|System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC|
|Dev: 3D Realms, Gearbox Software|
|Pub: 2K Games|
|Release: June 14, 2011|
|Players: 1, 2-8 online|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Mature Humor, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and Alcohol|
The gameplay is not satisfying on a creative level, and unfortunately the same holds true on a technical level. The visuals look like they've gone through a decent amount of revision since 1999, but the game still comes off as looking like a relic from the PlayStation 2 era. Awkward animations, repetitive textures, and jagged lines—the likes of which we haven't seen since the Wii's early days—permeate the visual landscape. The game also suffers frequent texture glitches, which don't break the game but are still agitating. The sound design is in a similar rut: the sound effects often drown out the dialog, which creates a pretty awful sound scheme. Not that you'll really miss the same old dialog rehashed for the billionth time. But still, they could have at least made an effort here.
Unfortunately, the lack of effort carries over to its lackluster multiplayer offerings. There are three basic modes to play through: deathmatch, team deathmatch, and a Duke-esque capture-the-flag mode known as "capture the babe." The multiplayer modes feel absolutely tacked-on at the last minute, and I doubt there will be a lot of people playing online for very long. When games like Uno have a shooter bested in multiplayer offerings, you know that there's a problem.
Duke Nukem Forever should have been awesome. It's uncanny how many fans the Duke has out there, and it's no lie that the original Duke Nukem 3D was revolutionary in its own time. However, Duke Nukem Forever is a forgettable relic of a game that suffers from having no new ideas, repetitive gameplay, and ridiculously poor production. When Gearbox software took over development last year, I was hopeful that they would take the ideas that 3D Realms had and bring them in to a new era. However, what has happened here is that they took the product that they had, gave it a minimal amount of polish and shipped it right on out. Unfortunately, the game comes across as outdated, tired, and simply not as good as it could have been.
Will this spell the end of the Duke? It's doubtful, since the Duke Nukem fan base is one of the most rabid around. But hopefully next time, the game will be up to par with our expectations, or at least measure up to the typical game standards. Duke Nukem Forever will probably be enjoyed by those who've been eagerly awaiting this game, but only because they've been waiting so long. If you look at the game for what it is, it's just a mess. It pains me to say it, but it's absolutely true.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer