It seems that after all that is going on on-line regarding this title, I need to say some things:
I really like Duke Nukem 3D – but I didn’t think it was the best FPS game ever – fram from it. I liked it.
I looked forward for Duke Nukem Forever, I waited and got disappointed when Duke would be put on ice.
I never expected it to be a great game – I had no expectations at all….
With that said, lets go.
Duke Nukem starts with an intro ,worthy of an ego born and cultivated in the 90’s -, with a double blowjob. Some fancy self admiration and macho stuff. To me – Duke Nukem is more like Machoman Randy Savage – with a crew cut – and less pondus in the “Oh yeah” section. The game looks bad. Lets get that over with. And I mean bad as in old technique and old style of gameplay. The characters move stiffly and the last thing going on here was motion capture. The interface to the world is iffy – people keeps talking straight ahead, even if you are crouching behind their ass. Interesting social behaviour. The game itself is an old school shooter with very limited options. You should go from A – B and kill everything between them – repeatedly and then solve a puzzle of not too intricate nature. Then comes a boss – figure out how to kill – kill say Hell Yeah and move on.
It’s a shooter – as basic as the concept can get.
Now an old school shooter would have kept a few things – and made it a classic genre tribute – now they fucked themselves by trying to modernize the game play and did things in less than exemplary way. I would have liked this more should they have kept the old play style fully on – with a health bar and power ups, gather weapons and tote around with ten of them. I could actually have respected that. Now, not so much…
- Health – an ego bar – that goes down by damage, gets rejuvenated by not getting shot at – i.e the coward way heals Duke… er?Also, you can expand it permanently by interacting with pool-tables, mirrors etc in the game. I would have like a 100 health bar that could have been upgraded so to speak…
- 2 weapon carry along. What? An old school shooter with old school monsters needs old school weapons – gun, shotgun, SMG, grenade tosser, Machine gun, rail gun er sniper rifle and rocket launcher. How the heck not? Also, the ammo is more like fill up with same weapon and ammo crates just replenish everything. The ammo feels like you have very little of and the ammo tracks are everywhere so shooting is getting a bit tedious by having to fire four clips then run after ammo, switch weapon or get a new gun…
- Enemies – here is Duke.. Yeah, that’s about it. Enemies know where Duke are – Duke know the enemy. Don’t expect to be surprised or out manoeuvred much… The only ones are the teleporting monsters – they can appear – behind Duke….
- Close combat – Duke can now use a melee attack – very weak if you are used to BLOPS or BFBC etc. It is a weapon butt-smash of attack. In my opinion Duke should stomp kick like in Bulletstorm or have a constant weapon that are his fists.
Apart from that – you get something that feels old – a bit polished and doesn’t really impress. It shows how much gaming has evolved – but it also sometimes put a gleam and shows that shooting is about having fun – because every now and then Duke is letting me having a romping fun that only Bulletstorm lately has given me. No PK (more adolescent humour then you can muster) but over the top and after a while you go heh – yeah. Me, I played it a few hours at the time and I would say that I didn’t think it a great game. It is a game that is decent some of the time, bad some time and excellent seldom and horrid – mostly as an after taste realising what this could have been…
Graphics – 10. It is dated, no question about it. Textures are not high res and the only good thing about it is that year old computers can max it. The graphics feel slightly consoled – but this games runs better on a PC (I have heard) so it is just old.
Sound -10 Sound is hardly OK. Nothing spectacular. You get some metal riffs here and there. The voices however are crap and sounds annoying. Duke is a musky macho voice that is so close to a parody that you can hardly stand it at lengths. That said – the Oh yeah – and comments here and there are actually quite “fun”. The weapon sounds are basic and feels also a bit dated and old. Mostly lacking that “punch”.
Game-play/Story 10 Game-play is either fun old school romp or a dinosaur of a game that makes us twist and turn and wonder how much nostalgia is needed to justify all those hours spent playing games like Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, Half-Life etc fun? Heck no – the game play was great – it is just that now – most are expecting different things. The game play is not suffering from that old school feel really – because that is fine – problem is that the game feels like people have made one level on their own and three guys sewed it all together into a hardly coherent mess. The level design varies from fun to total disaster. Some areas are sad run and gun straight ahead and the car levels and RC car are really horrendous. The game constantly throws you out of the fun by cutting the fun sequences short when you have fun by removing ammo or enemies when you are just getting warmed up.
Controls/Quality 11 – Unfortunately the game is not well made. It runs, but it feels like a hobby project rather than the latest release from a great game company. The controls are not much better. Interfaces etc is clunky and control scheme not so advanced. Problem is that there are problems only apparent in really old games or console ports. You can’t bind the scroll wheel etc. It is not that buggy that I have noticed, and that saves it, it just isn’t a game that sands well to the competition of today. Interface is weak and there is no sva, no quick save but restart from certain auto saves and only one on going campaign etc. But no bugs and not that much need for patches etc I would reckon.
Total score: 41 (Had this been the 90’s the score would most likely have been 78 or so…
If we concentrate on what the game is without any history – it is a joke, if we however remembers what this is – it gets worth it. I can still recommend everyone that reminds having fun with the original Duke Nukem 3D game, the Quake and Doom:ers that this is a game with a whiff of old times. It is not good, it is not great, but it is not all out bad either. It is what it is – a project of love (and money) to save Duke Nukem from extinction. The argument will probably rain a long time for whether we should have let Duke rule the nostalgia world of machoness or if it is just a test to see how many bought it and speed on to the next game. If someone who now erhm owns the IP says in five years that they are looking for a reboot of the Duke Nukem franchise alá the new Tomb Raider game – Duke being stuck in a fall down like Mel Gibson or Charlie sheen – I would definitely tune my ears. Now – I will try to enjoy the little that Duke has to offer and move on. The Duke is back – and in my mind – it is not the grand return . It is a corpse that rolled over in the grave and gave a big beer belch – to show you that he is still there and that fans can still dream for that perfect follow-up game.