Duke Nukem Forever Review

The story in DNF isn’t mind blowing by any accounts, aliens invade, take our babes, you stop em, short and sweet. DNF doesn’t take itself seriously though, so even if it didn’t have a story at all, it all would have been fine. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good story just as much as the next guy, but lets face it, when is the last time you watched a porno or Jason Statham movie for the story? That’s right, you don’t, you just want the tits and explosions.         Duke Nukem Forever’s gameplay is slightly outdated, repetitive, and broken at times. More times than it should have happened, the game forces you to either stay in a locked room killing enemies 3 at a time for a few waves until an exit opens, “Press a button” and “Continually press this other button” to open doors/defeat some bosses, do a lot of platforming as a midget, or kill enemies in lengthy, kinda not fun turret sequences. These things would have been fun if used in moderation but instead they just kinda break up the flow of the game and feel slightly like a chore at times.

Too Many Turret Sequences!

The controls aren’t super duper tight (like your mom, ZING) but they’re good enough to get the job done considering DNF is an FPS and not an RTS. Before the patch came out for DNF which increased your weapon holding capabilities to 4, you where stuck with only 2 weapons at a time. This is no problem when guns are balanced nicely (Halo comes to mind) but this is not the case with DNF. Too many overpowered weapons with not enough ammo, so you pick em up at the time thinking its a great idea until your in the middle of a firefight with a RPG and shrink ray with no ammo. “But Josh”, you say in a slightly girly voice, “wasn’t picking up those guns your fault? The game didn’t force you to get them”. True, true, but they strongly encourage you too, as in “Here’s a shrink ray Duke, it will come in handy”.  

Who’s That?

  One thing in Duke Nukem Forever that really stands out, adds fun, and makes me love Gearbox all the more is how tons of things in the game can be interacted with. Instead of static environments that appear all too often in today’s games, the objects in DNF can usually be interacted with a’ la Duke Nukem 3D and many other early FPSs. Now these interactions aren’t anything special, squirting bathroom soap from a dispenser, drinking a soft-drink, playing pool, picking up a turd, etc, but it’s just the fact that you have the option to do this that makes it so special. Now Gearbox could have left the item interaction as is, but instead they give you a reason to play with poop. Every time you interact with certain items, you get a permanent health boost, which is a nice gameplay mechanic. Overall, the gameplay in Duke Nukem Forever can be slightly clunky at times and repetitive but there are a few nice features.         Now the graphics in DNF are kinda confusing. Sometimes they look good, while other times they are “meh”. This is probably because DNF is running on a modified version of the 4 year old Bioshock engine. So while it does look good at times (better than Duke Nukem 3D), it still looks dated. However, how realistic and pretty a game looks is unimportant compared to the fun you have playing the game (Minecraft anyone?). But, if your gonna look ugly you should do it gracefully, which is the opposite of what DNF does. Graphical errors, texture pop-ups, and ugly muddy textures can be seen throughout, the framerate gets down syndrome at times, and the time you spend at loading screens is just stupid (over 2 minute sometimes). However, with time and complaints came a patch, and now DNF loading screens are on par with average games. Still though, that should have not even been an issue, so points off for that Gearbox.    

Audio, oh sweet audio, how I love thee when used effectively. DNF’s audio is hit and miss at times but overall there’s not much to complain about. The weapons and monsters may sound a bit generic, but at least they don’t sound generic AND crappy.

The intro cutscene music is not only a great throwback to the original Duke Nukem 3D theme song but is also pretty awesome, while the in- game music is sparsley used at times and slightly bland at others, but in general it’s appropriately used. The voice acting covers both ends of the spectrum. On one hand you have the god-like voice of Jon St. John doing a freakin great job voicing Duke, while on the other hand a lot of the other voices sound dumb (but funny) and over exaggerated, although this was probably done on purpose considering the tone of the game.  

Jon St. John. Hail to the King Baby

  Multiplayer in DNF isn’t anything special. You got your standard game modes, Dukematch (deathmatch), Team Dukematch (team deathmatch), Capture the Babe (capture the flag), and Hail to the King (king of the hill). Multiplayer is kinda unbalanced due to the the overpowered weapons, like the shrink ray. When your shrunk all the opposing player has to do is run over you (there are rat holes you can run to, but usually you just get squished, so it’s almost like a one shot kill). There has been some controversy about the Capture the Babe mode since the “flag” is a scantly clad woman who you have to smack on the ass sometimes to calm her down. Yes I realize that running around with a woman on my shoulder spanking her in real life would be dumb and horrible, that’s why I do it in a game. This brings up another issue, the controversy.   Duke Nukem games have been scrutinized since Duke Nukem 3D for their violence, mature humor, and portrayal of women. Yes, it’s bad to shoot people with guns (kinda), yes, its bad to pick up turds and throw them at people, and yes, it’s bad to think of women as sex objects, we get it, but some people (I’m looking at you Fox News) don’t. There’s all this worry that young boys (what were they doing with an M-rated game anyways parents?) are going to act these things out and that the portrayal of women will will be harmful to little girls (because that’s obviously who the game was targeted for). Maybe we should just worry about bad parents and the fashion industry, not forms of entertainment. Duke Nukem is Duke Nukem because of how the character is portrayed, a sexist, macho, egotistical, chauvinist, womanizer who solves his problems with violence. These aren’t characteristics that most strive for but they do make for a hell of a memorable character. Honestly, it would have been more controversial to change Duke to be more “caring” and politically correct.  

Why Would You Flush A Perfectly Good Snickers?

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