Duke Nukem Forever Review

Video Game Review – Duke Nukem Forever

This game has been twelve years in the making (sort of) and with each passing trailer, Duke became more irrelevant each time. And yet somehow he attracted crowds. After playing the game, I have to admit even I was curious to see how bad this game was going to be. Like passing a car crash on the freeway, you slow down to try and catch a glimpse of the abject horror like everyone else. Only this is worse because you have to pay full price, only to hurt yourself.

Sightplay – This game looks awful. Seriously, it resembles an Xbox (not 360) game. The texture pop in takes days before correcting itself, and even then some objects stay unfocused. The intro sequence to this game looks like an absolute joke. I’ve seen better flash animations on newgrounds five years ago. The character models look like undead marionettes and move so unnaturally that it’s eerie to see so often. Even the strippers, which pretty much made this franchise in the 90s, have only ONE character model. There is a strip club with a dozen of the exact same stripper walking around! Palette swapping thongs and hair color just makes the sequence all the more embarrassing. They don’t even dance, they just swivel around, and after seeing motion captured dancers in GTA4, this is outright impermissible (if you play games for that sort of thing I mean).

Every design is uninspired beyond words. The guns are entirely forgettable, yes even the “ripper”. The aliens are updated version of the monsters from the early entries in the series, but they are absolute jokes. Even the Playstation Duke Nukem games had more enemy variety, by which I mean pig cops wore cowboy hats. 

So essentially what I’m trying to say is this game is ugly. Very, very ugly. There is a gallery of all the different stages of this games development over the years, and anything from the 2008 build of this game looks better than the one we actually got.

Strafing > Enemy AI

Soundplay – The only song you should expect to hear is the “theme” of Duke. It should be applauded that they’ve made the world’s most forgettable heavy rock theme of all time. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if it was composed by someone named Gene Eric (this could also be the head developers name also). The aliens are a boring handful of grunts and growls and really do seem like monsters, not aliens. Am I to understand that this species, capable of space flight technology, can’t muster more than angry shouts? It should be noted that the “twins”, who upon being kidnapped spur Duke into action, have the most annoying voices ever recorded in history. When they wind up dead I cheered in my seat, before realizing that I was still playing Duke Nukem Forever. 

It’s great to hear John St. John again, but have to admit that he is not enough to save this disaster of a game.

Gameplay – This game required nearly 5 gigs to install on my PS3, and yet each load time took nearly a minute! Are you fucking kidding me? This is a rough beta, not a finished game! The first person shooting is breathtakingly tepid and the controls are stiffer than a petrified tree. There are mini games, sure. However these actually have worse controls than the rest of the game. Try playing air hockey against the computer and you’ll realize how incredibly easy it is to score against yourself. 

You can pick up a few objects and throw them with great lethality at enemies however the game is rather inconsistent in this regard. Certain objects, like weights or trophies, can be hurled with the power of Zeus. Yet items like barrels or basketballs fall from Duke’s hands more limply than you’d expect. To put it in terms Duke Nukem would understand, he throws like a girl (insert humorous nudge here)! Angry Joe pointed out in his review, how Duke Nukem drinks a beer, as one of the games power ups for damage resistance, and gets drunk right away. He only drinks one beer! Duke Nukem is a lightweight, especially since he can only hold one beer at a time. 

This brings me to my next point, and that is the fact that you can only hold two weapons at a time. What is this, 2002? Duke Nukem is a relic of the old school PC days where an FPS character could run around with a dozen different guns and never be slowed down. Suddenly he’s only able to hold two weapons, and can dual wield none of them. There are turret sections which made me wretch, puzzles which were devoid of any intellectual challenge, and boss fights which were so unimpressive that the obligatory quick time events were a relief (because I didn’t have to play the game for a few seconds).

Replay – There is none. In fact, there isn’t even an ending to this garbage. They make Duke comment on this when the game abruptly goes black like its funny, but self referential humor this is not. Every single “joke” in this game is devoid of punch lines, and is just a series of gross-out gags. There is even literal toilet-humor, which makes me feel like this game was meant for twelve year olds who still giggle at “poop”. 

As sad as this may sound, I played this game until I received a Platinum Trophy after earning each achievement the game had to offer. I must have spent more time loading, than actually playing this game and its not even that long. Beating this game on the “Insane” difficulty setting proved impossible on a few occasions. If it weren’t for invincibility exploits in the games design, this game couldn’t be beat on its hardest settings, proving just how incredibly incompetent the developers were. And come on, it’s not like they didn’t have enough time to finish the game right?

Score – 0 out of 5. This game is pretty much a fail, all around. Avoid purchasing this game for more than $5. This is one of those rare games, that in a year or two you and a group of friend will get a few drinks and sit around to play together so you can all laugh at how bad it is. Like watching Undefeatable, which if you haven’t, must rectify as soon as humanly possible.


Mr. Papageorgio said...

Dood! You are crazy. Duke Nukem gets a 0 out of 5, but Undefeatable gets a 5 out of 5! Long live Sting Ray! They should make a game of his ass...

Anonymous said...

Can you give a 0 out of 5 working as a game reviewer for a gaming mag? I mean, isn't it like the SAT, where a person gets points just for filling out their name? Don't they get points for at least spelling "Duke Nukem Forever" properly?