During the 14-year period in which Duke Nukem Forever was in development, there were dozens or even hundreds of preview sites dedicated on the fourth game of the main series Duke Nukem. Each of these articles with his own introduction, dedicated to the game itself, it was written with an eye to numerous delays and changes of direction (and technology) that the new Duke game has suffered over time. Since the final version of Duke Nukem Forever is now on the market and we had more than a few for its analysis, let’s go straight to the review itself, without further introductory words that are already unnecessary at this time.
And to begin this article directly with the conclusion, Duke Nukem Forever is not what you expected. Duke Nukem Forever is an old-school shooter with dozens of enemies on screen. Duke Nukem is not a superhero capable of carrying a huge arsenal of weapons. Duke Nukem Forever is, however, an old shooter without its own way too well defined, overly influenced by the changes that took place in this area during his long period of development.
The blame for this situation, unfortunately, belongs entirely to those of 3D Realms, are always looking for the Holy Grail of first person shooter genre, never satisfied with the results and too easily influenced by trends in the industry. Moreover, for years, George Broussard’s team kept in the dark all updates and changes to the game, away from fans who have supported it all these years. They, in the absence of something, began to create an image of the game themselves, and their favorite hero – Duke Nukem, or on the basis of their expectations, be influenced in several spin-offs of the series, such as Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project (a cute platform, very successful even today).
And as I mentioned earlier, these expectations have been largely shattered with the advent of the final version of the game. Duke Nukem Forever is a combination of Half-Life 2 and Halo, with a topping of Duke Nukem. Moreover, if we were to go back for a few moments in the mid 90s, and Duke Nukem 3D was going about in the same direction, with the same additional layer characteristic sunglasses blond hero, added mastery recipe popularized by Doom.
That said, Duke Nukem Forever should be considered in its current form, without preconceptions, as a member of the current FPS “family” and not as a remnant of the old days. And, viewed from this angle, Duke Forever is not just a game, even if veterans franchise and probably would have wanted something else.
Forever begins with a humorous sequence, which I had the opportunity to experience and demo, Duke reliving the final moments of Duke Nukem 3D, as a video game that he tries in his own luxury apartment, located on the second floor on 69 Lady Killer casino in Las Vegas. The first ten minutes of game action does not involve itself, but is rather intended to reintroduce the character’s fictional world players. Having rejected the alien invasion 12 years ago, Duke became the hero of humanity, extolled the newspapers, on TV etc.., I must admit that I felt great in the first minutes of the game, exploring a museum dedicated to Duke, giving autographs and interacting with all elements in the environment.
Unfortunately, as I said, the game falls victim to design inconsistencies emerged over the years who have left their mark more than evident on the actual game play of Duke Nukem Forever. After the introductory sequence, you are thrown into a very linear shooter that despite interactive environment, it leaves almost no freedom of movement. Not long before the first puzzles you come across individuals, undoubtedly inspired by the Half-Life. The problem is that the physical system in real time from Duke Nukem Forever is not nearly as developed and used by Valve’s Havok, these puzzles impression of scripted sequences seems so not finished.
In fact, this is probably the biggest problem of the game, a lack of finishing almost any chapter related to the single player campaign of Duke Nukem Forever. During the last part of the game, the Duke makes a visit to the Hoover Dam, which is by far the most consistent component of the single player campaign.
In fact, I think that not being able to carry more than two weapons at the same time is another great drawback of the game. Too bad, because the producers seem to have reached all the “sensitivities” when it comes to weapons included in the game: Colt 1911 (Duke’s default weapon), shotgun (by far my favorite, almost unchanged from Duke 3D), Ripper (machine gun with three pipes, also “imported” from Duke Nukem 3D), RPG (rocket launcher, they are able to track targets), Enforcer Gun (a new weapon that launches three missiles simultaneously on spiral trajectories that can be guided with the mouse), Shrinker and Freeze Ray (classic weapons in Duke 3D, kept almost unchanged) Railgun (Quake series inspired) and the devastating (weapon consisting of a dual missile launcher). They add Trip Mines classical (laser beams which, once reached, triggers explosions) and pipe bombs (remote grenades that can be detonated when player sees fit).
The health system has been replaced by a classic bar Ego, which acts as a sort of shield before the Duke dies. The difference is that Duke can recover all ego when performing “heroic deeds” such as the execution of a nearby enemy, or when involved in “male” actions. These can range from the admiration of a naked women in a magazine profile, and by playing basketball, air hockey or pinball (yes, there is a fully functional pinball game integrated in Duke Nukem Forever).
Another thing I appreciated the humor of the character which is preserved almost unchanged from Duke Nukem 3D before. Parts of certain monsters are accompanied by lines that are more or less fun, as we would expect from an “all American hero”, like Duke Nukem. Many have complained that in some cases manufacturers have gone too far with these lines, cross the border of humor and venturing into the realm of controversy. Perhaps it depends on individual tastes personally I’m very pleased with the attitude of Duke in this game.
Graphics is another chapter in the Duke Nukem Forever game that shows its age, with game play sequences mentioned earlier is one of the most inconsistent parts of the game. In some moments, looks surprisingly good, given the outdated technology used by Duke Nukem Forever (modified version of Unreal graphics engine 2.5). In other situations, however, the aspect of the game is downright pathetic, with patterns and textures that have no place in a title released in 2011. Fortunately, system requirements are not high, the game running smoothly even on computers not as efficient
Despite inconsistencies mostly related to single-player campaign, Duke Nukem Forever remains a game worth playing, at least to draw some conclusions about how you should NOT lie about 15 years with the development of such a game. But leaving aside the “history lesson” Duke’s Forever multiplayer is fun and chaotic in a good way, representing a welcome change in direction compared to current stereotypes that characterize the first person shooter genre.