Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vile, Offensive, Overly Easy: The Duke Nukem Forever Review

The following article has been reposted from my old Blogspot account as it has accumulated a significant level of popularity and needs to be read by as many Duke fans as possible. 

Ever since the beginning of gaming there has always a video game so graphically violent and offensive that your mother would slap you just for buying it. However, I don’t think there has ever been a game that made me feel violated, disgusted and overall alienated from the FPS genre.

The Duke Nukem series has always held a special place in my gaming heart. From the amazingly fun 2D platformers to the 3D shooting gallery, the series has never failed to impress and delight me- until now. Because of this, I set very high expectations for Duke Nukem Forever, a game that took 14 years to be finished. After playing through the game once to experience it and again to review it, I have been immensely disappointed.

To start out with, the game features what amounts to a decade and a half of FPS gaming mashed into one. Now, doing this can either be good or bad in terms of gameplay, level design or character growth. Unfortunately, doing this led DNF to the bad end of the spectrum. Ever felt a deja vu moment from one game to another? Well this game magnifies this feeling, with many experiences stolen from other FPS games. This game steals the puzzle aspects from Half-Life 2 (but they’re REALLY easy), the weapons from games like Halo Reach, Call of Duty MW2 and Team Fortress 2 and the humor from a really bad joke website.

But for a minute, let us focus on the game’s attitude. Remember the badass Duke we all knew and loved? Well, he’s been replaced with an asshole who’s seemingly stuck in the 1990s and is cockier than ever. A few of the scenes include Duke receiving a blow job from one of his fans, the art of using fecal matter as a projectile for points and killing alien impregnated women. Overall, this is one of the crudest games I have ever played. The game is both degrading to women and to the first person genre.

As far as gameplay goes, there are a few decent shooting moments you will find in this game- the only thing that makes this somewhat playable. Although the boss fights are both exciting and epic, none of them really stand out as lovable or memorable like they did in Duke Nukem 3D. Unfortunately, this is perhaps the only good thing I can possibly extract from this game, besides some decent driving moments. The game is far too easy and not the least bit challenging like the earlier 2D Duke Nukem titles or DN3D. This simplicity echoes in not only the gameplay, but also in the environments- which are bland, colorless and not the least bit exciting. Whatever happened to the colorful and exciting movie theater battles?

Not only is the gameplay pretty repetitive and bland, but so is the storyline. The story is simple; the world is invaded by aliens wishing to impregnate human women to help spread their race further and dominate the universe- and only Duke can stop them. Beyond that there are no significant plot twists or features. It’s deathly simple and far too familiar a situation. Even so, we have games like Doom with similarly short plots that are awesome. And it certainly doesn’t help that there is constant epic rock music, which appear at some of the worst points in the game.

So what would the verdict be for this extremely short review? Don’t buy this game. At least, if you really want to buy it, wait until the price is below $20 USD. Right now, the price is just too high for how bad this game is. I wanted to like this game, I really did. I replayed it even to try and change my opinion some how or to try and find something about this game I enjoyed. I really makes me wonder what the 14 year wait was for.

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