Sunday, 26 June 2011

Video game of the now #1: Duke Nukem Forever

I'm sure that by now everyone knows about Duke Nukem Forever, it's that game you and your friends may have made a joke about when your favourite game was sitting in development for far too long, "Hey man Gran Turismo 5 is TOTALLY pulling a Duke Nukem Forever." Or maybe you were smart and realised the initials of the game spelt DNF, which is also an acronym for "Did Not Finish", I bet you and your friends laughed at that too, but don't despair because the thing is actually out, yes, it's sitting on store shelves AS WE SPEAK waiting for you to suck it down and purchase it, but is it worth your hard earned cash which I'm sure you'd rather spend on something worthwhile?

I answer this question with a yes and a no, if you've followed the mind numbing long development process and are an actual fan of Duke Nukem then yes, without question go and get it, but if you're today's average FPS kid who hates games that aren't Call of Duty 4.74 Alpha edition then maybe this isn't for you, for a start the online is a complete after thought and it has no perks! How ever would you cope without your precious chopper gunner!

I decided to get this game because I followed the long development cycle and my mind is still juvenile enough to find Duke Nukem funny, but the game is actually fun once you over look it's flaws and if you played a first person shooter during the years of 99-2003. This game, for a start is a massive throw back to when FPS games incorporated many different elements into their games. Remember the physics puzzles in Half-Life 2? Yep, Duke has them too. Remember the driving bits in Half-Life 2? Duke likes to drive just like Gordon. Remember how you completly tore that boss a new one in every fps before call of duty 4 by circle strafing? Duke does too! It is also a little saddening to see this in a game that plays like an early-00s game, it shows that the dev team were trying to keep up with the competition which should have stopped around Halo era so we could wield more than two weapons, damn you master chief.

I'm all for throw back game play which this game is excellent at, the part that irks me mostly is that it also throws some modern elements in there too. Like the aforementioned two weapon limitation as well as linear to the point of mind numbing levels and regenerative health. But not to worry, it has some classic Duke moments in there too. Remember all that interacting with the environment you could do in Duke Nukem 3D? Well, it's kind of like that in Forever, just scaled down a bit. The mini games are fun and usually provide you with a health boost but they kind of fritter out toward the last third of the game. I've been playing this part of the game and there are very little of these items about anymore, I guess this is the period when the dev team tried to keep up with modern video games by not making their game fun.

The graphics are decent. It does look as though it should have come out in 2005 but don't let that irk you, unless you find yourself unable to play games without the most recent tech behind it. I find the graphics take a bit of time to adjust to (especially if you've just played a good looking game before hand) but once you get used to it it's generally fine.

The story is non-existant. Duke kills everything and saves the world, need I say more. It's refreshing to find a shooter game without a deep, enthralling and emotional story because a lot of the time it just falls on it's arse. Duke plays it cool and just makes one liners because stories are for pussies.

Overall, the game is fun. If you played FPS games before everyone and their grandmother started copying call of duty then you may enjoy this game. If you were in any shape or form interested in the development process of Duke Nukem Forever then it's worth a rent just to see what they actually accomplished in the first place. If you were expecting the second coming of jesus in video game form, then please, pre-order Dark Souls and forget about Duke Nukem.

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