WeView Verdict: Duke Nukem Forever

To be honest I did suspect that selecting Duke for last week’s WeView would lead to a slightly foregone conclusion. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of good will towards the much delayed title, even with the huge wait for the game and the general rejoicing when the release date was finally announced there still doesn’t seem to be any real love for Duke’s newest outing. However, I was mildly surprised when I started to skim through your opinions and saw that  it wasn’t entirely reviled by the community.

That’s right, it seems there were some of you who actually managed to find a space in your heart for the King.  In fact Sad Panda actually gave the game a rating of Buy It, something I wasn’t sure I’d see this week. They had this praise to pile onto the game:

I found it a refreshing change of pace to the carbon copy FPS games we are subjected to en masse nowadays, actual puzzels, a challenge and more importantly old school multiplayer!!! No classes, No people who have more time available to play the game having all the cool stuff.

It wasn’t just Sad Panda who had something positive to say about the game, they were joined by Mickey2010 in finding something to enjoy about the title. Mickey2010 didn’t go quite so far as Sad Panda, but there was still certainly some positivity here:

…as poor and as cliched as the game is it still gives you everything you love about a Duke Nukem game over the top action, funny jokes, great mini games…

However, it wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops for DNF, there were some who had more than a few bad things to say about the title. Eldave0 captured my own mood about the title quite nicely:

Duke Nukem Forever is a classic example of franchises that should stay in the past. The visuals are lacking, the core shooting is about as generic as it comes and the dialogue is even less-funny than the american version of The Office.

Some things just don’t work any longer, and to me Duke is certainly one of those. Back in the 90s he fit with the mood in gaming and culture in general but now things have moved on, gaming has matured and is trying to break free of the image the Duke portrays.

Finally, our very own colossalblue threw his opinion into the mix this week. He managed to sum up the game’s humour quite nicely, saying this:

Instead of building a game worthy of following DN3D, they focussed on the humour of that game. Actually, no they didn’t. They focussed on the confused internet meme about the humour of that game. I think I’ve said elsewhere that DNF being a sequel to DN3D is similar to if Valve had made Portal 2 all about throwing cake at GLaDOS while she insults you.

That seems to be the major failing of Duke’s writing, that everyone’s forgotten what actually made the humour in DN3D work. To put it simply 3D Realms seemed to lose their way with the game, and although Gearbox did their best they just don’t have the history with the game to make it feel like its predecessors did.

Onto the verdict. This was surprisingly close in the end, although only six of you actually gave the game a rating. Sad Panda was on their own with the verdict of Buy It, and Bargain Bin also received one vote. However, ultimately it came down to a tie between Avoid It and Rent It, the first tie we’ve had. It is worth noting that Mickey2010 split the decision between Bargain Bin and Rent It, which I’ve counted only as a vote for Bargain Bin.

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22 Comments

  1. Interesting read, such a shame to see the King fall like this but I guess it was inevitable after such a long delay.

  2. This was one that I was extremely interested in until I heard everything that was so wrong with the game rather than things being ‘right’.

    Unfortunately, seems to be more ‘Fail’ to the king, rather than ‘Hail’.

    Shame, but may still very well bargain bin it down the line though. Depends on how much free time I have.

  3. “DNF being a sequel to DN3D is similar to if Valve had made Portal 2 all about throwing cake at GLaDOS while she insults you”

    Brilliant. Quote of the year!

    • That game would probably have sold just as much, and garnered the same amount of critical acclaim…

  4. I don’t think I’d even rent in – I’ve not played it, but my mind is already made up that this is an Avoid. I never played a previous DN game, so when the call-backs mean nothing to the player, I think there’s nothing left to merit it on.

    • To be fair, the loadtimes alone would make it impossible to finish in a rental ;)

      • I didn’t mind the load times that much, when you’re playing a game for three to four hours per session it’s important to take a break every now and then.. :P

      • LOL, I must admit they did come in handy for bathroom breaks ;)

      • @TSBonyman, the last time I played a game for three to four hours was probably about 3 years ago, when I was still a student!

      • @Kevatron400: When i’m enjoying a game an hour or two isn’t enough for me but’s all the time i have spare most evenings after work and everything so i keep those games for my weekends when i can really get into them. I played ME2 for periods of 6 to 8 hours. :)

  5. “Some things just don’t work any longer, and to me Duke is certainly one of those.”
    I’d like to think that these things still work if they are well executed but to say that they don’t work at all these days just proves that the likes of CoD ruin the shooter genre as a whole. People seem to think that there is no room for anything else anymore.

    • I think things that aren’t CoD can certainly work, Brink does.

    • “Some things just don’t work any longer, and to me Duke is certainly one of those.”

      Agreed in the context that Duke was always a caracature/pastiche of 80’s action heroes ie Stallone, Schwartzenegger, Norris, Willis, Cruise etc etc. These gags are no longer relevant.

      Same as 70-80’s movie Take offs, Naked gun, Hot shots, Top secret, Airplane, Spaceballs… I could go on… all great movies, make them nowadays and they would fail miserably.

      If you going to make a pastiche now it needs to be a piss take of something more up to date or its just going to fail. Obvious IMO.

      I think the devs have relied too heavily on the brand, forgotten that people talk alot on this thing called the internet and fallen flat on their faces with an ill conceived brand cash in.

  6. bring on Serious Sam 3!

  7. After playing the demo, i’d say the king is dead.
    bint- “iis the game any good duke?”
    duke- “after 12 fucking years, it should be.
    e8- “well, afraid it aint.”

  8. I would suggest people rent it, get past the first hour or so and then decide for yourselves.

  9. I may have nostalgia tinted specs on, but I thought the PC version was Very Good.

    • That was far and away the best version.

      • Agreed, I played the 360 version first then borrowed my mates copy of the PC version. Definately a noticeable difference in terms of visuals and overall performance.

      • It’s a PC game, so ya.. that would be the best version. Not sure why every1 has reviewed this on consoles as a 1st choice.

  10. Great read, it’s games like this that this feature needs as it’s when there will be real discussions and surprises instead of just glowing praise. Keep it up!

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