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User Reviews

User is offline   Mikko 

  • Honored Donor


View PostMr_Blastman, on 10 June 2011 - 08:55 AM, said:

Sheesh. Everyone takes graphics for granted now. When I play a game, I consider gameplay #1 priority, sound #2 priority and graphics a remote #3. I think DNF looked spectacular in the demo.

This debate is as old as mankind, not a recent phenomenon. Gameplay and graphics are not mutually exclusive so you can't really justify bad graphics with good gameplay.

DNF looks nowhere near spectacular, especially with the absolutely horrible FOV which you can luckily turn off but not without turning off some other graphics effects in the process (a price I was willing to pay).

User is offline   coheed82 


Well, everyone that wraps up my first playthrough of duke nukem forever..

since i got it the other day i havent slept still, ive spent a decent amount of time enjoying and not rushing the game. And ive got as you can see 25 hours playing through.. i cant see how anyone gets it done in less than 10 hours without cheating or something, i had a variety of strategies for each alien that got tighter as i went on through the levels, & sub levels. i just wish it could somehow never end! ;)

User is offline   Mikko 

  • Honored Donor


Can't imagine I'd enjoy the game if I tried to play it like that, all in one go, without sleeping.

User is offline   trackit 


First of all, i am not a big gamer and i bought DNF just because i have been following its development for all these years. I have decided long ago that if this game will ever be released then i will get it.

So... at last i have this game in my hands and ii have been playing it for several hours...? So.... does this game live up? Unfortunately i have to say that no, in my opinion it's mediocare. I can see the potential and i am not complaining about the graphics per se, but it just feels kinda unpolished and unfinished. I agree with those who say that the graphics/textures are inconsistent. The NPC models are kinda outdated and they feel "static", usually they say their line and then just stand with empty stare, you cant interact with them, if you shoot them then nothing happens, its like they are not even there. The gameplay itself is also nothing special, killing enemies is not that satisfiying as it could have been. IMHO it is much more fun to shoot aliens after they are dead. I would like to see a lot more gore, blood splashes/decales and dismemberment when fighing aliens but for some reason this is just not there. Interactivity is mediocare as well, nothing really special. Also, maybe thats just me, but "sprint/running" is also very strange, imho he runs like a midget and this slight zooming in/out from running makes me feel dizzy ;)

Overall my impressions are so far that the game could have been a lot of fun if done right, the graphic engine itself is not bad at all... But unfortunately there are a lof ot things in this game that leave me with impression, that it was unfinished and unpolished.

User is offline   randir14 


My review of the PC version:

I think the game is great, mostly. The combat is fun and feels old school with enemies swarming all round you, and the humor and interactive objects are done very well. The graphics are pretty good, but there seems to be a weird discrepancy in quality between the early levels and the later levels. Almost like the people working on the game became more talented halfway through development. And like someone else pointed out, it feels weird to be in a crappy looking room, then the next minute inside a great looking vent. I do hope that people are able to mod the game though, because a high res texture mod would really be nice. The game's sound effects are good and the music is awesome.

I haven't beaten the game yet but the level variety has been very nice so far. Casinos, streets, sewers, alien hives, a stadium, hoover dam, a flying section, the Mighty Foot levels, even an underwater level. The only problem I have is levels are extremely linear, and some of them feel too short. There's also a forklift section that feels like it should've been longer. Interactivity is amazing in the early levels but seems to get less and less later on. Another thing is some sequences end strangely, for example in the Lady Killer you have to stop a falling elevator by pulling a safety lever. When the elevator finally stops there's no satisfying thud, screen shake, smoke or sparks...it just simply stops dead in its tracks. The puzzles are fun for the most part, they aren't too challenging and they kind of remind me of the Half Life series.

The shooting mechanics feel pretty good, and unlike the demo there aren't weapons scattered around everywhere in places that don't make sense. Enemy AI is decent enough. Pigcops with guns sometimes use cover and throw pipe bombs, and the berserk ones will rush you. Assault Troopers can move quickly on the ground, and will jetpack around while avoiding your attacks. Boss fights are a bit basic, but more complex than Duke3D.

Overall I think DNF feels like a modernized Duke game that missed the mark in some areas. Right now I'll give the game an 8.5/10, but I'll raise it to 9/10 if the game is moddable and they give us back the dev console.

This post has been edited by randir14: 10 June 2011 - 01:06 PM


User is offline   zwieback 


View Postrandir14, on 10 June 2011 - 12:43 PM, said:


i second that :) very well said.

User is offline   m4licious 



Yes, i registered just to give this review.
Normally i dont do this with games but after waiting so long for this one to be released there are some things needed to be said.
I'm a huge fan of duke nukem 3d, its in my best games of all times list and will remain there forever, so after waiting for more than 12 years i was so happy i could FINALLY play this baby!
I played the demo and didnt like it, alot of polishing needed to be done and overall it just plays like shit and was dissapointing to me, nevertheless i started playing with a positive attitude.

The story of DNF picks up after the events of dn3 as im sure you all know by now , and its pretty much the same stuff, aliens have invaded to kill duke, take his chicks and conquer the earth.
Some may say such a simple story like that doesnt fit with modern games anymore but i liked it, its a simple excuse to let duke blow the shit out of everything and everyone and thats all he needs!


The game starts slow, letting you play pool, work out at the gym , do all kinds of funny mindless stuff to increase your maximum ego, it had some parts in the beginning that made me laugh out loud.
Then the game throws a puzzle at you, driving a remote controlled car, at first i liked the idea (reminded me of shadow warrior)
But after a few attemps this became very tedious! the controls suck but after alot of trial and error i succeeded,
A while after you get your first weapons and discover you can only carry two weapons at a time! WTF!
This is a very bad decision in my opinion, it takes everything that made dn3d so great and just throws it out the window! not only are you limited to two weapons but the maximum ammo you can carry for some weapons is downright laughable! Like the RPG can only carry 5 rockets at a time and this will have you running back to ammo stashes all the time! specialy during boss fights, this takes the fun out of beating a big ass alien to shit if you ask me... boss fights basicly come down to this: shoot-take cover-refill-repeat, i was dissapointed by this.
The game constanly tries to stall you with throwing stupid puzzles at you which become VERY tedious after a while, the puzzles are either getting shrunk, get gas for your car, or complete some badly ripped off half-life puzzle, towards the end of the game you get to swim underwater and this is where they made another odd decision... to survive underwater you need to find these bubbles to refill your oxygen, WHAT THE FUCK happened to scuba gear? needless to say this new system doesnt work at all, it makes the whole experience a bigger pain in the ass then it needs to be, specialy when you need to fight off octabrains or even a boss.
What i did like was the combat, had some challenging and fun parts.
The multiplayer is kinda weak aswell, it plays very sluggish, i was looking forward to some fast paced deathmatch like duke3d, but theres nothing good to be said about this, the new mutators dont save this mediocre experience either, lets hope they fix this in the near future.


The graphics look dated (and thats to be expected) and didnt mind this for the most part, its the gameplay that counts afterall.
But some things really REALLY look bad, i had the idea i was playing an unreal 2 mod for the most time,
they try to cover this up with some horrible blurring effect which only makes it look worse, its just way overdone.
The real gamebreaker for me were the blood decals though, THEY DONT EXIST! sometimes you get some bloodspatter on your screen but thats it.
No blood on the walls, no blood puddles, no blood footprints, very dissapointing, i was hoping for some good old duke action with blood and guts all over the place.
When you blow someone up you get a terrible explosion effect and some limbs flying all over the place, which just looks weird without the blood and gutspatter.
Its these little things that ruin the enjoyment of blowing everything to shit.


The music was good for the most part, not as good as duke3d maybe but still enjoyable
The duke quotes are as fun as ever and it felt good to hear the old voice saying stuff like ''blow it out your ass'' again.
Only complaint i got about the sound is that theres not really a ammo pick up sound, they could've made this more clear, specialy when you pick up ammo during a boss fight.


I dont know what 3drealms did all these years that took this long, because this game seems far from done (maybe they shouldve waited another 12 years to finish it :) )
It seems like they tried to hard to put elements of other games in that they forgot about what made duke nukem so special in the first place, it feels like an unreal 2 mod ripping off halo and half-life. The lack of proper blood decals and gore together with the 2-weapon system make this a very poor and frustrating gaming experience, not even the duke's epic quotes can save this game. I tried to stay as positive as possible and its not my intention to bash this game into the ground for the fun of it, but this is all i can say about it, if your a big duke fan your better off playing duke nukem 3d and if you like fast paced multiplayer your better off playing unreal tournament, because this game simply doesnt deliver.


This post has been edited by m4licious: 11 June 2011 - 02:14 AM


User is offline   Ronin 


I have played as much as Yatta played at Titty City, the game is very fun and quite unique, there is nothing out there quite like it, I wish I had'nt been following it so closely as all I played I kind of knew but it was fun nonetheless.

DNF so far to me seems like Frankenstiens monster, its stiched together sometimes very roughly sometimes very well, but under all the warts I can see what they were trying to do, there is nothing out there like it and its extemely fun. The voice acting is downright horrible and annoying, I would like to punch in the jaw the person who thought the twins were a good idea, to me they are that annoying as are some of the other npcs you interact with, not General Graves though, he is ok.

Combat is very satisfying you will feel like a true baddass as you say fuck cover and run into a bunch of aliens and start taking them apart, bravery works quite well and you can go psyco on the bastards and the enemys are shitcool, just like 3D. I havent seen any wall switches that lead to secret areas (yet) and weapons and that is dissapointing as I personally like that little gimmick.

Dont worry fans if what Im writing sounds negative, because thats where I will stop and a lot of the small things can be fixed by modders ( Imma get the pc version in a few weeks).

The graphics are kind of like DOOM 3 which is more than acceptable to me and the pc version looks way better make no mistake, but still the 360 version looks ok. Just compare the graphics to Duke 3Ds and you will be blown away, that what I do!

When you first meet "Suck it down guy" (cant remember his name, fatty maybe?) you will get goosebumps its awesome.

Interactivity is amazing, for someone like me who has to turn off and on a light switch just to see if I can you will be pleased, like I said earlier when you realise what 3D Realms were trying to achieve you will be happy as they do for the most part, just imagine this in 2005 or 2006 it would have had more punch, but fuck it when tech get dated and even Crysis2 looks weak (that day will happen, probably soon) DNF will still stand out as its just plain nuts and fun as fuck to play.

For those who wanted a game exactly like Duke 3D (me included), that was never going to happen. Think about it, Duke 1 and 2 and 3D were just like the games of their time except a bit differant because
of the Duke humour and adult shit, the side scrollers were like the side scrollers of their day and 3D was like DOOM but a bit more advanced and funny, DNF is no differant, its similar to modern games but its also quite differant because of the Duke so in many ways its continuing the tradition of its predecessors, it was never going to be the same so those who really want the true Duke 3D experience, just go play THAT game it is what it is, and DNF is what it is and so far for me a damn great game.

I will continue this review when IM DONE finishing the game, now where did I leave my shotgun?

This post has been edited by Ripemanewone: 11 June 2011 - 04:51 AM


User is offline   Mikko 

  • Honored Donor


I've completed the game. Took me around 8,5 hours.

Overall, it's a disappointment but it's not a bad game by any means. There are many ups and downs throughout the campaign. For example, the car part in the desert was fun but then it was followed by that generic and never-ending dam chapter. Combat is not oldskool, not with health regen, two-weapon limit and lack of manual saving. I liked the bosses though, except for the fact you couldn't save manually but it's not like I had difficulties with the bosses anyway (the Queen got me once, or actually one of her minions did, the big Octathing got me many times and the rest were pussies). I liked all the tits and asses; nice to see Duke is still totally politically incorrect. The game looked dated, sometimes downright ugly, especially with the horrible fov and dof. The bright side is that the game was smooth and loading times were only a few seconds but since I don't have a slow computer anyway this doesn't really benefit me.

User is offline   zwieback 


I've completed the game now too. Took me around 15 hours.

Basically i think everything has been said before - i think the game is awesome and i had a great time and loved every piece of it. It made me so happy to finally play this game, so that i can move on :) - but it was so much more than just that.
Some people say it's a generic shooter - but i think it's not, because the variety of the levels is great. I haven't seen a lot of shooters with such a diversity of levels in terms of location and style.
The people that say this game is an old fart - please point me to a game that features the same variety, because Crysis, Halo & CoD don't. I mean of course one can complain about the graphics, but i must say, that the game looks better and better throughout the game. It's like, someone mentioned that before, the level designer got better through the development :)
so here my rating:

- sound 9/10
- atmosphere 8/10 (not very good in vegas, picks up around duke burger)
- gameplay (9/10) (played it on let's rock, on pc, mouse keyboard, std. FOV, with post processing turned off) gameplay would have been a solid 10 if the ripper wouldn't be so trimmed down and the 2 weapons limit (yes i say it for the first time) would not be there. i was ok with the ego system for the singleplayer
Other notes:

- multiplayer is basically broken for internet play (dedicated servers are pure shit, no server console, serverbrowser features only basic functionality)
- you can't turn off VOIP (wtf right?)

- multiplayer for lan is awesome - played hollywood holocaust for quite some time now and it's awesome

This post has been edited by zwieback: 11 June 2011 - 07:16 AM


User is offline   Alithinos 



The evil aliens decided after 15 years to take revenge against Duke,so they invade Earth and their first target is Duke his own self. At the same time they want to steal Earth's women to use them as breeding machines to give birth to new alien beings.
It's the classic story where an evil person from another race other than the Hero and the Princess,kidnaps the Princess (two princesses in DNF which are twins) and Super Mario.... Eh I mean Link... Ehhhh I mean Duke Nukem has to fight the evil Cycloid Emperor and save the day!
The game's story doesn't satisfy.
The story could have been less forced and the developers could take the 'arcade' way and add the statistics screen after the completion of each level,but instead they went for a 'serious' presentation of it.
The game's story is presented in very a lacking and bad way for those who would like to take it seriously,but it's too much of it and too forced for those that would like to ignore it.
The story is too stretched and there are many holes and unexplained things happening that you will find yourself wonder why you are going where you are going and you are doing what you are doing instead of going directly to the alien's base and devastating it.
It feels like after they had an amount of various levels that didn't stick together,they just had quick unoriginal thoughts of explaining what,how and why,that reminds of Hollywood movies.
Story is bad and cliched and it would be better if there wasn't any at all,instead of presenting it to us they way they did.

Graphics and Sound
It's obvious that the graphics aren't modern at all,but they could be far better since we know that this build of the game started being developed in 2007,and many games from that year had much better graphics.
Playing the game I realized that not all textures have the same amount of detail and clarity.
There are textures that are good for a 2007 game,textures that looks like they could have been on a wii or ps2 game,and textures that their pixels are so obvious and big like they came out from a ps1 game.
Model geometry is also bad. Models have lots of hard edges on surfaces supposed to be smooth or curvy,and the truck of the 18 wheeler is an ideal example as it's so edgy it seems exactly like a DN3D model.
There is an effect named "Duke Vision" which is a kind of night vision,but it's going to be hazardous with your health. The way the colors change,the lines moving downward on the screen,and the amount of BRIGHT LIGHT that your screen emits when you turn that thing on will cause you headaches. As you will regularly switch between Duke Vision and simple vision,the amount of light that gets in to your eyes might cause you blurry vision and a feel of nausea.
Physics range from bad to non existent.
You will find break-able boxes one on top of another.If you break the box beneath,the box over it will not fall down,but will stay in its mid-air place flying,like there is no gravity.
Lip Sync is bad,and reminds me of dubbed japanese cartoons.
There are some nice music themes in this game,but the game repeats them over and over at many levels they get quickly boring.The same can be said for the sound effects.The sound effects sound great,but they are few in number and they repeat again and again,thus they might get annoying after a while.

Gameplay is far away from 'classic' as we know it from Duke Nukem 3d,but it isn't like a modern game's either.
Duke's health (ego) auto regenerates,but that doesn't make the game easier at all.
The game uses a "trial and error" unforgiving system,and you are going to loose lots of lives because you didn't guessed correctly what will happen next.
The game demands from you to do what you must do very accurately,and what exactly you have to do is something you will discover yourself after dying numerous times and trying anything your mind can imagine.
Some aliens can kill you with a single hit,or two in most cases,and when the game throws 4 to 5 of them on you suddenly and they come from places you've already been before and you didn't so anybody,or it might just
spawn them right next to you,having you flanked and surrounded,and then dying.
The game will be throwing hordes of monsters again and again,and there will be times the next wave of aliens will come before your ego replenishes from the last fight.
There will be times you will die by a single hit,from an enemy not even visible on the screen.
There is a 1 weapon limit,and it's bad not only because it doesn't fit Duke's character,but also because it doesn't fit the rest of the gameplay.
There will be times like this:
* You have two weapons with ya,the ones ideal for the situation on the level you are in to.
*Suddenly and unexpectedly your screen goes black and you go to next level.
*You find a room full of enemies that you weren't prepared to fight,because you doesn't have the ideal weapons for them.
*You search around to find an ideal weapon,and there are no weapons at all before that room.
*You exit the game,and re-load the level you completed some moments ago so you will exit it with the right guns this time.
Playing DNF's campaign is going to get you frustrated and furious,and if you ever broke gamepads or keyboards while playing a game,I assure you that DNF isn't for you.
The game's interactivity doesn't excite.
There is less interactivity in DNF than in DN3D that came 14 years ago,and somebody would expect that a game 14 years later would have at least the same amount of interactivity if not more.
But it's not like that.
In DN3D you would shoot the toilets,and water would come out from the pipes,but not on DNF.
In DN3D you would shoot the pipes and natural gas would come out,but not on DNF.
In DN3D you would shoot a cash machine and money would pop out,but not in DNF.
The list could go on,but I guess you got my point.
Level design is linear on all levels,and there is only one route to go.
You won't get lost as you did on DN3D's complex levels.
In DNF there aren't secret rooms or entire secret levels either,and that limits replay value and vanishes the exploration feeling and factor that was dominant on DN3D.
If you try to explore around,the game will punish you with invisible walls.
There are many invisible walls and the developers could just remove them and let us go on some places,or
place physical hurdles,to make it at least reasonable.
There are too many QTE's and you will have to mash the buttons on your keyboard or controller as fast as you can,but they appear with such a frequency they get annoying IMHO.
There isn't variety on the game's puzzles.
You will have to redo the same the same type of puzzles again and again at different levels,and the most common is the
barrel type.This puzzle requires you to look around to find all the barrels and then place them to the right spot.
That's it. Repeat on next level.And on the one after.And again later.
Duke Nukem Forever is a game that won't keep you interested enough to finish it because of its story or its gameplay,but because of stubborness.
You have to be very patient and stubborn to keep playing it to the finish and tolerate its bad story,bad graphics,and its punitive gameplay.
Most likely it's a game won't play again after you finish it once,if you ever finish it.
But I have to admit that its multiplayer isn't that bad. Multiplayer can be fun to play,and I really enjoyed Capture the Babe mode because it requires team play.
It's hard to find somebody else to play online,but if you manage to do so,you will have fun time!

Last Words
Duke Nukem Forever was one of my most anticipated games for years.
There have been many promises,even more speculation and even more wait,that lead to very high expectations and too much hype.
When the game finally released,it wasn't "The best game of all time" as lead designer George Brussard once promised,but instead it didn't even catch up with its predecessor,and DNF fell much lower.
Lots of wrong design decisions,abstract and uncompleted ideas,and bad execution make this game not good enough to stand along the rest of the series. It made me believe that it would be better if it would never come out,so we could all stay with memories of a game that would be the best game of all time,even if we could never play it.I don't know if a future game on the series will make up for it,and I don't know Gearbox's plans for Duke's future,but I don't care.I have Duke Nukem 3D and they can't take it from me.I could keep writing about this game,but I have to finish a level on e-map32 for Duke Nukem 3d that I still play after 14 years.

Yep,this pixelated texture is not from DN3D,but from DNF at PC and ULTRA texture setting.

The flying boxes I was telling you.. No gravity for them.

This post has been edited by Alithinos: 11 June 2011 - 08:01 AM


User is offline   Sebastian 


Great post, Alithinos. I agree with most if not all your points, though many of the bugs you reported haven't happened to me (yet).

User is offline   trackit 


yap, i agree... I thought that 3DR was "king of polish", but this game just isnt finished nor polished. The worst part is that i can see the potential and i just dont understand why the hell is this game so unpolished. A lot of small thnigs could have been fixed to make this game good. I mean.... how hard would it have been to use high res textures all over the board, make combat more gory with blood splatter, decales, more gibs etc, make the sprinting better (i dont like the way they use zoom there and imo there is no weapon animation when duke starts and stops running, weapon just jumps from "walking position" to "running position" and back so it feels glitchy). I could go on.... But my point is that a lot of those things seem to be not so hard to fix, i cant see big technical issues with them at all, it just feels like the game is not polisehd and i dont understand why that is??

This post has been edited by trackit: 11 June 2011 - 09:50 AM


User is offline   Mikko 

  • Honored Donor


While I don't really disagree with you on anything (except that I found the puzzles better and easier than your post suggests), I don't get the blood & gore thing. Quite frankly I didn't even notice what kind of blood this game has.

User is offline   Kathy 


I quite liked the game. A wasn't disappointed.


1. I can't understand 2 weapon system. With so many weapons scattered around what was the point of it? And there are multiple weapon games on consoles.
2. RPG ammo capacity. On Come Get Some difficulty I had to replenish its ammo 20 times on some boss battles. What the fuck? Many boss battles were developed around that "back and forth" mechanic. I don't know whether or not that was great considering that I also had to regen my health frequently.
3. No footprints.
4. George's comment about interactivity being ~"If you can't use it you can break it". Yeah, right.

Also, I wonder if the game in 1999 would have been worse. The whole point of doing it so many years was a sheer perfectionism yet we can't see that in the game. Not that I'm bothered about the final quality, but we could have had several games like that by 2011.

User is offline   randir14 



In DNF there aren't secret rooms or entire secret levels either,and that limits replay value and vanishes the exploration feeling and factor that was dominant on DN3D.

Yeah I noticed the same thing when playing. And I specifically remember previews and quotes from Gearbox employees saying there were a ton of secret areas and even a secret level.

This post has been edited by randir14: 11 June 2011 - 10:51 AM


User is offline   Alithinos 


View Postrandir14, on 11 June 2011 - 10:51 AM, said:

Yeah I noticed the same thing when playing. And I specifically remember previews and quotes from Gearbox employees saying there were a ton of secret areas and even a secret level.

Which is just another lie Randy told us,along with the line "It's huge,it's like 5 to 6 Call of Duties"

User is offline   trackit 


I would even say that i would have been more satiisfied if DNF combat scenes would have been more like painkillers :) i mean gibs flying (and not dissapearing), blood everythere, etc... after you released the trigger of your smoking gun, the mess from the combat was very satisfying. And painkiller was released 7 years ago as a kinda "B grade" game.

This post has been edited by trackit: 11 June 2011 - 11:30 AM


User is offline   Mikko 

  • Honored Donor


My full review here: http://msdn.duke4.net/revdnf.shtml

(About the scale: one nuke = ok, two nukes = good, three nukes = excellent.)

This post has been edited by Mikko_Sandt: 11 June 2011 - 12:16 PM


User is offline   m4licious 


did anyone notice that the cycloid emperor at the end of the game is as easy as the first one? you can just stand there and move slightly aside to avoid his rockets hahaha, thats so sad it had me laughing out loud for a while, it just feels very unfinished. the toughest boss in the game is probably the battlelord or the octaking since their attacks actualy HIT you, other bosses dont even seem to try :)

hopefully this stuff will be patched soon so i can have another go at the single player, meanwhile im playing some dn3d mods to get this bad taste out of my mouth, DONT LET ME DOWN GEARBOX, fix this stuff

User is offline   Kathy 


View Postm4licious, on 11 June 2011 - 03:59 PM, said:

did anyone notice that the cycloid emperor at the end of the game is as easy as the first one?

Yep. The last battle weren't much variable either. 3 rounds were the same. And yet I enjoyed it.


the toughest boss in the game is probably the battlelord or the octaking since their attacks actualy HIT you, other bosses dont even seem to try :P

Battlelord was the hardest for me. Octaking by the dam was also difficult because first you needed to kill all those octabrains without checkpoint. Actually, I had more trouble with octabrains than Octaking itself.

User is offline   A BOMB 


By the time you reach the Dam and have gotten used to the terrible health and weapon systems the game is pretty fun because every level from that point forward is shooting enemies, interacting with the environment and hearing one-liners with no gimmicks at all.

The 5 hours before that point are a mess of terrible on-rails/driving/platforming/shrunk enemy puzzles alongside the two Hive levels which are 20 minutes of walking and shooting 5-6 enemies total. I like Duke 3D because of the interactivity, one-liners and frantic action. In Duke Nukem Forever you tend to go for long stretches of time without shooting someone, and for the first five hours of the game battles boil down to brief 30 second affairs where you kill a handful of enemies and walk down an empty corridor for a few seconds to get to the next useless gimmick.

It's not terrible, but it's not great either. The only thing that can make this game above average at this point is the modding community as the core shooting is good and could benefit from user made levels, but unfortunately I doubt there'll be an SDK release any time soon.

Edit: To add to the discussion above, according to the leaked design documents from over a year ago, the OctaKing was going to be the original final boss and the final level was going to be a spaceship. The level was never started, so the OctaKing was just thrown into a random level with no explanation and the Cycloid Emperor was recycled for that final arena level which shouldn't have taken more than a day to make.
There's also the entire Bombshell sub-plot and levels which were scrapped.

This post has been edited by A BOMB: 12 June 2011 - 01:51 AM


User is offline   Sebastian 


I think the game is at its best when they're giving you indoor, somewhat linear environments. I enjoyed the parts where you first get the freeze ray at the inside parts of the dam. The worst parts are without a doubt the whole escape from Duke's casino which dragged on for way too long and the incredibly unnecessary levels at Duke Burger, which served absolutely no story purposes within the game whatsoever. Couldn't they just have skipped this part and given us a hi-tech mothership environment or something that had relevance to the story instead?

Favourite weapons: Freeze ray (even though the range sucks), pipebomb, golden pistol and ripper. These are the ones I kept coming back to.

I love the unreleased gameplay videos in the Extras section though. Las Vegas used to have so much vivid colors and cool environments in the older builds. Shame we'll never get to play those parts, even though they had alot of bugs they still looked more fun than DNF.

2/5 is the score I would've given it too.

edit: Easy as it was, I really enjoyed the last boss. It was nowhere as visually impressive as the opening battle with the Emperor but I loved the variety with the additional enemies.

User is offline   zwieback 


i find it funny and interesting how people agree on the average quality of the game but disagree on the stuff they didn't like.. some hate duke burger, some love it and others do the same with the dam levels .. others love the driving parts while others again can't stand them..
please don't rate me down for this, because i'm just summing up what is already written in this forum :P

This post has been edited by zwieback: 12 June 2011 - 03:43 AM


User is offline   Mikko 

  • Honored Donor


View PostSebastian, on 12 June 2011 - 02:57 AM, said:

the incredibly unnecessary levels at Duke Burger, which served absolutely no story purposes within the game whatsoever

Yeah, I felt that way too about Duke Burger, but I liked the ascension bit (except for the stupid turret part). Maybe they should have made it so that when you get on the Liztrooper's jetpack we see the top of Duke Burger fall off (the EDF could simply bomb it; no reason why they shouldn't, it was infested and all) and the jetpack takes you away.


edit: Easy as it was, I really enjoyed the last boss. It was nowhere as visually impressive as the opening battle with the Emperor but I loved the variety with the additional enemies.

Yeah, same here. You already had fought two tougher battles right prior to the Emperor (the Leech thing was pretty easy though) and escaped a flood so it's not like I was looking for more challenge at that point. It was kinda like what we in Finland would call a loppukevennys (final lightening or something like that).

User is offline   Helixhorned 

  • EDuke32 Senior Developer


Beat the game in about 11 hours Steam time. All in all I agree with Mikko except for details. The second half, somewhere from the Hive on, seemed consistently better to me on average: level design, while still being linear in practice, at least gave an illusion of freedom at times. Non-boss combat afoot was good fun for the most part, partly owing to the kickass weaponry. At the risk of sounding heretical, I didn't really mind the weapon limit because it worked hand in hand with the chapter-based, scripted gameplay.

So my verdict is that while there are some truly epic scenes in the game and it's Duke and all, when viewed together with the lacking small-scale interactivity and the widely varying overall quality (kinda forgivable given DNF's tumultuous development history), in the end it's "just" a good Duke game.


DI-MeisterM's Duke Nukem Forever Review


Yeah but after 15 fucking years it should be...

It was sometime in 1996, I was a teenager. I remember on that day the weather sucked bad and I was bored. Suddenly the phone rings. At the other end a good friend told me about a new shareware he got which is called "Duke 3D". He asks if he can come to my home to install the couple of disks. He knew that I like Doom-style games and placed a bet that I'm gonna love that one aswell.

After installing and launching the game we played b2b the game the whole afternoon. I was hooked up with that piece of software! That was the beginning of my love towards the Duke franchise. After completing the shareware I purchased my copy of the retail and finished that too. Made maps, purchased map cds, addons, sounds, simply mods. Build many maps, played local Dukematch. It were these kind of days you go sleeping and have problems to get tired, because you think all the time about that damn game. At school, in the morning, simply everytime. I was infected by it!

I'm now a couple of years older, having a great job and not as much time playing games as I got when I was young. It's June 10 2011, the release date of Duke Nukem Forever. On that Friday I got a call at work that my BOSE package has arrived, but I still had to work a couple of hours. As you can expect: the PAIN! Finally when I got at home I opened my BOSE edition for Xbox 360 and inspected it's contents. Plenty of stuff inside the package: poker ships, a carddeck, dices, a paper figure, an artbook, an comicbook, a small duke statue, postcards and a sticker. Finally I put the DVD into the drive and installed it. Again waiting. But after all these years, this was nothing.

After installing I configured the controls, toggled off the hints and started with the second of the three available skill levels: Come Get Some. I've chosen this skill level because of my experience with the balancing of the demo. Got I was so right to choose this one...more later.

Because the very first impact you got about the game are the graphics, that's why I want to talk about the visual effects first. Based on the history of this game they aren't up-to-date. Like with all console versions, you have no control which effects to turn off and on. Because of that I had to live with things like DOF or grain effects. Gotcha! It really didn't matter 3 meters away of a big LCD TV screen. On the other side you can recognize, that the interpolation of the animations by the models, for example the lizard troopers, was really bad, so that the enemy model animations look generally really choppy. I really enjoyed dark environment and shadow effects in the later maps of the game, the water appearence was good for me aswell. The lightning remembered me a few times on Prey, or other Doom 3 engine based games. The outdoor Mighty Foot monstertruck maps had great layouts. I enjoyed the art directions with the desert / canyon style maps and the big highway section.

The second sense which is normally triggered when you play a game is the hearing, so let's talk a bit about the sound and musics effects. I have to admit: I love the new Ripper sound! You can really feel the impact of that weapon, even though the damage it causes is pretty low. Same goes for the shotgun, except the damge is really high in close combats. The pipebombs use as release-sound the typical Duke melody, great idea! The other weapon sounds are OK, nothing good or bad to say about them. But what would be Duke without his one liners? These are of course back and have a big impact on the atmosphere of the game. It's great to hear Jon St. John after all these years again in stereo and not mono. Environment sounds are pretty good, the casino part uses many fire effects and broken wall sounds, later the game features everything from a dropship to turd splash effects. Generally I enjoyed the sound effects and didn't really miss something. I played the english version of DNF and liked the choice of the voice actors. There aren't many speaking characters, but those are speaking, sound good.

Let's talk about the pace of the game: the gameplay. I make it short: for me it's utterly perfect. At the beginning you feel how the game builds it's tension. You explore some parts of Duke's apartment, the TV studio and can interact with many objects. This helps to gain your EGO meter. At the beginning you beat the shit out of Lizard Troopers with your fists only and got the first weapon and solving little riddles. After fast pace phases like the mothership battle there are phases the game slows down again. But then again you have parts with nonstop action, like the RC-car action in the Casino. At one part of the game you have a dream about the strip club, that idea the developers used to make it possible for the player to take a breath from the nonstop action. This was a very interesting design choice aswell. Later the monstertruck parts are used to build a contrast to the "Duke on foot" actions parts and the great shrink passages. The last hoover dam passages had everything: water passages, water rising & tension building and the last boss fight. Pure adrenaline.

At that point you may ask: why didn't he talk yet about the 2-weapon-limit or the EGO-meter design choices? That's why I already accepted these two aspects for singleplayer, because I think, they worked really good. Let me elaborate...I know it's not the Duke 3D style and that it is very similar to modern FPS like Halo or CoD, BUT that was important for the balancing of the singleplayer. Believe me, when I first heard about these features by Randy and that it wouldn't work without these, I thought: the guy has no idea what he talks about. Even when I think that is like that in the majority of cases, here I agree with him, because thats how the developers adjusted the skill levels. The A.I. of the enemies is very limited so 3D Realms used these simple, but effective techics to improve the experience: limiting the available weapons and ammo in one area and increasing / decreasing the damage the enemies cause. This "idea" works in major parts of the game, but not in all.

Of course my experience with DNF is not all shiny and I don't wear all the time pink glasses my review might interfere.
As I wrote in the beginning I played the Xbox 360 version of the game. That means each time you die you have to wait 30-60 secs, because the map re-loads. At the point of the second Battlelord or Octaking appearence, this can be really, really shitty, because you have to re-try various of tactics. Even with this annoying experience imho the game was all the time fair to player. Yes, here and there the enemies "spawn" and appear in front of you. And one point, later in the Dam it was clever solved by letting the pigs trashing the garage doors all the time. I read somewhere about the re-use of riddles, like stacking barrels on cranes or similar, this was one point I have to criticise aswell. Generally the riddles were on par with these in Half-Life 2, if not way better.

Riddles, how are they? There's everything from simply collecting a special energy cells up to pipe-control riddles or unique shrink / RC-car ideas. I overall enjoyed these, they weren't too hard to figure out and made a lot of fun. Riddles make only sense if you integrate them on a clever way into the maps, and in most cases it's like that in DNF. They don't feel miss-placed or simply added to extend the game time.

If you spend about 3 days of gaming sessions into the game you might think the reviewer enjoyed the map design. Yes, the I really enjoyed the majority of maps. There's everything from simple, corridor like areas but also more open areas, like Duke Burger or the construction area. You can see how old the game is here and there, and you can also guess how many times these maps have been adjusted to death. Especially in maps like Duke Burger you see that plenty of time is needed to build so much love to detail. Something I haven't seen for years.

For those who expect numbers at the end of review, these I have to disappoint. But if you really want some numbers, here they are:
- 3 days of gaming sessions
- 12-14 hours of singleplayer (took my time, looked in almost every corner)
- 30-60 secs of waiting for each single map to load
- 4 to 8 re-tries at the second Battelord and Octaking Boss fights
- 10-20 times of swearing about the skill level
- 2 times throwing away the Xbox 360 Controller (without hurting anyone!)
- 3-4 times swearing about the bad performance and choppy gameplay (majority of parts at the Dam)
- 30 times laughing about Duke's one liners
- 8 frags and winning in Dukematch (played one match)
- 0 times "Couchie, couchie"
- X amount of fun

I also own the PC version of the game, which I didn't play yet. I only tried to get some access to the developer console, messing around with the dedicated server and other PC try-to-mod stuff, which I thought was more important to figure out. You may ask: why on earth did he not play the PC version instead of the console version? At the beginning I wrote about the job I have and enjoy. In this job I sit the whole day in front on various of PCs. When I come back home I simply want to relax on my couch and play with the controller. I never thought I would say something like that one day...

...Over and Out.

This post has been edited by DI-MeisterM: 12 June 2011 - 10:32 AM


User is offline   DavoX 

  • Honored Donor


I also didn't get a couchie couchie. One of my friends played some of it and got one, but when I replayed I couldn't get duke to say it.

User is offline   trackit 


My thougts overall...

I would say that imho developers concentrated too much on wrong aspects of the game. D3D was known for its novel interactivity and they tried to put interactivity into DNF, but... while in 1996 it was a "wow" factor that you could play pool within a FPS game, in 2011 it really isnt. To be honest i could care less that i can play air hocky within the game , it isnt a wow factor anymore, its more "ah ok" factor today. Same goes with other "interactive" parts like whiteboard, rat into microwave, vending machines etc... I mean, yeah, its a nice touch, but that wount sell the game alone. Same with that "adult" content. yeah, its Dukes imago and all that and im certainly not against it, but people can play arcade games and watch free porn on the internet for all they want, thats not why they play an FPS game. What they should have first and foremost put all their energy and creativety into was imho combat mechanics.

I didnt expect DNF to have cutting edge visuals, nor did i expect it to have incredible storyline. All i did hope DNF WILL have is incredibly fun combat. By that i mean a lot of gore, blood, dismemberment, gips all over the place, powerful guns (beefy sound and high damage), cool weapon animations, smoking barrels, a lot of distructable props (i like this kind of "interactivity" a lot more that some minigame), smoke and dust etc... I mean, Duke is supposed to be macho, "bodyarmour is for pussies", he doesnt hide, he kicks ass big time... at least thats what i was hoping. But in the end it seems that they concentrated on the aspects of D3D like minigame "interacivity", nudity etc and forgot about what really matters.

EDIT: I think the best they can do at this point is release modding tools and let community get it right...

This post has been edited by trackit: 13 June 2011 - 04:42 AM


User is offline   Kathy 


The thing is D3D itself didn't have this "minigame" interactivity. It only had a pool to play with, but other interactive stuff like toilets, switches, destructibles etc. were the majority of Duke3d's interactivity. And at least DNF had some interactivity plus mini-games. Otherwise if you take away all the interactivity that you've mentioned then we're left with basically doom 3 level of interactivity which would have been a complete failure after D3D.

And I don't care whether or not it's the "wow" factor. Everything doesn't need to be "WOW". Some thing could be "ok", but at least they will be there. And "wow" factor tend to be gimmick if it's the only thing game has. I would rather have several normal things than one fantastic.

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