Home > Gaming, Rants > Duke Nukem Forever… Fail to the king baby?

Duke Nukem Forever… Fail to the king baby?

Duke Nukem… then

I can take a bad game and still have fun. My tolerance for crap is pretty strong compared to most people. Bad games don’t really hurt me… not nearly as much as disappointing movies and games like Duke Nukem Forever.

As with most guys my age, I remember being introduced to the King when he was a 2d platforming Oprah-watching badass on dos.

I didn’t think much of it, until years later. In grade school and high school I LOVED Doom, and really got into toying with it. Meanwhile, I had a friend that couldn’t help but scoff at that old shooter, and invited me to witness the greatness of Doom-killers: Quake and Duke Nukem 3d.

And being that age I gravitated towards Duke for its action-packed gameplay and well… bitches! There were strippers! And it mocked Doom! And there was blood and guts everywhere! It was just so… edgy, and over the top! It was all so 90s… and everything my preteen hormone-crazed mind daydreamed about.

And now…

So I picked up Duke Nukem Forever hoping to relive those old memories. I grabbed my Sonic the Hedgehog snuggie, selected my 90s playlist on my ipod (complete with old-school NIN, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, etc) , put Duke in my 360 and was ready to completely spoil my inner 90s kid with GUNS, EXPLOSIONS, BOOBS, MONSTERS AND BOOBS! Hell yeah!!
DUKE NUKEM 3d WAS TEH DOOM KILLER! SO FOREVER SHOULD BE THE CoD KILLER!

What I got was a lot of platforming (you can guess how fun that is, in the 1st person perspective and all) and disappointment.

One thing that DNF does right is the firefights. I was having A LOT of fun mowing down waves of monsters with an array of devastating weaponry.  If the game was mostly that, then I would have a much more favorable opinion of this game. It wouldn’t be anything special, but it would be what I was hoping for: An over-the-top action-fest with babes and movie/game references sprinkled here and there.

WHY IS THIS GAME NOT WALL-To-WALL ACTION?!

Unfortunately, it isn’t even another shooter. Throughout the game, just as I was starting to have fun gunning down enemies, I would enter a platforming sequence that would take about a half hour (give or take, depending how long it takes you to figure out where the hell you’re supposed to go), or enter a driving sequence that goes on WAY too long. Towards the end of the game there’s an underwater level, and man nothing says FUN like an underwater level (kill me,) especially when your character can’t hold his breath for more than ten seconds. (Seriously, it is THAT pathetic.)

Compound all that with the fact that the loading times are very long. In between levels I wouldn’t mind this, but it becomes a major problem whenever you die (and towards the end of the game, you ARE going to die a lot) you need to wait for the game to load again, before you can try again. Talk about an incentive to not die…

It really is just a terrible tease, whenever the game feels like it’s starting to build momentum, something comes along to kill the pace of the action, whether its terrible platforming, lazy driving sequences, stupid puzzles, or the agonizingly long load times upon death.

Is it really all bad?

Make no mistake about it, the graphics are terrible, especially the character models which barely look last-gen and an abyssal frame-rate.  However, I was able to look past that.

The humor in the game has offended some, but that is to be expected from Duke. However, some of his quips and actions make him sound like an asshole. Really, while the immature jokes really didn’t bother me, I was annoyed at how this Duke is simply not the same guy from 3d. In 3d he was the over-the-top action hero that all guys like to daydream  ourselves as. He was gritty, tough, durable, and fearless. However DNF starts with Duke at a high-class resort dedicated to his ego (it’s so over-the-top, if it was anyone else I’d wonder if it was done to compensate for something.) His “lifebar” is not calld life but “Ego” and things that inflate his ego, increases his tolerance to damage. Interacting with the environment by using soap, turning on faucets, microwaving popcorn, microwaving live rats (WTF? Yes.. you can do that, but don’t have to), and defeating bosses inflates Duke’s Ego and makes him harder to kill. And his one-liners were sometimes a bit mean-spirited, especially quipping how his two bitches (I tried to find a better word, I really did, but that’s how they’re presented as, his live-in bitches) were simply “Fucked” upon discovering them in the alien hive. Nice guy…

Wrapping up…

Again though, I can look past the outdated graphics and questionable dialogue if only the game was what I hoped it would be, a fun challenging adrenaline-pumping shooter that would keep me at the edge of my seat from beginning to end. That kind of game wouldn’t win any awards, but it would at least be badass enough to satisfy.

Jumping from platforms for 20 minutes,  stacking barrels, and driving for entire levels is NOT what I expect in a game like this. Yes I know, there was SOME  platforming in the original, there were underwater parts, and there were puzzles. They were not nearly as tedious, especially when you remember there were tools to help you, namely jetpacks, scuba gear, and level maps… all of which are woefully missing in this mess

I haven’t played online yet, but I am annoyed how co-op is missing in this. Granted, co-op would be a pain during the platforming/driving parts… all the more reason why they should not make up such a large part of this game!

DNF tries to do a lot with much too little, instead of what it should be doing (kicking ass and chewing gum, even if he’s out of gum.) Sadly, believe it or not, Duke has come up short.

– Furry Senpai Mikekun

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  1. June 21, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Hi Furry Senpai! PaladinAri here, and tonight I’m going to draw upon my short-lived yet very useful art history background and love of analyzing pictures! Oh, and maybe my immature sense of strange humor…

    So I just read your article. I’ve never played Duke Nukem… and now I don’t want to. So thank you for that ^.^

    But more importantly, I stared at the picture of the game case for way too long, and going back to your comment about “compensating for something”… well, the mind begins to wander. At first glance, it looks like Duke’s hands are in all sorts of naughty positions! And one of his hands is manicured? Oh, no. That’s a woman’s hand. Where’s the woman? Is he sitting on her? It just seems blatantly unnecessary, though you pointed out that he seems to feel the need to prove his machismo. And what better way than to be groped on the cover of a game box which is stuck at eye-level displays in all the Game Stops for children to salivate over. Do they even know why they’re salivating? Who idolizes this man!?

    Anyway, back to the gun. Now that I think of it, that gun almost seems perfectly placed… What!? Duke shot the woman then squashed her with his ego!? Oh, THAT would explain her hand placem… No, it really doesn’t *shrug*

    Ok, and here’s the awkward Art History analysis (mixed with the awkward English Major analysis wherein basically any literary work can be reduced to terms of intercourse…). Phallic symbols! The gun. The cigar. That building in the upper right hand corner of the case. Duke’s hair. Ok, enough phallic symbols. And this one’s for Dan Brown! Notice any symbols of the sacred feminine? Analysis time! The gun (masculine) and the woman’s hand (feminine) clearly form a chalice shape over the… ahem… area where Duke should be a man. Therefore, perhaps it suggests something about Duke himself? And if you look closely, notice how Duke’s chest seems oddly androgynous…

    Anyway, thank you for giving me the chance to rant about this game I will never play ^.^ I’d understand if you just deleted this whole comment, lol

    So in conclusion: I agree… Duke IS, in fact, compensating for something. Hm…

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