This was not worth waiting 15 years for. Not worth wating ONE year for...
Falstad007 wrote this review on .
After three developers, many design changes, and 15 long years in development, Duke Nukem: Forever has finally hit store shelves. Does Duke Nukem's charisma, raunchy humor, and obscure 80's cult film quotes still hold up after all this time? The long awaited answer is:
No. Absolutely not, and now let me tell you why:
The story (if you really want to call it that) spans only a dismal seven hours, andI don't think there was any "plot" to speak of. The basic premise is: Aliens come to Earth, begin abducting our women, and Duke has to… save… them. And that only applies for 1/4th of the damn game. I honestly had no **** idea what was happening the rest of the way.
Duke's world has a more Gears of War or Call of Duty colour scheme, in that everything is drab, dark, and brown. And when it's not dark, it's obnoxious amounts of bloom. This might even be excusable if the game looked nice, like the previously mentioned games, but it doesn't. The graphics and the engine itself are an ugly, dated, blurry mess.
As for the gameplay, it's clear that Gearbox caved in and adapted many modern FPS mechanics and tropes in what feels like a vain attempt at attracting the Call of Duty and Halo crowd.
Regenerating health, and only being able to carry two weapons at a time was a huge kick to the teeth. I'm supposed to be Duke God-Damn Nukem, not Generic Space Marine #5.
The gameplay itself is very, very linear, with more platforming than shooting. You can really tell that the developers are trying to hold your hand, and say "Hey, do this!" with glowing objects in the world, and the constant quick time events.
When you do get down to the shootey bits, the mechanics are utterly broken, with almost every weapon being horribly inaccurate, even from close range, causing much unneeded frustration, and the enemy AI always feels either too stupid, or kick-you-in-the-teeth-till-you-beg-for-mercy hard.
The King himself really shows his age. Many of Duke's quotes and jokes are tasteless, flat, or irrelevant pop culture "jokes" spanning the last 15 years. I almost wish there was an option to turn his voice off, which kind of defeats the purpose of being Duke Nukem.
There's also a quick portion of the game where you drive Duke's monster truck, the "Mighty Foot", which had a very simple formula. Drive a bit, run out of gas, fight X number of enemies, get gas, drive again. This happened not once, twice, but three times. Think Mass Effect's Mako meets the driving mechanics of Deadly Premonitions.
The only really "enjoyable" parts of the game were when I was playing as mini-Duke. Travelling through air ducts, dodging heavy machinery, and braving the gauntlet of a fast-food kitchen being a foot tall was the highlight of the game for me. Let that sink in for a second.
Duke Nukem's appeal in the 90's was that he wasn't the silent protagonist. He was edgy, raunchy, and gave no **** about anything aside from his beer and babes, and I loved him for that, but that doesn't mean it translated well.
Don't buy this game because of it's "nostalgic" feel, because there is none. Don't buy this game because you think the multiplayer might be neat because it isn't. It's your standard shooter fare, riddled with connection problems, and only four game types.
Hell, don't even buy it because you have $60 to burn, because nobody should have to pay for something this terrible. If you really must spend $60 on a terrible, generic shooter, buy Call of Duty, or pay somebody to repeatedly strike you with a 2x4.
I think Duke's era is passed, and Forever is a sign of that. It was a great era, and I still bust out Duke Nukem-3D from time to time, but I don't think Duke can break out into the mainstream today.
Extras: 8.5/10 Final Score: 3.0/10