RSS Feeds NGN on Facebook NGN on Twitter NGN on YouTube
Welcome, Guest. Login | Register | PW? ]
Header logo
  1. Index
  2. » Articles
  3. » Reviews
  4. » Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Nukem Forever Review

The ultimate mixed bag of old school FPS and underdeveloped design

Posted by on
Gameplay aside, one of DNF’s biggest problems is the fact that it doesn’t seem to understand its protagonist and even its own franchise’s history at a fundamental level. The Duke Nukem of years past was a walking over-exaggeration of the clichéd 80s action hero with a love of all things manly. This love of manly pastimes can be traced back as early to Duke Nukem’s very first entry, a 1991 DOS sidescroller in which you could collect footballs, entire turkeys, and soda (which would later become beer as gaming matured). In Duke Nukem 3D, the humorous and tame portrayal of a strip club under attack became a quintessential part of the franchise and even spawned the wonderful line “shake ‘em, baby!” In DNF, almost all of these components are here, but for one reason or another, the developers decided the ultimately innocent portrayal of the nipple-tassle-laden strippers in DN3D just wasn’t enough (sexually, offensively, or graphically).
Duke Nukem Forever
Replacing that memorable moment here is a wide and nearly ever-present array of bare breasted women, glistening and moaning. Whether it is within the confines of a strip club (found here with a much more realistic and adult atmosphere) or partially fused to an alien penis plant, you’ll find it hard to avoid the awkwardly animated and embarrassingly over-the-top women of Duke Nukem Forever. It’s a shame too because here Duke Nukem comes off as much less of a funny man and more of a disturbingly chauvinistic pig.
Aside from the game’s singleplayer campaign, there is a standard multiplayer suite that was, quite literally, tacked on after the fact, and it feels like it. All of your standard deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag (capture the babe), and control point modes are here along with a modern, persistent leveling system. Because all of the power-ups and weapons (besides the pistol) are scattered around each map in typical old-school shooter fashion, raising levels in multiplayer does not unlock new weapons or perks a la Call of Duty but instead, unlocks new items (and babes) for display in your apartment. Dubbed “your digs” by the game, this apartment is essentially useless. While there is a lot to unlock here, the reward for playing and doing well being a new rug or chair pales in comparison to a new weapon or in-game ability which has become the genre standard. DNF’s multiplayer could have been far more fun if it had dropped these shreds of modernity, let you hold more than two weapons (so you didn’t have to stop and press X to pick one up), and stuck with its roots. Instead like most things in this game, it is a mixed bag of mediocre components leading to a fairly forgettable experience.
Duke Nukem Forever
Duke Nukem Forever is the ultimate mixed bag. There are brief moments where some old school FPS fun seems to bleed through and when it does it is extremely refreshing, but these instances are so few and far between and have such a hard time finding a foothold amongst the game’s ever-changing level and game design that you’ll find the experience wearing thin prior to encountering the next genuinely fun moment. If it’s vehicle levels, jump pads, destructible environments, physics puzzles, huge boss battles, turret levels, dated pop culture references, unnecessary fetch quests, more overly-shiny breasts than you’ve ever seen in a single game and extremely interactive environments that you are looking for, you will find them all and more here. Unfortunately, only one of these many, many design initiatives is executed properly or for long enough to feel like a cohesive part of DNF’s overall gameplay experience.

Our ratings for Duke Nukem Forever on PC out of 100 (Ratings FAQ)
While some areas and animations are up to snuff with modern shooters, a majority of the game looks as if it was last worked on in 2008 or earlier.
An unfortunate mish-mash of any and all gameplay doctrines found in other popular FPSs since the early 2000s.
Single Player
A wasted chance at a potentially great story and lackluster gameplay lead to an experience that begins to drag by as soon as the third level, making it hard to keep playing.
A stale blend of past and modern FPS multiplayer, most often utilizing the worst components of both time periods.
Long load times, occasional chugging, and buggy scripted events lead to a playable, but unpolished experience overall.
Duke Nukem Forever contains only the faintest shreds of Duke’s former greatness and personality, instead replacing it with borrowed gameplay concepts and a slew of tired jokes.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Duke Nukem Forever
Duke Nukem Forever box art Platform:
Our Review of Duke Nukem Forever
The Verdict:
Game Ranking
Duke Nukem Forever is ranked #1285 out of 1715 total reviewed games. It is ranked #98 out of 105 games reviewed in 2011.
1285. Duke Nukem Forever
1286. Raskulls
Xbox 360
Related Games
Project 1v1 Project 1v1
Platform: PC
Coming: December 2023
Developer: Gearbox Software
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands Tiny Tina's Wonderlands
Platform: PC
Coming: March 2022
Developer: Gearbox Software
Borderlands 3 Borderlands 3
Platform: PC
Released: September 2019
Developer: Gearbox Software
Borderlands 2 Borderlands 2
Platform: PC
Released: September 2012
Developer: Gearbox Software
Battleborn Battleborn
Platform: PlayStation 4
Released: May 2016
Developer: Gearbox Software
Aliens: Colonial Marines Aliens: Colonial Marines
Platform: PlayStation 3
Released: February 2013
Developer: Gearbox Software

Duke Nukem Forever
14 images added Jun 25, 2011 00:48
Duke Nukem Forever - Reveal Trailer
Posted: Jan 21, 2011 14:44
Duke Nukem Forever - Shrinkage trailer
Posted: May 6, 2011 03:29
Advertisement ▼
New Game Network NGN Facebook NGN Twitter NGN Youtube NGN RSS