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May 13, 2012

Review: Duke Nukem Forever

by Stephen Ashby

More than a decade the making – can it live up to the hype?

Review: Duke Nukem ForeverReview: Duke Nukem ForeverWhen a game has been talked about for this long, and has a huge amount of nostalgia surrounding it from those who have played previous games in a series, it was always going to be tough for it to live up to the hype. Sadly, Duke Nukem Forever, which has been delayed repeatedly, can’t compete with other shooters released in the last few years as the genre has simply advanced too far and too fast for this title to keep up.

Review: Duke Nukem ForeverReview: Duke Nukem ForeverFirst up is our issue with the graphics; we played on a new MacBook Pro and it was only after we pushed up all the settings to full that we actually started admiring the game. If your computer can’t handle higher settings, you’ll have to resign yourself to blurry textures, ensuring you’ll miss a lot of the character of the game, and undoubtedly one of the best-looking shooters on the Mac platform.

Next is game design; it seems that no passion has gone into creating levels, opting instead for a series of corridor shoot-outs and uninspiring set-pieces that never really surprise you. More than that, the controls for some sections (such as the driving portions of the game) are actually painful with a mouse and keyboard. The cars you drive are awkward to steer and with levels that usually offer only a narrow passage through which to proceed, it can become frustrating quickly. The variety of gameplay is nice, but the controls needed to be reconsidered before release.Review: Duke Nukem Forever

The gunplay was a little better, with a good range of guns, including some that Duke aficionados will recognise such as the Shrink Ray, but the best weapons are simply redesigned from older games. It would have been nice to see some truly inventive new guns on offer.

The one thing that could save the game, for some, is Duke himself. Depending on how childish you are, or how much you still enjoy Duke’s humour, you will either love or hate the game’s protagonist. Of course, Duke is known for his ridiculReview: Duke Nukem Foreverous manner, adult themes and terrible one-liners – all three are present and correct here, and likely to raise a smile.

Sadly, that’s about all the game has to offer, and in this case it just cannot get by on nostalgia alone. Forever hasn’t lived up to its hype and will only appeal to those who are still clinging desperately to the simplicity of the Nineties.

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