Nobody steals our chicks … and lives!

Duke Nukem Forever is out. And if you’re a fan of the trash-talking misogynistic blond muscle man then you should’ve already clocked this title.

Hail to the King, baby

DNF is a sequel to Duke 3D but the story remains the same (think Army of Darkness). The Duke is living the sweet life with his Holsom twins (real subtle) when the aliens return to Earth, blow stuff up and capture his babes. Nukem finds his throne (a real throne), descends to his Duke Cave and then things get real nostalgic, it’s boomstick time.

Balls of steel

Like Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, DNF came too late. The development delay shows how dated the final product is. The graphics aren’t bad (glossy textures and so on) but they’re not super-fantastic either. Compared to Black Ops and Crysis 2, you don’t experience that smooth, fluid motion that immerses you. To be fair though the female character models are slick.

The better looking areas of the game are very linear. Sadly, despite being entertaining, DNF does disappoint. The level designs, especially the outdoor locations, are too narrow and restricting. Early on you shrink yourself and drive a RC car but those levels are annoying to navigate sometimes. The problem with a game that’s been cooking for so long (12 plus years) is that the fans expected DNF to be the next best first-person shooter.

Blow it out your ass

Early in the game you can fight with your fists and take steroids to literally smash your enemies to a bloody pulp. You can drink beer to fortify your ego. Duke Nukem’s health bar is his ego. Interact with the world, bench press with added weights for example, and you can unlock permanent ego boosts to increase your maximum health.

Almost all your favourite weapons are back. I do miss the automatic pistol and the good old kick button. There are plenty of guns and EDF resupply crates out there so you never feel the need to conserve your ammo, especially when you’re blasting bosses. The old school run-and-gun style is fun. The ripper looks ridiculously bad-arse (triple-barrel chaingun) and sounds awesome. The shotgun makes a mess of pig cops, who are bigger and more aggressive than they were in Duke 3D. You can even grab alien lasers for a change. Unlike Duke 3D you’re limited to holding two weapons at a time.

Unfortunately you can’t place laser trip mines or throw pipe bombs like you used to. Both of these explosives use hotkeys to throw. On PC this gets frustrating because sometimes you might throw the wrong type or you’ll try and place a mine and fail. The RPG and the explosions in the game seem crappy. And I mean really crappy.

It’s really cool to see the baddies reskinned. The octabrains can now throw missiles back at you and those teleport dudes look impressive when they vanish.

You guys suck

Why did they add new puzzle stuff? Compared to Half-Life 2 it’s just lame and slows the pace of the game. Yeah, I knew DNF was going to be an average shooter, but it’s a great way to kill time over the long weekend. You can expect all the tropes of a Duke Nukem game from topless women to one-liners but don’t expect to be too impressed by the crass humour or the game engine.

Oh yeah, I was playing Duke 3D and I stumbled across a dead doomguy in a secret area. In DNF there’s an EDF soldier who points to power armour (it’s the green Master Chief outfit from Halo). So there are un-timely popular culture references too!

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