Duke Nukem Forever Review

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Well maybe ‘dead’ is a bit much but the series has pretty much breathed its last with the release of the long awaited Duke Nukem Forever. As many know the game has been in the works for the past 14 years for quite a few reasons and many never expected it to actually be released. I was shocked at first to see all the scathing review I saw coming in all unanimously giving it a poor rating. I thought “It can’t possible be that bad for a game 14 years in the making.” Boy, was I wrong.

Here’s the short and blunt version: It sucks.

Here’s the long version: It is certainly not the worst game ever created but it’s not a true Duke Nukem title. It’s more like a Duke Nukem title after another developer picks it up and screws up the formula that made the originals so good.

Here are just a couple of things Gearbox allegedly got wrong:

  • Crappy dedicated server support

I believe this post summarizes it best:

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Click to zoom

It’s always sad to see a strong modding community get kicked in the nuts this way. When you limit a PC game from having mod capabilities or even basic admin capabilities you are shooting your game in the foot. Take notes Gearbox.

  •  It’s not finished

The game allegedly has far too many features that are poorly executed. The multiplayer has horrible lag to the point of being unplayable due to poor netcode. The gameplay isn’t satisfying and it’s clunky. A game 14 years in the making should not feel like it was churned out in under a year.

  • It’s another CoD clone

That’s right. This is the biggest mistake of them all. Publishers and developers really need to stop trying to cash in on the success of Call of Duty with its limited weapons system, regenerating health and linear shooting gallery style of gameplay. Duke Nukem was never any of those things to begin with and they took a huge dump on all of Duke’s fans the minute they tried to conform to the horrible standards that CoD has put in place for the FPS genre.

  • The graphics suck

It’s perfectly fine that it uses an outdated engine. Duke Nukem has never been about graphics (this isn’t Crysis we’re talking about here) but regardless of whether it uses an old or new engine (even old ones can still look amazing nowadays) the graphics are just plain painful to look at; a good example being the fire effects. They’re horrible by today’s standards. The models are chunky and the lightning is liquid looking and spotty. There is a huge difference between a simple looking game and a bad looking game. DNF simply looks bad; plain and simple.

  • It’s easy, linear-tastic and not epic whatsoever

Does this need explanation? Watch any gameplay video on Youtube. Duke Nukem is allowed to be somewhat linear but this is just ridiculous. There is no challenge involved whatsoever.

The PC version seems to be getting more positive reviews than the console version but at the end of the day the real lesson learned is that you shouldn’t ever take 14 years to release a game. No matter what the reason is, it’s simply not going to be met with open arms by the gaming community like it would have been if it had been released on time.

To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to it anyway. The Duke Nukem series has always been awesome but I think everyone said their goodbyes years ago when it seemed like this sequel wasn’t coming. Some people will find this game perfectly entertaining, but CoD fanboys won’t and Duke fans certainly won’t. I respect 2K games and always have (they even sent a fan package to one LPer who got a strike on his Youtube account for doing an LP of DNF. They even had the strike removed.) but Gearbox I do not. 3D Realms could have made this game the shining gem among the puddle of crap it was supposed to be.

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