Game for a laugh?
There’s nothing wrong with a retro turkey shoot, of course. Serious Sam made a virtue of it by hurling countless enemies at you with varied attack patterns. But DNF's environments are too sparsely populated throughout. Every level consists of fighting half-a-dozen enemies, moving a few hundred metres forward and fighting a half-dozen more.
I'm coming to get the rest of you alien bastards!
Attempts to punctuate the monotony only succeed in replacing tedious combat with equally tedious ancillary gameplay. Lengthy driving sections promise open exploration, only to funnel you up makeshift ramps over precipices before corralling you back into combat arenas.
Puzzles never evolve beyond the obvious either. Nowhere more so than when shrunk down by alien technology into mini-Duke, where a go small, find hole, go big, open switch formula is repeated ad nauseum. But the worst of all is platforming – an utterly incongruous mechanic to FPSs that should have died with Turok some fifteen years ago, but is used over and over again here.
Mental, time for a shrink
Anyone hoping that Duke's legendary humour might enliven gameplay will be sorely disappointed. Granted, the game provides occasional chuckles. Even the most urbane gamer will struggle to keep a straight face during mini-Duke's shootout across the shelves of a diner storeroom, where cover comes in the form of ketchup and mustard tubs and cans of Heinous Anus' Baked Beans. And where else can you increase your health bar by getting sucked off through the glory hole of a squalid strip club toilet? – I have to test everything, you understand.
Next page: Are we having fun yet?
I've been playing the PC version too and I don't think DNF in any way deserves the drubbing it's been getting. Certainly the 360 version apparently has some issues, but I don't think the core game design is as ancient or creaky as reviewers seem to be so keen to claim. If anything I think modern FPS games are more basic than Duke3D ever was.
Sure modern games throw more polygons around the screen, but where are the secret areas? Where's the interactivity? Modern games like COD just funnel you from one shooting gallery to the next. At least DNF breaks things up with driving, platforming and lots of little interactive bits like billiards, pinball, whack-a-mole, etc. I'd much rather play this than any of the endless Modern Warfare clones.
At the end of the day, I think the best way to describe the Duke Nukem Forever reviews is:
haters gonna hate.
Such a stinging review
..and you still gave it 40%?
This should be in the 5% range.
Haters have a point
My copy of DNF ran over my dog, burned my flat down, ran off with my girlfriend and somehow managed to land me with a Daily Mail subscription.
DNF is pure evil in gaming form and we should form a lynch mob to execute everyone at Gearbox for even thinking of making this game.
Or, as a radical idea, those who don't like the game can simply not play it....?
Armchair critics, and the reviewers on this site barely qualify for that description, sure love trashing this game.
I wasn't expecting the next half-life, i was expecting Duke Nukem, with better graphics.
I'm quite enjoying it. And the value of reviewers/critics continues to decline.
"It runs" - If you'd reviewed it before release, they might've picked this for the box quote.