How can I start this review? How can I explain what’s wrong and right about Duke Nukem Forever? I asked myself this question a thousand times and finally came to my conclusion for this problem. It’s not the archaic style of gameplay like the physics puzzles or the not very dated graphics engine. It’s neither the fact that the player can pick up and throw around other mens watery, brown sausages, nor the way how women get drawn. Some say the game was released too late and all that happens during a playthrough already exists somewhere else. This fact is true. DNF consists out of elements that got invented during the last decade instead of old, long forgotten elements that made a good first-person shooter in the late ’90s.
DNF is a solid, straight forward shooter with cool one-liners, lots of gips and a still very-own-kind of super hero. Okay, the word super hero doesn’t appeal to Duke very much, but in control by a player he should be, or at least he should have been. But instead of a multi-muscle bear of a man that can carry around all weapons of the game at once, fans got offered a fake-call-of-duty pussy that needs to suffer from “realism” and can only carry two weapons. This wouldn’t be a problem as long as the weapons would be placed before battles that require a specific type of it. A lot of time I thought: “Okay, I have the Ripper here and a Shotgun, but I would love to have a RPG right now because it would fit more into the scenery.” How great would it be if you could pick a weapon that you really need in specific situations because you can carry them all at once?
I actually, or still, miss the long time ago dismissed small, medium and large Medkits as well as Power Armor. As I got offered to pick up Power Armor, Duke quoted “Power Armor is for pussies”, even though it was a joke referring to Halo, it was still not the Duke I know. Why should he deny this powerful piece of security? Duke uses a condom but gives a shit about power armor? “Comee ooon!” I guess that someone that doesn’t have a healthbar, doesn’t need an armorbar either.
Medkits could have placed inside the gaming world, which would expand upon it as well as the tension and thrill to run around with low health and desperately searching for a med kit. I miss these days in which I got forced to this challenge. Checkpoints are a joke. I remember well as I tried to find out where I can find the “Quicksave” button, but there was none and then the drama started.
Yep, Duke is a linear shooter and got almost nothing that raised 90s FPS games. There is almost no free roaming and exploring. Everything is scripted into detail and there is no excuse for failures. If you fail, you start from the checkpoint. No quick saving allowed! No try, error or both of these. Remember the very first Call of Duty? This game got everything a good classic shooter must have: Quick Save, MedKits, Healthbar. Even areas in which you could walk around and search for your own ways.
After Call of Duty 2, the first-person shooter genre went downhill. Why I am tell you about this? Because I wish to give you an deeper insight about the reason why Duke Nukem Forever isn’t the game it should be: It was released in a time in which the old virtues no longer exist. It’s not bad because it was released too late, it’s bad because the industry forced it to be like any other game out there!
After all this drama, I must admit: I loved Duken Nukem Forever. Even though it lacks of all these characteristics, it’s still the game I was waiting for. The one liners, the immature jokes and the clichee around the in this game included women. You can’t deny that some of these Hollywood chicks are exactly like they get presented in the game. It should have been clear that Duke Nukem Forever would never be the Saviour of modern gaming.
I wrote DNF is a linear shooter and got almost nothing that raised 90s FPS games. This isn’t exactly true. It was always clear to me that DNF will give me what I was really looking for: a game to sit back and to get entertained by “infant humor” and mindless shooting with some puzzles.
Things that I loved in the past and what makes this game.