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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Duke Nukem Is Back But Should He Have Stayed Away?

If one were to think of the pioneers of first person shooters, it could be classified as blasphemous if Duke Nukem was not a part of the selected few that helped thrust the genre into the popularity that it experiences today.

While the franchise has had enormous success in the early days of first person shooters, 3-D Realms latest installment [Duke Nukem Forever] has gone through a staggering twelve year development process. The release of Duke Nukem Forever has been a highly anticipated release that many thought would never become a reality.

While the hardcore fan-base of the series has gotten older, it appears the maturity level of Duke Nukem has not aged a single day. It has been criticized by a vast majority of gaming critics as being very juvenile.

Duke Nukem Forever is riddled with sexual references, vulgar language, and questionable content. While some of the unusual antics of entertaining the players are somewhat amusing, the game play and overall presentation seems as if 3D Realms was trying to duplicate the games formula for past success a bit too much.

Some of those antics include the ability to interact with feces which includes throwing it at animate and also inanimate objects. In the game Duke visits a strip club, dishes out distasteful language, and degrades women on a regular basis.

Originality of this game is non-existent. The plot is reminiscent of past Duke Nukem games that include an alien invasion in which Duke must save the world. Much like its predecessors, the aliens have come to planet Earth in lieu of stealing "chicks".

The guns system in the game takes a page out of Halo's two weapon system forcing the player to abandon certain weapons if ammunition is unavailable. There are still classic DN weapons such as the shotgun, chain gun, and rocket launcher; however none of these weapons give realistic recoil that you will find in most first person shooters. New weapons such as the shrink ray, sniper rifle, and alien laser give the shooter a variety of tools that were obviously added to keep the game from getting repetitive.

While the audio and voice acting of DN is solid, the same cannot be said for some of the other characters you interact within the game. The dialog of this game was meant to go along with Dukes unorthodox personality but at times comes off as bad scene from an amateur screenwriter. Some of the pop culture references are old and irrelevant. Yet more indication that this game was simply not meant for 2011.

If this game was released in the late 1990's, the graphics would be none other than spectacular. However visual graphics are unimpressive due to visually stunning games that were released earlier in the year such as Crysis 2 and Killzone 3 just to name a few.

The multiplayer experience of this game has traditional game modes which include Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag- In this case a "chick". Another mode named King of the Hill has been added as well. Online players can run amuck with their favorite wielding weapon and shoot each other much like the many first person shooters have come before it. One entertaining difference was the ability to shrink other online players and being able to crush them with one swoop of a soldiers boot. Becoming a puddle of goo after being smashed by another player is a method of dying that might seem degrading to a few hardcore gamers.

This game will sell units and there will be people who enjoy it. But for the most part the game falls short in far too many areas to be seen as a serious competitor to more successful First Person Shooting franchises. However it does have the ability to provide entertainment for those who simply want to play a game and who do not care for video game schematics.

Aside from not living up to a modern First Person Shooter, the hype alone for such a game that was in development for over twelve years played an enormous role in its disappointment.

It is a given fans of the previous Duke Nukem games will be intrigued by this new release but will most likely feel this game was not worth the wait nor did it come anywhere near to the hype that surround it.
I felt it was very disappointing to see such a highly anticipated release have such huge shortcomings.

3-D Realms created video game history with Duke Nukem in the latter half of the 20th century, but has in a sense missed the boat of reviving the greatness that is Duke Nukem in 2011