In the 90's the FPS genre was taking over and clones of Doom were churning out endlessly and that still holds true today. Many of those FPS games then and no are cookie cutter cutouts of one another. Duke Nukem however back then stood out in a few ways: Puzzle solving to reach your goals, a fun sense of humor and it's game play was good, or at least different enough that it didn't feel like the same old same old. The titular Duke was a cigar smoking, big gun shooting dude who stomped the shit out of any ugly alien in his way with nary a care in the world of it's feelings or why the slimy suckers are invading Earth. Turns out it's for our women-and that only pissed Duke off more.
3D Realms didn't want to simply crank out another Duke game after it's add-ons in an already flooded FPS market so they cooled they're heels to work the most they could into this newest game and now after enough development headaches and feeling they got it *just* right, Duke is back and the wait.....would have been worth it on a PS2 or older system.
Being a true sequel to the original game, 12 years have passed since the events of the last Duke Nukem game. The aliens retreated and Duke is Earth's savior to the point he has gotten to license himself in true rockstar fashion with his own hotel and casino in Las Vegas and a chain of Duke Burger fast food and strip clubs. Duke is so badass that the army will still call upon him in case of an emergency and now, in present day the aliens are back. The President of course is a weakling who doesn't want to hurt the aliens thinking that they could just be here for peace, let alone they took out several portions of Las Vegas, kidnapped more of Earth's women for breeding and have taken control of the Hoover Dam. Whats worse? They drank Duke's beer. "Come get some!" indeed.
The game plays very similar to the original Duke Nukem 3D. As a FPS, take Duke through Casino's your own fast food joints and strip joints, highways and the alien hive among others as you blow the bejeezus out of every Pig Cop, Alien Enforcer and other disgusting freak you see. Duke still has an inventory of his night vision shades, beer for getting blurry vision and extra damage with your weapons, steroids (yes a power up) to decrease your health but make your fists able to smash and aliens skull in half with your strength and the famous Holo Duke, in which you can fool your enemies into attacking a fake Duke while you stick a grenade up they're stink holes from the other direction.
Weakened enemies can be "executed" by getting up close and kicking they're heads off or other such action and your weapon attacks can literally tear arms, legs and heads off. All done with satisfying Duke one liners like: "Wonder how many porkchops can be made with the remains?" or the infamous "Blow it out yer ass!" When confronting a three breasted alien queen boss, Duke will comment that he wishes he had a third gun. Class act that Duke.
Duke now has the ego bar which determines health and regenerates when not taking damage. The ego bar gets boosts from interacting with things like lifting weights, winning games of air hockey in the game and even looking at yourself in the mirror. There is A LOT to interact with in the world and many produce results like the ego boost, have Duke crack a joke, get a trophy unlocked or, nothing. It's up to you to find out.
The graphics soar with extreme attention to details in some ways and in others, not. Some textures could have been improved upon (Dukes hands and some skin textures for one) but soar in others like the blood splatters and slime covered walls in the hive. For sound the title track is a rocking metal tune but in game it's subdued or sometimes nonexistant. Your guns thankfully make a bang and a boom and every crack of the bone as you lay a beating on the aliens is a juicy one. Duke controls well but his jumping is a little floaty but you will get used to it fast. You will have control over Duke as he uses gun turrets, missile launchers, an RC Car and his own "Mighty Foot" Monster Truck to do battle. Some levels have you shrink down to explore where the big Duke can't go.
The issues? It took a LONG time for the big man to come back and the result is a game that you feel could have been cranked out in a year or two. With all this down time and preperation, you feel that a little more effort could have gone into making the game. All the weapons are the same as the old game, the Devastator, shotguns, ripper triple machine guns, the shrink ray and more. Duke doesn't have quite as many one liners as I was hoping to have, though one had me pause the game in laughter in regards to Army men asking Duke if he needs any power armor. Said power armor resembles the HALO armor and Duke's comment? "Power Armor is for pu$$ie$!" Let it be said, I never cared for HALO.
Other issues are that while the puzzles can take a little while to figure out, an advanced player will figure them out much sooner and that will make the gameplay shorter and the single player campaign, while it isn't SHORT it doesn't take much to get through it. Three difficulty levels will keep some challenge coming but again, an advanced FPS player could tear through pretty easy.
Multiplayer and online is where the game does take a downturn in a big way. For the most part it's team death match and not much else. Maybe I've been spoiled by Red Dead Redemption and it's STELLAR online mode but online mode in Duke's world is lacking. You can find the guns, find the other team and blow them away. There is interactivity in he levels like trapping your opponent in the dishwaher of the fast food levels but thats it. Customizing your own character is lacking as well. If Saints Row is king, then Duke is a bit on the serf side. Online gets you exp points which let you customize your own Duke Cave where you can put up the pinball machines, paintings, stuffed aliens and scantilly clad women in the game. Almost all the women in the game are at least a DD cup (including the naked slime covered ladies you must rescue in the hive), and unlike the last game, Duke can't even tip the strippers. Interacting with a cash machine in the strip club level even has an "Out of Order" screen appear.
Duke Nukem Forever took like what felt Forever and like many long awaiting dream projects, it's lacking and it certainly isn't from a bad game, but it's an unfinished game. An online mode that hopefully can be fixed with a DLC pack as well as some same old same old weapon selections and recycled Duke lines. I would hope that Duke makes another trip out into the world to save our women from aliens but this time not taking over a decade to get the job done for the effort that was shown.
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Duke Nukem Forever is a First-Person Shooter (FPS) that finally resurrects the infamous Duke Nukem franchise. Designed as a blend of the over-the-top ego, humor, risqué scenarios and un-PC attitude that players of the original 1990s PC game releases will still relish, with for technological upgrades that modern gamers demand, Duke is definitely back and better than ever. Features include: a gameworld full of interactive opportunities; over-the-top humor; outlandish settings, vehicle driving, and puzzle solving; Duke specific multiplayer modes and more.
Did the Alien bastards not learn their lesson the first time? Duke has been on hiatus for some time now, kicking back and franchising himself on the fame he gained from saving Earth from the first invasion. The Aliens have returned to Earth yet again, messing up Duke's sweet routine of dirty leisure habits. The Alien invaders are stealing Earth's women, especially the hot ones! And they drank Duke's beer. This-Won't-Stand. As Duke battles his way through waves of aliens, the once beautiful gambling haven and Duke Nukem franchise chains are crumbling before his eyes. Time to bring the pain
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