Duke Nukem Forever

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by SubliminalSegue, Jun 16, 2011.

Jun 16, 2011

Duke Nukem Forever by SubliminalSegue at 7:32 AM (3,522 Views / 0 Likes) 20 replies

  1. SubliminalSegue
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    Member SubliminalSegue GBAtemp Fan

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    [​IMG]
    Reviewed on : Xbox 360 (Also on PS3 and PC)
    Release Date: June 14th, 2011

    There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Gearbox takeover of the Duke franchise, but after almost 15 years in development, DNF should be GoTY potential, right? After reading some initial reviews, people HAAAATE this game. Some will say that the only ones to really get into this game are diehard Duke fans, but still, some critics are taking this game too seriously.

    You know, it's weird, if you were to ask me back in 1996 if I thought I'd have to wait 14 years to play the sequel, I would've gone apeshit. But ever since hearing about it's return from the grave back in 2007, my hopes were burning stronger than ever. When people said in 2008 that it'd never happen the and the vaporware jokes kicked in high gear, I said "Bet on Duke." and 3 years later, I held a copy in my hand. I feel like I got to the end of a very long road. So, how did Duke spend his time during his hiatus?

    Seems that Duke's popularity after saving the world in 3D has skyrocketed him to basically "Man of the Millennium", giving him a huge 69 floor mansion, and a following of billions. That's when the aliens attack again, and against the President's orders, he goes off to save the world from annihilation. Story doesn't really have a place, nor does it really need to in this game, it is after all, Duke.

    [​IMG]
    Driving parts are rare, but feels nice while it lasts. The Mighty Boot runs out of gas too often, though.

    On the surface, DNF isn't quite what I thought it would be. The graphics feel dated, the physics are kinda low-end, and the game is kinda short, especially compared to it's predecessor. Of all the guns we used to have, a few of them are missing, (The Railgun replaced the Microwave Gun) but all the good ones are there, like the Ripper and the Freeze Ray, as well as a few new ones. Level design is a nice part of it, never really staying in the same place twice, but the levels are kinda skimpy as far as design goes. But lets get right into it:

    WHAT I DID LIKE:

    This is Duke, all the way down to the Nukem logo on his belt. Jon St. John reprises his role as the infamous Duke Nukem, and he sounds better than ever. Every giggle and every one-liner is performed with perfection with a nice mix of classic lines mixed with some potent new ones. I liked the whole point of the game was to make you feel nostalgic, and the game does just that. Almost to the point where huge Duke fans might completely overlook the game's flaws.

    Of the game's 23 levels, Duke travels down Las Vegas, through an alien hive, across the wasteland, and to the Hoover Dam. While the game's plot veers off to set locales every once in a while, the endgame is simple: defeat the emperor. While this is basic stuff, I'll say it again: This is DUKE NUKEM. An elaborate plot would make this game too serious. And a Duke game is all about the dick, poop and boob jokes. I loved the fact that everyone, man or woman wanted Duke's chiseled body. Duke actually felt like a physical person with everyone talking to him. He was like a celebrity, and being asked to play air hockey at the strip club felt like Duke was more than a gun in front of the camera. He was a person people adored.

    [​IMG]
    DNF pokes fun at some big name titles like Halo, Dead Space and even Borderlands

    There's more to do than pump pigcops full of lead, as there's mini-games galore to extend your Ego bar, which is your regenerated health bar. Interacting with porno mags, shooting hoops, pumping iron and dozens other hidden gems give you more life and add to the frenzy. Finding beers give you a temporary health boost and steroids boost your melee.

    I also liked the fact that I just got lost in his mansion. I spend a good few hours flipping every switch and playing with everything that I could. Playing pool harkened back to the Red Light District level where I pocketed all the billiard balls and then went to go look at tits. And although a mundane detail, I'm also glad Randy Pitchford and some of the old guys from 3D Realms made this all possible. While some people will not be able to stand the sub-par gameplay, others will relish the nostalgic gameplay we all waited a decade and a half for.

    Multiplayer is loads of fun as well, giving you basic King of the Hill, CTF and Deathmatch modes with a little reward. As you move up the levels, you unlock items for your online mansion and clothing for when you're fragging online. Not big things here, but an incentive to move up the ranks.

    THINGS I DIDN'T REALLY LIKE:

    Shooting is kinda simplistic, there's no recoil or hit detection. Just shoot and hope it kills them. The AI isn't super smart either. Pig Cops will charge to their death, and bosses will stand there, and take damage.

    The game looks grossly unpolished, and feels like a 2005-2006 dated game. Although some low-budget games aren't always bad, (see my Deadly Premonition review) much like WWE or sports games, DNF might be for a target audience, and not just any Monday gamer. Simplistic gameplay mixed in with dirty jokes and bare boobs might only keep those who waited for so long interested. Load times are atrocious, and dying could mean that you'll be stuck on loading screens for hours. Also some levels are completely devoid of music, meaning a boring and somewhat lonely ride.

    [​IMG]
    Humor is the focus of the game. Go ahead, draw a penis in that kid's book.
    Some bosses are just rude, such as the Octoking sending a barrage of octobrains at you while you wait for your ego to recharge.

    The game also muddles it's difficulty, seeming easy in some areas, and then out-manning and out-gunning you without a moment's notice. And although the flow seems nice, checkpoints are far and few between, meaning a death results in a load time and catch-up being played.

    TL;DR

    Gameplay: It's a fast paced, ammo spitting, titty jiggling good time that has the occasional lull, but there's enough to do to keep your attention.

    Presentation: Somewhat so-so. Models look nice, and scenery looks plentiful, but load times and lack of polish brings down the mood a bit.

    Value: Kinda short single-player with a decent replay value, mixed in with that online MP that will make you miss Quake makes for a decent value, not 100% sure it's worth 60 bucks though. If you can find it for 40, this is a good price to grab it at.

    Is it fun?: Duke fans will find a bunch to do. CoD-nuts will be bored with the lackluster gun-play and dumbed down online rewards.

    BOTTOM LINE:

    I had a lot of fun with Duke. Although I beat the campaign in about 8-9 hours, multiplayer will keep me around until the DLC comes out, promising new guns and maps. If you're a Duke fan, you owe it to yourself to check it out at least, but unless you just can't get enough of Duke, I warrant it a rent at least. The SP will have you taking back your purchase in a week, but if you get addicted to MP, like I did, you'll want to keep it. The ending opens it up for another Duke sequel, but hopefully we won't have to wait another 15 years for it.

    FINAL SCORE:

    78%/100%
     


  2. Sterling

    Member Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    I was actually worried about picking this up. I see my worries weren't unfounded. Thanks for doing this SubS. It's a great review as always.
     
  3. RNorthex

    Member RNorthex GBAtemp Fan

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    finally sy not bashing it....
    apart from idiotic site reviews, most ppl who have played it said it was acceptable or good
    only heard trashing and bad comments from those who always think and epic game's sequal will be the 9th miracle [​IMG]
     
  4. SubliminalSegue
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    Member SubliminalSegue GBAtemp Fan

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    Yeah, people think that after a decade, the expectations are supposed to be enormous, but you can't make a serious Duke game. In the end I'm glad Pitchford picked it up, is able to look at the series with a new vigor and hopefully make another one the way it was meant to be. The final product was a lot of what was shown back in 1999 and 2001, and really was just an updated version of the original build. I'd be interested to see what the next one could be, if Pitchford is willing to continue the series. It's an easy game to write, but even more fun to play.
     
  5. Kane91z

    Kane91z Newbie

    The PC version doesn't have the super long load times and looks a bit better. Get the computer version over the xbox/ps3 versions if you have a descent box.

    I enjoyed it, only things that bugged me were the first levels being super slow (ie. just walking,driving around) and the end boss seeming so unpolished. I told my wife I'd give it a 7.9/10
     
  6. stanleyopar2000

    Member stanleyopar2000 The Official GBATEMP Thread Killer. No Mercy.

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    people need to stop being graphics whores.

    Duke Nukem thrived on dumb humor and corny one-liners...

    even the GOOD duke nukem games were kinda bad...but the humor is what made it popular.

    I have the PC version and I'm loving it

    (besides it freezing every hour or every 5 minutes then being ungodly slow the next time you tried to play it requiring a restart. Then it works fine for the next hour)

    love the leroy jenkins reference, dead space, and even halo references xD


    PLUS jokes like this make it all worth it (Screen captured by me [​IMG])

    [​IMG]
     
  7. mrgone

    Member mrgone GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    i like it

    imho, dnf-haters are CoD-whores
     
  8. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    DNF isn't good at all from what I played.

    The gameplay is dated and the graphics are shitty. I'm not being a graphics whore, but it looks like it's a mod of Doom III. This is ridiculous.

    It's not even funny. There's no jokes. He just says naughty shit for appealing to the lowest common denominator. He doesn't even say corny one liners. It's just something weird happens and he just goes "Yeah..." or "What the fuck..." or "Fuck yeah..." or something involving "Fuck", "yeah", and other expletives.

    Considering the amount of ultra-violent comedic games this generation (MadWorld, Bulletstorm, the upcoming Anarchy Reigns, the fucking Serious Sam remakes), DNF is just a shitty game. It doesn't play well at all, it looks like shit, it's full of issues, and it's not funny at all. If you think the references are funny, too bad they're dated as fuck too. OH WOW A HALO JOKE. It's not like I live on a goddamn forum full of people who crack jokes at Halo EVERY SINGLE TIME. Leroy Jenkins? Wow, it's good to know they reference things from 4 years ago. As I said before, it's a game that appeals to the lowest common denominator. It's not witty or quirky, it's just poop and fart jokes (or the equivalent of) to appeal to people who got hyped as shit for this game and are too jaded to actually realize how bad it is.

    Just fuck this game and if you want something good by the same devs, buy Borderlands GOTY Edition. That's an actually fun game that actually plays well and is actually modern and actually has some decent humor in it at times.

    And I was playing the PC version so don't go "WELL IT'S BECAUSE YOU'RE ON THE XBOX".
     
  9. stanleyopar2000

    Member stanleyopar2000 The Official GBATEMP Thread Killer. No Mercy.

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    well good thing I didn't buy it then [​IMG]
     
  10. Nujui

    Member Nujui I need something to do.

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    I'd give it a 65. I wouldn't say it was a really good game, but decent at the least.

    Wrong on so many levels....
     
  11. cosmiccow

    Member cosmiccow Original Hippie

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    I am absolutely fine with the graphics. It doesn't look like Crysis, but it looks nice enough to me.
    I'm actually glad it's not that resource-hungry because that way my old crap PC can still run it fine [​IMG]

    I liked Duke 3D in 1996 and I like Duke Forever in 2011. Although, being 14 years older now, I don't approve of some of the humour in there. I don't laugh when Duke spurts out his one liners. And some things are really poor taste (e.g. those girls in the alien hive). But at it's heart, it's the same concept as back in the day.

    What really makes it fun to play is all the variety and little things this world is littered with. There is so much to look at and to interact with.

    You have to keep in mind it's not a game of today. 3D Realms designed it years ago and couldn't complete it. Now they tied everything together and polished it up as much as they could so the fans can relive that experience they once had in their childhood.

    A fun B-Movie-esque ride with some bumps along the way. Worth 30 Euros on PC. But maybe not 60 on PS3..

    6.5/10
     
  12. Searinox

    Member Searinox Just a taste~ ;3

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    Duke Nukem 3D released in '96 was my FIRST EVER 3D game. I had it on the PC back when my machine was a lame 486, weak even by the day's standards. It had a huge impact on me. I remained waiting and anticipating DNF throughout the many many maaany years that followed. At the point of the ventrilo harrassment video's appearance, my interest was renewed and I discovered how the fans were updating textures and the graphics engine and began to rediscover the games, 10 years after I first played it. I also started staying up to date with DNF news. In short, my anticipation and interest were very high. There also started being a lot of hype about it as the 2009 3DR sizedown and 2K lawsuit brought Duke more free publicity and epic to its development history.

    And then finally came the day when I got to play the game.

    I immediately noticed the graphics weren't top-notch. In fact, I probably should have guessed that from the simple fact that it was running well with all settings maxed on my 9600GT, a 2 year old card. But the worst was to come as I advanced. The polygon count of many models was pretty low and certainly not what I expected from a 2011 game. In fact, the graphics looked closer to HL2 episode 1 than anything else, and even there some polygons were better shaped. The high quality of weapon models and some of the more common elements such as enemies is in stark contrast with for example, the winch on the wrecking ball crane or the window frame in Duke Burger. It feels like rushed work.

    The gameplay also had serious lack. Ironically, the best thing Duke could have done for the current FPS market would have been to RETURN the genre to its roots. Added realism has long been craved for in modern shooters, but what I'm experiencing in today's shooters is honestly shit. At first I was a bit convinced that maybe it's not sticking to me because I'm an oldschool fan, but the more I look at it the more I realize it IS shit. Not being able to fire while running, carrying only 2 weapons at a time and perhaps the worst of all: regenerating health. Some games go even further and there is NO health bar just a screen that gets more and more red. Realism? Yes, it's there. But at a SERIOUS cost in action experience. I don't have the answers to what would be a better system, but that's up to the big heads we pay millions of dollars to to come up with ideas, because the current FPS climate is CRAP! The experiences feel limiting, and no matter how much you dress em up in better graphics, the truth is it's still a lot more fun to swap between six or more different weapons, carry a shitload of ammo, run and jump while shooting, and know that hiding behind a corner will NOT save your ass. Duke Nukem Forever could have provided a new FPS paradigm by bringing back old elements in a world which has already tasted the new, and is able to examine the merits of classical FPS more objectively. Unfortunately..... NO. DNF did NOT do that. Instead it sold out to the modern gaming world in hopes of appealing to today's gamers while giving the finger to its old, dedicated fanbase, losing what it had for granted and trying to prostitute itself on new grounds. Duke was supposed to be noncomformistic. It even made fun of Halo. At the same time it copied the 2 weapon system and regenerating health making itself look like pissant hypocrite. THIS is likely my BIGGEST criticism about the game!

    The game however, was by no means a disaster. It was quite fun, and it DID provide many things modern games don't DARE to try. The jokes were quite unique and I've honestly laughed more than I have in a looooong long time because of a game. In terms of entertainment value I do dare to put it on par and perhaps even a bit above Half-Life 2. In the end, isn't this what you expect from a game? We got disembowlments, big tits, hilarious one-liners, over-the-top humor and alien asskicking. DNF felivered exactly what it promised to deliver. I loved the creativity and attention put into puzzles and scripted events, though let me be honest, I very much hated the lack of secrets. The game makes you use that brainpower to try figure your way into more progress, but does nothing to reward the inquisitive and curious. This aspect of a game is one I put a lot of value in and thus one of my big criticisms. There is very little exploring, though you can interact with many items. The "secrets" are no longer about trying to find your way into a new area, instead have been reduced to realizing you can pick up this and that off a shelf, desk or floor and interact with it. It's not much. But for what it's worth, the action scenes are well directed. The level variety is certainly there, and while the game itself isn't too colorful literally, it has very many gameplay colors. Driving the monster truck was certainly fun and even the turret action appealed to me.

    In the end I have to fling one more criticism at DNF about single player. I figured that after 13 damn years I'd get around TWICE the length it was. And the ending was pretty uneventful and felt as rushed and unsubstantial as the rest of the game. I expected Duke to go after those alien bastards through the portal as it closed and the president's nuke dropped and more asskicking to ensue in space, or perhaps even better, on the aliens' home world. Thus Duke's adventure is limited to being baited by the kidnap of chicks and finding his way to the portal they came through and closing it. The Cycloid Emperor just happens to pop up out of there after the dam's destroyed as a quick makeshift excuse for a final battle, which btw in itself is not spectacular, ESPECIALLY considering you also fight him at the very beginning! And hey wait didn't this guy die twice? I don't get it. Also I'm not sure what to have made about the President's decisions and ultimate fate. He didn't appear mind controlled nor was it clear that he and the Emperor struck any kind of deal. He would have at least mentioned it in surprise when he saw he was gonna get killed. As a game revolving around a macho who kicks ass and chews boob I did not expect an elaborate story, but I wanted what was there to at LEAST make sense! Yes it does leave room for a sequel, but a sequel alone just can't explain why some very stupid things happened in the plot so far.

    If I could describe the game in one sentence I'd say fun but lackluster. Disappointed? Yes I am, although not completly. Was it worth the wait? HELL NO. NO game in the WORLD would be worth such a wait. But for what we got, I at least expected it not to feel like rushed work. There is a creepy feeling that you are playing a beta game throughout the whole thing. From graphics to the loading screen time and even stutter when nothing in particular is going on, especially during the opening cinematic. Even easily fixable parts like the ending were just left that way. And I'm sure they could have done more to make the dam burst and nuclear explosion to look more spectacular. Should they have not released it? NO. No no no no and no. This game absolutely HAD to be released even if it was so shitty that even Angry Video Game Nerd would've avoided playing it. It's been a 14 year old curse that carried through 2 generations of gamers in an age where technology grows by leaps and bounds every year. This game absolutely HAD to make it out. To be released. The people to see what the result was so that we may finally close this chapter without being haunted by speculation of how good or bad the game would have been if released. Well now we know, and the page can be turned.

    For the developers, I hope this game is not only a lesson about the pitfalls of development, but also a red marker underscoring what is wrong with the current FPS market. For the fans, I hope it's a sigh of relief after having to hold their breath for so long, and although there may also be a bit of sadness, I think we can finally look on beyond the horizon for a new and better Duke game and see a revival of our tough-guy favorite in games to appeal to both old and new audience after the frahcnise has been in metastasis for over a decade, with only minor spinoffs being released.

    Final score: 7/10 - fair
     
  13. Ergo

    Member Ergo GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    This basically sums up my feelings: it's not fantastic, but it does a number of things, gameplay-wise, that never should have been abandoned by the genre in the first place, and I was entertained throughout (minus a few rough spots). I'd give it a solid 7.
     
  14. toguro_max

    Member toguro_max GBAtemp Fan

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    I said it before, it's kinda fun, but not great at all.
    Do you want a good Duke Nukem game, besides the 3D one? Go play Serious Sam. No, really, Serious Sam is basically Duke Nukem remade, just with another guy.
     
  15. brandonspikes

    Member brandonspikes King Erazer

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    The game is meh, Its one of the worst games I've played this year beside Alice, I wouldn't rate it higher than a 6 imo.

    I understand all of the punchlines and humor in the game, its just not funny, maybe if I was like 12 I would have enjoyed it more.

    The core gameplay is very bland, they could have at least made it feel enjoyable to shoot the guns in here, the enemy count is extremely small, and the game is super short, and lets not even talk about the controls on PC.

    I was hoping this games MP would hold up for a while till we got Rage, Skyrim and Bf3, but I was bored day one, sorry [​IMG].
     
  16. SubliminalSegue
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    Member SubliminalSegue GBAtemp Fan

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    I think a lot of people are butthurt over the fact that this was never meant to be a top of the line game. You're putting too much emphasis on graphics and mundane details when really this game was meant to be fun. Gaming as a whole is meant to be fun, otherwise what the hell are you wasting your time on a game for?

    In 1996, Duke 3D wasn't the pinnacle of gaming, fuck, it used the Build engine, an outdated build even for it's time. If you're gonna complain about what the game is not, then at least give it the respect it deserves for at least breaking through the stereotypes and vaporware jokes and made a release, even if it was over a decade too late.

    It's not perfect, and no one said it was, it's the gamer's mentality that games should be held as absolute perfection. There's no standard that games should be at, and like I said before, even Deadly Premonition has Dreamcast era graphics, passable voice acting and gameplay that would make John Carmack blush, and yet it's held by something that even made the toughest critic in me put it on my top 10 of all time.

    If you're gonna bash Duke for the fact that it's not stellar, remember one little thing: this isn't and never was meant to be a AAA title. Comedy directors know they aren't gonna win the emmy for best picture, it's merely to please the fans that waited so long to hear Jon St. John belt out that famous line one more time.

    You're either a Duke fan or you're not.
     
  17. brandonspikes

    Member brandonspikes King Erazer

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    Well then what does this game have that makes it so special?
    Making dick jokes aren't funny. Seeing a Jizz and bloodstain on a sofa while getting a bj from a hooker isn't funny.

    You tell me, what is the game then, if it isn't funny and it has horrible shooting and controls, why should people like it?

    If you took the duke character out of the game, would you still be caring about it?

    You just care about it because the person behind the hud is duke, everything about this game has nothing to do with duke 3d.


    All this game does it make Gearbox look terrible, instead of adding touches to this game, I would have preferred borderlands 2.
     
  18. SubliminalSegue
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    Member SubliminalSegue GBAtemp Fan

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    Why did Duke 3D do so well? This is a different time. It cant be helped if DNF didn't meet your sophisticated standards
     
  19. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    I like my share of dumb humor but this isn't dumb, it's just the same joke over and over again. It's not like it was funny the first time, but making the same slew of dick and poop jokes isn't funny. And if it's not funny, it's downright disgusting humor.

    And it is supposed to be a AAA title. It was advertised as such and it got a big developer who has made great games in the past (numerous Half Life mods, Brothers in Arms, and Borderlands) so we expected it to have the same quality as their other games. It didn't. It was a half baked and half assed game shipped out to appeal to the idiots who thought this game was gonna be awesome because they heard a few funny Duke Nukem quotes on the internet.
     
  20. Crystal the Glaceon

    Member Crystal the Glaceon GBAtemp Inkling™ Squishies~

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    Honestly this game would have been decent if I was 12 years old.
    It's not even worth pirating. All these years just for this piece of shit.
     

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