higher score then this :O
I watched Good Game last night, they gave it a 7 and an 8.
www.abc.net.au/...
Ouch...

maxiboy said: I watched Good Game last night, they gave it a 7 and an 8.
www.abc.net.au/...


Yeah I saw that.. it looked like a decent game.
IMO it seems like the reviewer has made up his mind before actually playing it. Just like with a review of the iPad 2, the reviewer overlooked the flaws and said 'hopeful Apple will fix this up' instead of actually saying its a downside in the product. Personally, I think this is the opposite.. overlooking the good things. It's a good review but i dont think it deserved to be slated like that
A review is just someones opinion. They can claim to look at the product\game\movie from both sides and give a unbiased review but really...They will always bring their personal opinion into the mix.
Still getting the game and will enjoy it for what it is.
Good Game gave a decent review but it came from a very personal love of Duke, you could see that. That is where my opinion with end. On the side of the lovers. I'm just glad he's back :D
Hey if you love Duke and that's what you want, you won't be disappointed. The game succeeds at what it aims for.
It's must that most gamers don't want what it was aiming for.
I find this funny. 14 years and they just come up with the same junk that's in every FPS these days.

With cringe worthy catchphrases like 'It's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum. And I'm all out of gum' no wonder this game failed. [Facepalm]
...im sorry but IMO this game ROCKS!!!, yeah its a bit behind the times graphically and the control of Duke are clunky and there a a few boring bits but i love it... 8/10 for me

Leasha said: A review is just someones opinion. They can claim to look at the product\game\movie from both sides and give a unbiased review but really...They will always bring their personal opinion into the mix.
Still getting the game and will enjoy it for what it is.
Good Game gave a decent review but it came from a very personal love of Duke, you could see that. That is where my opinion with end. On the side of the lovers. I'm just glad he's back



^This.

I sure got what i wanted, 8/10 for me. Can't wait for the inevitable sequel [Derp]
3 is a little harsh

Dicky said:

Leasha said: A review is just someones opinion. They can claim to look at the product\game\movie from both sides and give a unbiased review but really...They will always bring their personal opinion into the mix.
Still getting the game and will enjoy it for what it is.
Good Game gave a decent review but it came from a very personal love of Duke, you could see that. That is where my opinion with end. On the side of the lovers. I'm just glad he's back


^This.
I sure got what i wanted, 8/10 for me. Can't wait for the inevitable sequel


+1 [Derp]
3.0 [Facepalm]
thats sad.

Ben said: 14 years for a complete failure


tru dat, rly disappointed it started of funny and interactions looked cool but turned out boring straight away, the lines werent necessarily funny but some were funny and the bosses had great design
Rubbish. This has GOTY written all over it.

Jacko360 said:

maxiboy said: I watched Good Game last night, they gave it a 7 and an 8.
www.abc.net.au/...


Yeah I saw that.. it looked like a decent game.
IMO it seems like the reviewer has made up his mind before actually playing it. Just like with a review of the iPad 2, the reviewer overlooked the flaws and said 'hopeful Apple will fix this up' instead of actually saying its a downside in the product. Personally, I think this is the opposite.. overlooking the good things. It's a good review but i dont think it deserved to be slated like that



*Good Game
duke nukem is the best game :D
love this game its so good but could have been better ;)

DonnieK said: Rubbish. This has GOTY written all over it.


You trollin'?
Duke Nukem Forever $17.59 + $3.90 P/H

XBOX 360 Version Region Free

www.play-asia.com/...
most shitty game

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