Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Nukem Forever is Finally Here

No witty title, that says it all.
Author: Scott Rodgers
Published: July 17, 2011
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The best and worst thing to happen to Duke Nukem is this very game. It’s the best thing to happen to him because it took an otherwise dead character (you have to keep in mind, this guy came to be in 1991) and made him last far longer than anyone could have ever expected. Sure, if Duke Nukem Forever never existed there would be a small, but vocal group who would constantly beg for a sequel on message boards (Snatcher anyone?). However, Duke would not have reached his near mythical status as a gaming icon without the hype, intrigue, and overall experience of just how this game came to be. On the flip side, it’s also the worst thing for Mr. Nukem. This is a game that began its life in 1997 and the only real status update we ever got in terms of a release was “when it’s done.” Duke has been out of our lives for fourteen years and a lot of his quips and one liners don’t pack the same punch as they once did. Duke really feels old in Forever even if his actions say otherwise.


So when the game finally got to the TPS offices we were all kind of left with this awkward feeling. After some finagling and arm twisting it was ultimately decided that I was the one to take the plunge and review the title. Just like most of you out there, before I was able to get my hands on the game I had read through the thrashing reviews for the game all over the web. Since this review will come out long after most of you that wanted to play the game have bought it I wanted to try and do something different. I thought of many different gimmicks, ranging from acting like I didn’t know who Duke was to acting as though this was written ten years ago. After a handful of different introductions I ended up scrapping all of them. Really, as much as I would like to do something different and fun, this game forced my hand to write an honest, thoughtful review.

The first place to start is with a simple question: what did you expect? Did anyone realistically think that Duke was going to drive up in his monster truck, gold plated handguns ablazin’, and wiping the floor with the FPS genre as a whole? Probably not. Did anyone expect Gearbox Software to be able to salvage this mess and make a strong, finished product? Possibly. What we ended up with in Duke Nukem Forever is a game that serves as a time capsule. Duke walks with the fluidity of a wood board and a lot of the sound effects seem to be pulled from the 90s. I’ve addressed the dialogue, but really it’s a marvel to behold a Leeroy Jenkins joke in 2011. Really, this game seems to be a walking, talking meme that anyone who has ever posted on a video game message board growing up will identify with.
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