Duke Nukem Forever Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Duke Nukem Forever Box Art
System: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
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.

Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot

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 Unfortunately, the game comes across as outdated, tired, and simply not as good as it could have been.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.

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer

Graphics are not polished at all and look like they came straight from the PlayStation 2 era.
Controls are simple enough, but advanced platforming areas can be tough to navigate.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Voiceovers are repetitive and the sound design is terrible.
Play Value
The game isn't that long, and you'll be glad when it's over. Tacked-on multiplayer doesn't add much to the experience.
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Put on your shades and prepare to step into the boots of Duke Nukem, whose legend has reached epic proportions in the years since his last adventure. The alien hordes are invading and only Duke can save the world. Pig cops, alien shrink rays and enormous alien bosses can't stop our hero from accomplishing his goal: to save the world, save the babes and to be a badass while doing it. The King arrives with an arsenal of over-the-top weapons, non-stop action, and unprecedented levels of interactivity.
  • This game puts the pedal to the metal and tongue firmly in cheek. Shoot hoops, lift weights, read adult magazines, draw crude messages on whiteboards, or ogle the many hot women that occupy Duke's life. That is, if you can pull yourself away from destroying alien invaders.
  • With hours and hours of over-the-top single-player action and a range of bodacious multiplayer modes, rest assured knowing the fun will last. Duke Nukem was and will forever be a gaming icon, and this is his legend.

  • Videos / Game Trailers
    Duke Nukem Forever - Debut Trailer  - click to enlarge
    Debut Trailer
    Duke Nukem Forever Special Announcement - click to enlarge
    Special Announcement
    Duke Nukem Forever The Jetpack Dilemma  - click to enlarge
    The Jetpack Dilemma
    Duke Nukem Forever Shrinkage Trailer  - click to enlarge
    Shrinkage Trailer
    Duke Nukem Forever E3 2011: Official Launch Trailer - click to enlarge
    E3 2011: Official Launch Trailer

    Screenshots / Images
    Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot - click to enlarge Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot - click to enlarge Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot - click to enlarge Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot - click to enlarge Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot - click to enlarge Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot - click to enlarge Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot - click to enlarge Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot - click to enlarge Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot - click to enlarge Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot - click to enlarge

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