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Duke Nukem Forever Review

Duke Nukem Forever
Duke Nukem Forever

Alright, I usually don’t do video game reviews, but with this one, I felt like I should because this game has been basically torn to shreds by most critics and the general public.
Duke Nukem Forever is a game that has been in development hell for 14 years, it is the sequel to the acclaimed Duke Nukem 3D and upon its release, sites like IGN, Gamespot, 1UP, gave the game scores from 0 to 5.5 out of 10. Which to me is unjustified.

I’ve been playing DOS games since I was a child, and Duke Nukem 1 and 2 were amongst my favorite Apogee games to play. I’ve also played Duke Nukem 3D of course, as well as other FPS’s of the time like Doom, Quake, Rise of the Triad, Shadow Warrior, Blood, Hexen, Heretic, Powerslave, etc. So I’m an old school gamer. And after playing through Duke Nukem Forever, I’d like to address some points that critics made.

  • The game is too short. The game is longer than most FPS’s today, including COD, Halo, Battlefield, Bulletstorm, etc. 
  • The humor is too childish / offensive. It’s Duke Nukem. It’s meant to be offensive and childish. 
  • The load times are too long. This is actually legitimate, but it’s much shorter on the PC version, and it’s not that long as to be unplayable. It’s only because Duke dies so much that makes it annoying.
  • The graphics suck. This isn’t Crysis 2. Still, I didn’t find the graphics to be that bad, besides a bunch of texture pop in, which I can live with.
  • Too linear. Yes, it may not have the exploration of Duke3D, but remember now you don’t have to search for key cards anymore. Also, ALL games are linear to some degree. Anyone played Serious Sam? or Call of Duty?
  • Bad AI. I’m not sure what we are judging AI on here, different kinds of games will have different AI. But I remember this game being pretty challenging so the AI must be doing something right.
  • Duke has a shield and can only carry two weapons. I can see where people are coming from, but Halo had a shield and two weapon limit, and that game got good reviews didn’t it.
  • Platforming / Puzzles / Boss fights / level design / etc too boring and uncreative. Really? In what other game can you drive a miniature RC car, get shrunk and fight shrunken pig cops in an electrified kitchen, microwave a rat, smoke a cigar, eat steroids, play air hockey with someone, play a version of your own game on xbox 360, go inside the cogs of a generator, drive a monster truck over a canyon, and freeze / shrink enemies with a ray gun??
  • There’s no story. It’s Duke Nukem. 
  • Framerate issues. Played the Xbox version and had little to no issues with framerate. They weren’t noticeable to me.
  • Multiplayer sucks. The multiplayer can have some lag issues, but the gameplay itself is old school deathmatch, which I see no reason for complaining about.

So I dunno what’s with other reviewers giving this game a 3/10 or 4/10. Maybe they were expecting too much, they were expecting a game with beautiful graphics, iron sights, “realism”, etc. But as an old school FPS fan, I was satisfied with this game. It’s not perfect, but I think after all the game engine changes, it’s far from unplayable. All the weapons (except the mighty foot) and the enemies from Duke3D are here, which is nice. Overall, I would score this game a 6.5/10 for overall gamers and 7.5/10 for old school gamers like me.