Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Video Game: Duke Nukem Forever

Gearbox, the developer behind the critically acclaimed FPS Borderlands, formed a subsidiary group, Tryptich Games to put the finishing touches on the game that the shut down 3D Realms left unfinished.  Many a Duke Nukem fan awaited Duke Nukem Forever for years, during its unnecessarily long development time.  Like anything that takes longer than expected to be released, while waiting, one wonders the two options, whether this delay was to polish something that would truly blow us away, or if the impending experience wasn't coming together quite right and in the end would be a product along the lines of which Duke Nukem might tell the game developers to "Blow it out your ass!"

Well after playing it to the end, in my humble opinion it's neither.  It is about what I expected.  The game really is a victim of its own hype.  Duke Nukem Forever became so infamous for how long it was taking to be released, that fans and haters alike kept close tabs on its progress.  Take for instance Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy as a similar situation.  Both of these cases, the end result is something okay, but underwhelms the listener/player so much in comparison to their anchored perspective of what they expected versus what they're getting, that it results in an uneven judgment and inevitable backlash.

Duke Nukem was panned for its outdated graphics, lack of innovation and strangely its title character's elementary behavior among other things.  The game actually plays all right.  It has a few humorous quips, as it attempts to capture a faux universe where everyone worships the ground Duke walks on for saving them in the past and hopefully will protect them in the future.  Another common complaint I've noticed is the adoption of more modern FPS elements, such as recharging health called Duke's Ego (like Halo's health system) and the ability to only carry 2 weapons at once (akin to modern war shooters).  This too, as well as a more linear playing field, disappointed some people hoping for the more run and gun type of atmosphere from the older games.

Ultimately, the game suffers from delivering a different experience than what the masses expected and hoped for.  The game plays fine and is not boring by any means traversing through action packed sequences and over the top driving scenarios reminiscent of any 80's action movie.  I'd recommend picking the game up on a severely discounted deal on Steam or in the bargain bin where you can most likely expect it to be soon for the console versions.  Go into it without the hype and notoriety it gained for its long development cycle, and without the critically negative reception it received flooding your mind.  Instead, expect nothing amazing and you may find yourself enjoying a decent shooter, which if anything, may serve to make you look forward in anticipation for Gearbox's actual creation of the next Duke Nukem game.


  1. DN:F was so tragic, they should have just let it remain hidden and legendary, not a stale little blip on the release map.