Duke Nukem: Forever is an ode to the past instead of a move to the future. This has the same Duke from back when I used to play as him on my PC and Nintendo 64. Though the graphics have improved from when I played 12 years ago, it’s the same hard-talking and F-bomb dropping Duke. This is pretty much a continuation of the last game. If you remember how the last one ended, you will be in for a treat. In this review I will be talking about the graphics, gameplay, and controls of the game.
This is where some of the reviews I’ve read had a major complaint. The game uses the Unreal Engine, but as I said in the beginning, this is an ode to the past, not a move to the future. People must realize that though this is released during the time of Modern Warefare 3 and Battlefield, this is not like any of those games. You will see some jagged edges, a.k.a. jaggies, and not-so-smooth graphics. I have no problem with all of these “jaggies,” because this is how I remember Duke. So if you are expecting something like MW3 or Battlefield, you will not find it here.
Just like the graphics, Duke Nukem: Forever is very straight-to-the-point and mostly one-directional. While playing, you can venture out to different areas to look for ammo and secrets, just like the old Duke Nukem games; but the main objective is to save people, mostly hot women, and kill aliens with the usual side trip to the restroom and strip club. A few changes have been made to Duke’s HUD from previous installments. Instead of a health meter, you have an EGO Meter, which works very similar to the shield in Halo. You start with a small amount of EGO Meter, but build it up by interacting with different things within the Duke Nukem world. You can also use vehicles in this game as well. Aside from those things, this is the same Duke from before.
You will find some of his comments, locations, and situations funny. Well, that depends on who you play with and what your tolerance levels are. This will test your tolerance, as well as those around you when you play. With that said, this game is not in any way, shape or form for kids; the language is vulgar and may be offending to some, if not many. Though it may not be part of the gameplay, it is rampant throughout the entire game. So be warned if playing near kids — I would suggest you don’t.
Online-play was a big disappointment on my end. It has the normal online-play that you can recognize team deathmatch, capture the flag, and control points. It’s an okay selection better than nothing. It was very hard to get on and start a game; many dropped connections. And once I did get a game started the controls were very very erratic. To kill anyone I would have to shoot at the direction they were going to end up at and not at where they are currently located. This caused me to waste many ammos and end up getting killed in search for more ammo. And did I mention the dropped connections? I can’t stress this enough. The connection would just drop in the middle of game play and end the game. This was very frustrating.
The controls are very similar to any first-person shooter game. You use the left joystick to move, the right joystick to look, the D-Pad to use items/accessories, face buttons for reloading, jumping, melee, weapon switching, and of course there are your trigger buttons for shooting bad guys and using secondary weapons. If you’ve played any FPS games at all, you will find the controls very similar. You can change the sensitivity to your liking just like most games. When I first played it, the sensitivity was crazy high and I had to lower it to my liking. After changing the settings, it took me a good while to get used to it, but once I was, I was killing aliens and pigs left and right without any problems.
If you are looking for a totally different Duke game, this game will not be for you. The graphics are very similar to the game from back in the day, and the controls are similar as well. There are a few new gameplay additions, but this is a throwback to the old-school days of 3D Realms and Duke Nukem. Even with all that said, this is an old school Duke Nukem game, so if you’ve played it once, that may be all it is, a one-time play. If you are looking to play something from your childhood, or if you’re like me who pre-ordered this game many, many, many years ago, but was disappointed with all of the delays and just looking to play it, then this game is for you.
I gave this a B grade because during the one player story mode the load times were pretty long. And it stayed a solid B because they did not try to make Duke Nukem like Modern Warfare or Battlefield they stayed true to the Duke and the little tid bits of funny “hints” during the load times. And that is also before I got a chance to play the online part of the game. This is where the grade gets dropped down one whole letter. The online-play was horrendous and frustrating. I had many challenges just to get a game started and once I did get a game going the controls were much worse here than on the story mode. This is where my major complaint lies; the online game play.