Seems like this year there are many things with universal hate. Kinect, Nintendo and Duke Nukem Forever to only name a few. I’m not necessarily a person who likes to follow trends. I always give a game a chance to impress me despite what others say. This personality trait has lead me to purchase games like ‘Alone in the Dark’ and ‘Alpha Protocol’ and with this trait I have gone out and bought Duke Nukem Forever.
I loved Duke Nukem 3D, despite being about 6 or 7 when played it back in the 90’s. I have very fond memories of running around the first level shooting Pig Cops and blowing up the screen to get at extra goodies. That plus being fascinated by the trolling zombie that was Duke Nukem Forever’s development pretty much locked in my purchase for the game. Due to lack of funds I couldn’t get it when it came out and announce to the world ‘I own a copy of Duke Nukem Forever’ as I was planning but because of this I got to witness the critical reaction to this game: Overall hatred.
But that wasn’t going to stop me, oh no. My hunger for Duke Nukem was not quenched by Manhattan Project or the port of Duke 3D to XBLA. I had to play the sequel to 3D.
14 years later Duke Nukem’s credits flow pass the screen, a completed game. Collecting my thoughts about it I realised how much fun I had with the game. It was very refreshing playing a shooter that wasn’t a Call of Duty knock-off or another cover based shooter. I enjoyed it more than I should have, but why?
One reason I believe is a game that Duke Nukem Forever constantly reminded me of and constantly made comparisons to: Half Life 2. If you think about it Forever and Half Life 2 shares a lot of concepts and ideas. First person platforming, unique weapons, heavy use of first person storytelling, physics puzzles and linear progression, even its flow breaking load times. Duke Nukem and Half Life are completely different kinds of shooters. Duke Nukem being the hardcore adult shooter and Half Life being a strategic atmospheric shooter but I found the way Duke compared to Half Life 2 completely unexpected and hey at one point in the development it used the Half Life 1 engine!
Another reason I believe I like Forever is variety in the genre. As someone who has played almost every Call of Duty from this generation (exception being World at War) as well as its clones it’s refreshing to play just a shooter. No iron sights, no gun customisation, no serious storyline, it’s just ‘Pig Cops, Shotgun, Go’. The world needs more Duke Nukem, Serious Sam and Painkiller games. The genre is getting over saturated and stale and it’s going to die from it. As much as I am looking forward to Modern Warfare 3 I’m looking for to the continuing story of Price and Soap as well as the crazy scenarios Infinity Ward will put us in, not playing it.
I do really like Duke Nukem Forever but I can clearly see its problems and why people hate it. Load times are unacceptable. Load times shouldn’t be this long for a game that doesn’t look great. Load times shouldn’t happen as frequently as it does in Duke Nukem Forever. Most of the time the area in which the loading starts is also the same area the game loads back into so there is no excuse on why this game didn’t stream its loading as you went through the level. I didn’t mind going through the long empty hallways in Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland so why not have it here?
Framerate can get choppy, the game looks decent for a game that came out in 2006, had a boss that didn’t go through its death animation so I got stuck and I had the game crash at one point. But despite all of this I still found the game enjoyable. I’m not going to write a review on this game because that would require me to play the multiplayer and I don’t want to look a dead rotting horse in the mouth but if I could make one statement about the game it is that it is not for everyone.