With Duke Nukem Forever being the much troubled sequel to 3D Realms 1996 classic Duke Nukem 3D,many of you may have forgotten, or never expereinced, how much fun the old Duke games were. Well the wait is now over. I can officially say the Duke is Back, and he is badder than ever.
The production of DNF has been canceled and resumed so many times over the years, I had forgotten it was actually still in the works. So you can imagine my excitement and amazement when I heard that, at last, the game had actually been listed for pre-order. Since I put my money down, I have waited eagerly for months for the sound of my doorbell and the delivery man holding out a package for me. As soon as I had it in my hands, I tore it open to find, yes, you guessed it, the mother of all sequels. I was so excited I did not even bother to look at all the bits and bobs you get with the ‘Balls of Steel’ Special Edition. All I cared about was the beer, guns and women.
My first impressions of the game were very mixed to say the least. Right from the start you are landed straight into some classic Duke action with a big gun, some aliens to kill and two women dressed like school girls giving you, ahem!, shall we say, a happy ending. I have to try and keep this review clean for the kids (which is hard for this game believe me).
Now, first off, let me tell you about the graphics. The graphics are a large let down, they are the kind of graphics you may have expected a PS3 launch title to have. They are not up to the standard you would expect from a modern day game. This is immediately noticeable from the start. Now before you start yelling at me, I know graphics are not everything, however, they should at least look pretty good. There is a load of screen tearing clearly visible; a major let down in any game. I am not to sure what beta testers do nowadays? Do they just eat pizza and get stoned forgetting that they are not there to play a game for enjoyment, and are actually there to relay any bugs and issues back to the developers and programmers?
The audio is not too bad, and Duke does come out with his usual amusing quotes every now and again. Many of them I could not possibly repeat here, I don’t want a hoard of angry punters bashing my door down for telling their kid’s to **** Off. This brings me onto the controls. Now, the controls are actually not too bad, pretty basic and similar to most first person style games of the modern age. You move and look using the analogue sticks and shoot using the R1 button etc. I did, however, find a few times I got stuck in the scenery and had to restart from my last checkpoint. This is another fine example of poor testing.
I will end my little rant on the subject of load screens, as DNF has some of the worst I have experienced in a long time. Every time you die you have to wait on average 30 to 40 seconds to restart the section you were on from the last checkpoint. Not so bad if the section is beatable after only a few go’s, but when you have, for example, a boss to defeat (I wont mention the fact that the first boss took me 30-plus attempts, oops, i just did) it’s really not something you can ignore. The loading times caused me great frustration, and very nearly made me put the game down and give up quite a few times.
Ok, so its time for me to tell you the good points, and, yes, there are some to be found here. Its not all doom and gloom, so don’t worry kids there is fun to be had in DNF. The story line is quite good. Its the usual stuff really. Aliens attack the world and you are the only one that can possibly stop them. and as a reward you get loads of women and beer. The cheesy and graphic quotes make you chuckle, and the odd introduction of drinking beer to make you a hard nut, or taking some pills to give you fast melee reactions all make for quite an enjoyable game.
One personal gripe, however, is that you can’t, of course, shoot friendlies in DNF. I always get frustrated when you cant do that in a game. I mean, if they’re so invincible, why bother defending them, or the earth for that matter? Explain to me how the enemies can kill everyone, but you can’t hurt them in the slightest? Explain that one, Einstein!
So to wrap it up, this is an enjoyable game, but its very short, has major downfalls andnot much longevity. A multiplayer aspect has been included, but that adds little extra to the game, and it felt to me that it’s been included simply to try and make the game seem more like a must have title. This is always a poor thing to do in my opinion. You are far better off just having a kick ass single player game that trying to add a multiplayer aspect just because you feel you have too. Those hours used to add the multiplayer, could have been utilized to worm out the bugs in the game itself.
Duke Nukem Forever was not really not worth waiting 15 years for. It is a major disappointment. For all the fans out there it will be enjoyable, however for anyone new to Duke Nukem, they will probably never return. This is a disappointment, as Duke Nukem used to be such an enjoyable game and had great potential. A very low score for this one I am afraid, the lowest in a long time.
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