Kevin Lee II On July 18, 2011 at 1:38 pm

It’s here! Duke Nukem Forever is finally here! The 14 year wait is at last, over, for a game many people thought would never see the light of day. It’s been an extensive journey but was it worth the wait? That’s for you to decide. The game has been “in development” for 14 years but the game that was released definitely wasn’t 14 years in the making. Duke Nukem Forever has probably had the rockiest development cycle of any game ever, from changing to different engines to changing development studios. Now it’s finally in our hands to play.

Developed by 3D Realms, with additional work by Triptych Games, Gearbox Software, and Piranha games, and also published by 2K Games comes Duke Nukem Forever, a highly anticipated first-person shooter from fans around the world. Duke Nukem Forever takes place about twelve years after the events of Duke Nukem 3D (released in 1996). Duke is now a universal idol, who has achieved grand notoriety from his brave actions. After playing a video game based on his past (the game Duke Nukem plays is a revamped version of the final level of Duke Nukem 3D), and receives fellatio from “the twins”, he arrives on the set of a talk show for an interview.

Everything in Duke’s life seems perfect but on his way to the show, Duke witnesses a news broadcast on a nearby television screen announcing that aliens have once again invaded. Unlike previous encounters, the aliens initially appear peaceful and at first seem to pose no harm to the humans of Earth. Duke’s talk show appearance is cancelled to allow television stations to cover the alien invasion, and he retires to the “Duke Cave”. In the Duke Cave, he receives a call from the president and General Graves of the military. The president orders him not to harm the invaders, and adds that he is in diplomatic talks with the alien overlord. Duke obliges this request, but remains edgy about the whole situation. However, before he can leave his cave, he is attacked by hostile aliens. Duke is forced to defy the president’s commands and battle his way through the alien hordes in an effort to save Earth.

Duke hasn’t changed much since Duke Nukem 3D. He’s still vulgar, he still spouts one-liners after he kills enemies, he still goes to strip clubs; anything you may remember Duke for…he hasn’t done a whole lot of changing. Duke has attitude, he’s a badass, and he’s just how his fans have always liked him. What changed with Duke isn’t that great though. Duke Nukem Forever replaces a health bar with an Ego meter that refills when not taking fire from enemies. While this would normally be good for any FPS, the problems come when the game actively encourages you to refill your Ego meter by performing various acts such as checking yourself out in the mirror, bench pressing weights, fondling creepy alien breasts that grow out of walls, punching a punching bag, looking at “naughty” magazines, beating bosses and various other things. This attempt to combine the old school approach of collecting health kits with the newer approach to regenerating health doesn’t really hold up that well.

Another thing Duke loses is the ability to carry more than 2 weapons. This is very disappointing as you could carry a whole arsenal to slaughter aliens with in DN3D. Only being able to carry 2 weapons at once is a letdown in Duke Nukem Forever as you find yourself hot swapping weapons you find from enemies, scrounging for ammo, and hiding behind walls for your health to recharge. At least Duke Nukem’s very devotedly adapted armory is still awesome. The shotgun is still amazing. Other returning weapons such as the Ripper, Shrink Ray, Freeze Ray and Pipe Bombs are particularly satisfying and get the job done.

Graphically, Duke Nukem Forever just isn’t up to par when compared with modern titles. The game just doesn’t look that good though but it’s not ugly either. It does the job but there’s plenty of room for improvement. This was expected though since we are basically playing a polished up version of an older game. The AI doesn’t compare to today’s standards either. Duke Nukem has pathetically brainless AI. When they’re not running at you in a straight line, they’re just hiding behind a box shooting at you. Friendly AI is an almost absent affair which isn’t that much of a big deal because DNF is supposed to be Duke versus an entire alien race.

Easily the best level in the game is the Duke Burger, which sees Duke shrunk to action figure size. Platforming is fun when you’re bouncing on burger buns to avoid touching the cooker and when enemies engage, you have to duck behind jars of ketchup and mayonnaise. Other great levels are both the casino and the strip club.

The real surprise of Duke Nukem Forever is that the interactive sections are often more engaging than the many, many aliens you will kill. Whether shooting pool, swinging a crane’s wrecking ball or driving a remote-controlled car, these interactive moments were often refreshing and did a great job breaking up the dull shooting sections. The Air Hockey mini-game at the strip club was very fun, and more enjoyable than the pinball machine that Duke irritatingly states “I’ve got balls of fail” when losing a ball. It’s upsetting that the environmental puzzles were so obvious and have been seen before many times.

Duke Nukem Forever does have a multiplayer mode where you can go online and play modes like deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the babe, and king of the hill. Online play feels like an old school shooter where you basically have to learn and memorize the map layout and weapon spawn points in order to be better than other players. DNF also has a leveling system that rewards the players with items “Duke’s penthouse”. The penthouse is basically like PS Home or virtual abode where you can explore and admire paintings, statues, and other things that are of Duke Nukem.

Duke Nukem Forever really tries hard to show that a traditional approach to first-person shooters can still be relevant, but even filled with fond memories of Duke Nukem 3D , You can’t look past Duke Nukem Forever’s faults. If it was released about 8 years ago, it may have been a work of genius, but it’s hard not to compare to other games such as Half-Life 2 that set the new bar for FPS’s. If you watch the 2001 E3 trailer for Duke Nukem Forever, and then play the Duke Nukem Forever that’s been released this year; they’re completely different games. People expecting a masterpiece from Duke Nukem Forever are asking way too much. Sure it doesn’t live up to the hype but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least check it out when the price tag is a little cheaper.


Some fun mini-games help you get through the mundane shooting sequences with horrible AI. Boss fights give you plenty of challenge though. Old-school feel with some new school tactics don’t really mix that well.


Average graphics that definitely could be improved upon; It feels as though some levels are more polished than others.


Duke’s one-liners are the only decent thing you will hear. Horrible rock music with some mediocre voice acting from NPC’s.


People expecting a masterpiece from Duke Nukem Forever are asking way too much. Sure it doesn’t live up to the hype but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least check it out when the price tag is a little cheaper.

Click here to buy Duke Nukem Foerver Online for the Xbox 360 from

Click here to buy Duke Nukem Foerver Online for the Xbox 360 new or used from

One Response

  1. Matt says:

    Cum get some! Awesome review, thanks!