Saturday, August 20, 2011

I've Got Balls of Fail!

Duke Nukem Forever.  Few games have been in development for so long and have been the butt of so many jokes (except for maybe Too Human).  Well, I finally got my hands on a copy and thought that I would give it a whirl.  So...what is it?  The second coming of first person shooters? A throw-back to a day long gone by? A sexist, macho power trip?  A complete and utter mess?  Well, in my opinion, it is none of the above...lets see what we have, shall we?
Wait...where is that hand coming from?
Duke Nukem: 3D was one of those games from my younger days that I played and replayed till the twists and turns of the levels were ingrained into my brain.  I loved it's level of interaction and just overall attitude.  Where so many games were trying so hard to make you feel like the nameless main character and immerse you in a world that was all about you, it was nice to get into a role where you could be a foul-mouthed, asshole and do all the things you can't do in real life for a change.  I got to swear all the time, go to strip clubs, blow up aliens, and generally be a total badass.  It was fun and it was one of my first forays into not just playing through a world, but exploring it.  But after that game, I didn't play any other Duke games and over time I really missed what all that game represented.  The twelve years of development were a waiting game played with my impatient self.  It felt like a dream when Duke finally returned this summer.  Did that dream become a nightmare over the years?  Yes and no...
I am thinking that he is all out of gum...
Duke Nukem forever is not a bad game, though if you check out Metacritic, you might think so.  In many ways, it is a throw-back to the nineties, which is both good and bad.  There is a level of interactivity with the environment that is nice, but we have come so far since the game was started that it was weird blowing up some barrels but not all barrels.  There were things like white boards that I could write on or cigars I could smoke, but I couldn't pick up a CD or an action figure.  It was just an odd mix of stuff you could do.  There were a lot of neat interactive things to do, but few of them were fun for long.  The gameplay was also a little odd.  Feeling like a badass, running and gunning in one section and then having to suffer through horrible platforming parts or the dreaded underwater level.  Overall, the story was typical Duke, but sometimes things seemed a little forced just to get a new game feature in like the driving sections or the part where you drive an R/C car in a very small room (which reminded me far to much of Ape Escape).  There is a new level of sexiness in the game as compared to Duke Nukem: 3D, but I think that if they could have done in 1996 what they can today with pixals, they would have done it.  The game itself isn't bad, it was just so uneven and unpolished in parts that you wanted to like it a lot more than it was. 
Girl on girl action...CHECK!
I did like it, though it was far from what I was hoping for.  The humor was there.  The sexiness was there.  The general badassery was there.  Gearbox did an admirable job putting together what they did and I have high hopes that the makers of Borderlands can give us something a lot more fun and refreshing in the future.  I personally am wanting Duke to be his own character class in Borderlands 2 ( awesome would that be?!?!?).  The one thing that ultimately made me not want to play through the game more than once were the loading times.  They were horrible.  Sometimes the way the levels were done, you were in loading screens that were as long as the actual levels themselves.  That will get fixed I am sure.  Anyway, if you have some extra trade, pick up a used copy or wait till it hits $20 in the midst of the Christmas rush of new games.  There is a lot of fun to be had here, just don't set your expectations too high on innovation.

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