Duke Nukem Forever Review
Duke Nukem Forever Review (PC)
So it’s here… finally… the long awaited (12+ years??!) "new" Duke Nukem game. It has been said that no game could live up to the hype generated in that time and that is probably true however that doesn’t mean Duke Nukem Forever couldn’t be good… an enjoyable nostalgic blast. So the question is, can GearBox Software’s attempt to rescue a game which has been stuck in development hell be successful in a world which has seen the release of titles such as the original Call of Duty (Medal of Honor: Allied Assault as well), Bioshock and even Quake 3 Arena redefine what we expect from a FPS since the last outing of this franchise. The answer is no, but by how much have they failed?
Occasionally in games which are heading the way Duke Nukem Forever is we find some glimmer of hope that makes the game worth playing, maybe some impressive AI for example. That’s not the case here, the enemies Duke faces are idiots and that just serves to reduce the challenge even further. They are so thick in fact that rarely do they even realise that there could be a chance of success if they would attack in numbers, several hours into the game for example we are still in the realm of 2-3 bad guys on screen at any one time. And those that are, unless they are already in attack mode have zero awareness. We could walk up behind them, do a dance, murder a song at the top of our voice (if the game let us) and they wouldn’t become "active" until we interact with them by shooting or hitting. When they do become active, surely they think about taking cover, working against us in a way that’s not essentially standing still blasting. Not a chance.
So that’s single player… maybe there is a kick-ass multi-player option. Maybe some cool mode where a single Duke has to hold position and stay alive against swarms of other players working as the games bland enemies? Nope. What we get here are some basic multi-player modes, Duke Match and Team Duke Match (which are obviously death match style), Capture The Babe rather than capture the flag and hail to the king which is a capture/hold base style of gameplay. Admittedly these are more action packed than the single player mode but there are a few issues which stop multi-player form being enjoyable. Firstly we have a game browser which more often than not gives a "game is full" message when the player count disagrees, then we get failed connections frequently. When in the game, in for example a 4vs4 team death match the re-spawn point will often be smack bang in the middle of three heavily tooled opposition which results in an instant death for our newly spawned character with a pistol. Level design is also nothing special and overall multiplayer feels like Quake 3 Arena with all the fun and skill removed. Oh, and there are currently a very small number of games visible on the browser, with a small number of players active. An indication of first weekend sales?
Graphics and Sound
Sound wise the game is ok, there is lots of gunfire and some decent explosions. The voiceover is ok, though somewhat soulless and the score occasionally works well… offering a sense of grandeur but equally it is often just "there".
In the end we are left to wonder why… why 2K and Gearbox bothered to finish the game, why they felt it was worth anything more than £10/$10 (if that!), why we bother to play past the first hour, why we are so bored while doing so… the list goes on. But hey, we play games like this so you don’t have to. So here to save you some time are three "highlights" from the game… a urinal, some badly rendered girls kissing and a toilet. Enjoy… then go buy something half decent.
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