To think after years of engine change after engine change, people suing each other and companies going bankrupt, Duke Nukem Forever would finally see the light of day. Unless you've been living under a dull, boring, rock (without an internet connection) for the past fifteen years, you've probably heard of Duke Nukem Forever and the legacy behind it. It was originally announced in 1997, and was meant to be "groundbreaking", but instead, only spawned a bunch of bad jokes(For your viewing pleasure, I've provided a few examples: "DNF? More like did not finish!" or "It's going to be FOREVER before this game comes out!" I think you get the idea) and quite hilarious GameStop prank calls for those fifteen years. Finally, in 2011, the game hits store shelves, men, women and children rush to their local store to pick up a copy of this piece of gaming history. "Will the game dispense gold bars at my feet? Will it revive my pet dog Sparky? Will it make my ex-girlfriend love me again?" These were the questions gamers were asking as they placed the disc into their system, instead of the obvious one, "Will it provide me with entertainment?"
Now that we all know what Duke Nukem Forever is, and the legacy behind it, it probably won't surprised you when I say that this game wasn't received very well, and this is where my review actually starts.
The Graphics- Now, we all know graphics don't make a game, but when they're awful, they don't help it much either. Duke Nukem Forever looks like it could have been released on the Dreamcast with the engine it's sporting, Crazy Taxi almost puts it to shame. The textures aren't very pretty, and the game gets almost disgusting to look at around the Alien Hive level. The fire looks about as realistic as if a child made the texture out of paper mache and colored it with half broken crayons. There were even a few times where my textures didn't load all the way, and I was sporting an all white shotgun, in an all white factory, fighting all white Octabrains. When you're game's graphics not only look a generation old, but don't even work half the time, I think that's when the developers need to go back to the drawing board.
Gameplay/Funfactor- Speaking of drawing boards, it's something you use a lot in Duke Nukem Forever. I found myself wasting ten to twenty minutes messing around on the white board in the opening level, I was honestly impressed, not with the white board mind you, but the freedom they give you within this game. Now don't get me wrong, this is a linear game, but some of the interactions Duke can do within this game remind me why video games are fun. Duke Nukem's health bar is now an "Ego Bar" and can be raised by interacting with certain objects around the game, like lifting weights, looking at nudie magazines, or slapping wall titties(I'm dead serious). This was an extremely clever and well made addition to the game, and fit well with Duke's personality. Overall, it made the game much more fun. In the past fifteen years, Duke hasn't been working out as much or eating his veggies, because he can now only carry around two weapons around, which was a major disappointment. Thankfully, Gearbox has come to the rescue (To PC owners only, mind you) and has made a patch to where Duke can carry up to four weapons, which still doesn't meet my expectations( I would accept no less than ten) but it's still nice to know the developers are still behind this game. The gunplay is quite standard, Duke doesn't quite understand how to use the iron-sights of his gun quite yet, but if he did, it wouldn't feel like a Duke Nukem game, so no points off there. The game itself, is one of the most fun games to come out in the past few years, and provides hours of laughs. Duke still pokes fun at any game that may have sold more copies than him in the past fifteen years, (Some of the games are, but not limited to: Gears of War, World of Warcraft, Halo, Donkey Kong, Dead Space) and he is still his wise-cracking old self, even after all this time. The levels are quite varied, which would be a good thing if the loading screens to each level didn't take 20 minutes. If you plan on playing this game, make sure to have a Sherlock Holmes novel by your side, I guarantee you can finish half the book while waiting for this game to load.
Sound- In contrast to how in looks, the game sounds quite nice. The music score is amazing, especially the theme at the opening of the game. The guns have their original sound to them, and Duke even has his same voice actor from fifteen years ago. The monsters also make satisfying squishy noises when you kill them, which is always a plus.
Online- What about the multiplayer Duke? Is it any good? The answer to your question is no. I couldn't stay connected to a game for more than a nanosecond without getting booted off. The problem wasn't my internet either, because I then went to play a game of Killzone 2, and connected just fine. When I could stay connected, I saw I wasn't missing much. The game lagged every chance it got, and the overall multiplayer seemed very lacking, almost as if it came out in 1998. If you're looking for a multiplayer time waster, I'd say to skip out on this one.
Overall- Duke Nukem Forever is well worth both your time and money(The singleplayer that is) and if you decide to pick up the game, enjoy it, because based on the critical reception, this may be the last Duke game we'll see for another fifteen years.