Friday, June 17, 2011

Duke Nukem Forever is here...for better or worse

Hell has officially froze over…”Duke Nukem Forever” is here…for better or worse.

If you read the reviews surrounding the title (which has spent a decade plus in development), you’d think that it’s the worst video game to come out since “E.T.” on the Atari. As someone who has waited so damn long for this game to come out, I can’t say that I’m not a little disappointed at the end result, but what I can say is that the bad press surrounding it is hardly all that warranted either.

Back in the late 90s (97 I think) when DNF was officially announced, the first person shooter genre was a lot different than it is today. We didn’t have the “Halo” franchise or the numerous “Call of Duty” games, or “Killzone”, or “Resistance”, or “Half-Life”, etc, etc. We had simple yet fun FPS games like “Doom”, “Quake”, and of course, “Duke Nukem 3-D”. From that time until today, where we have the more sophisticated shooters that I already mentioned, things have surely changed, and expectations for DNF, as well as shooters in general, have reached incredibly high heights. I’m not saying it’s unfair to have high hopes for a game that was well-known for being little more than vaporware for the past decade, I’m just saying that there’s no way any hype built around it could really live up to the exceedingly high expectations. Hence the facts that I think the reviewers and press have been a little too harsh on Duke thus far.

On to the game itself, I will admit that it is underwhelming to a degree, and can be quite frustrating. I love the juvenile, dirty humor of the game, because that’s what I was hoping for in a game starring Duke fucking Nukem. Gameplay wise, it often feels like a mish-mash of various shooters that have come and gone since DNF was originally announced. There are puzzle elements that feel like they were ripped right out of “Half-Life 2”. Duke can now only carry two weapons max. He has a regenerating health bar. There’s more features besides that have been adopted by the game that are so featured in every FPS around today that at times it doesn’t feel like a true Duke Nukem game should: i.e., old school shooting fun. The graphics are a mix of bland and boring, but the shooting elements themselves make up for it in my humble fucktard of an opinion. And honestly, I enjoy the game for the most part; minus the tedious driving assignments that is.

What it all comes down to is this: if you’ve become so used to how big-budget games like “Halo” and the “Call of Duty” series are, you won’t like “Duke Nukem Forever”, so it’d be best for you to steer clear. If you want an enjoyable dirge however and wind up not paying too much for it and want to kill some brain cells, I say check the fucker out.

Like I said before, I’d still take this over Call of Duty 25: Modern Warfare 12 in Space with Zombies or whatever installment they’re at now.

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