Thursday, 15 January 2015

My Usual Spiel: Duke Nukem Forever: Had fun, nuff said

Release Date: June 10th 2011
Genre: First person shooter
Publisher: 2K Games, Take-Two Interactive
Developer: 3D Realms, Triptych Games Gearbox Software
Platform: Microsoft Windows, Playstation 3, XBOX 360, OSX, OnLive
Players: 1 & Multiplayer
Classification: T (Teen)

Well well, Duke Nukem Forever the game that I heard people were waiting forever for then it came out. My earliest memory of the Duke Series was the very first Duke Nukem from 1991 which I played on my cousins computer, this was an early platformer very similar to the first three Commander Keen games where you walk around and jump and shoots robots and collect chocolate bars and cola and the like. I then played Duke Nukem 3D at times but never fully through, only playing it at friends houses.

The original Duke Nukem
I never owned Duke Nukem 3D game and played mainly for the T&A though it was a blast playing with friends. Thinking about it now gives me that odd nostalgic feeling that wants me to play it again but I’ll know I’ll just play it for a bit then be discouraged. In any case it was probably the most full-on game I played and we all played it just to do that one ‘Red Light District’ level with the strip club.

Though I can say I didn’t feel the same nostalgia and passion for the game that apparently everyone else did inc Scott Ramsoomair. I was too heavily involved with Doom II, Quake II and possibly Warcraft 2 (Lots of two’s!) to really pay much attention, plus I would have had a hard time getting my parents to buy me that game.
Now in 3D oh my was this shocking when i first played it.
I heard a lot of the apparent “development hell” of Duke Nukem Forever over the years, it seemed that the game was never going to be released. Not that I was waiting but of course I was interested in seeing the final result, I like reading stories regarding business mishaps and mistakes and following the drama and speculation that comes with it, and Duke Nukem Forever was no exception. When It finally did come out I thought to myself well I’ll have to at least try it and I must say it wasn’t bad, it was pretty damn fun. Sure it had the mixture of modern-day and classic shooter elements but I found it fine to play, most of the jokes were funny, the nostalgia and references to the old game (that I could recognise) were good and the parodies that it did were pretty entertaining too, oh and T&A lots of T&A (well rendered this time :D).

Epic Main Screen!
Right from the starting company logo’s you see Duke lighting up a cigar then the flaming Duke Nukem letters and a US flag in the background then the action packed intro of Duke destroying aliens and kicking ass then finally the menu screen with Duke standing next to a pigcop corpse and a flaming barrel smoking a cigar, you can really tell, the game has the attitude turned up to 11. It gets better when you start the game too as soon as the screen lights up you’re staring through the eyes of Duke taking a piss into a urinal, ahhh they’ve really nailed it haven’t they, with Duke 3D you had to at least wait until you got further into the level.

Duke doing what he does best.

What I enjoyed the most was the high level of interactivity you were given with unusual tasks such as drawing  an attack plan on a board, signing a book for a fan and punching an annoying idiot in the face. The whole process was linear as I suspected (wouldn’t want any other way really it’d get too complicated) and I had great fun walking though Duke penthouse palace and looking at all the grandeur and photos and screaming fans outside the door, makes you feel like a well, King!

Adoring fans
Of course when he actual alien invasion starts again (yes again) I like it how you have an actual communication from the president saying not to get involved but of course Duke doesn’t even consider obeying that, not that you have a choice anyway. Basically the first part of the story is a tour of Duke’s domain which is apparently a penthouse suite at the top of a casino (called the Ladykiller) and apparently a TV studio below which has a show on (Damn! it’s Late) and a secret technological base inside somewhere called the “Duke Cave” oh man these names lol.

Yes they are goddamn Sharks in the Casino Aquariaum
So Duke basically fights to defend his city from the Aliens once again through various areas including Duke’s Casino the Ladykiller, Duke Burger, The Duke Dome stadium, the desert and the Hoover Dam all located in Las Vegas. The game basically plays like a first person shooter but there’s loads of interactivity that differs from the normal experience for example at one point you have to operate a remote control car to push a battery through a small space and the aliens have these odd looking plants that shrink you and you have to run around as a mini-duke with a hilarious voice doing jumping puzzles and you even drive a remote control car. One of the most innovative things I did was move the robotics arms and rotate a stature of myself so I could use it to climb up to the next level, that and maybe driving a small cherry picker around and using it to run over enemies and get to higher places.

Man I used to love remote control cars
The locations are pretty damn cool, almost everything revolves around Duke in this world, well obviously, and the various signs, posters and names for things are of GTA quality humour I mean the strip club is called Duke Nukem’s “Titty City” :P but there’s some better examples. Duke pad, Museum and casino all look great and what you’d expect, I especially liked driving around in Duke’s Monster Truck “The Mighty Foot” and tearing arse across the Nevada desert on the way to the Hoover dam and running over aliens and pigs while you do it. There’s also heaps of things to see and read like Dukes’ photos up in his pad or the various strange and funny signs and billboards.

The Mighty Foot!

I’ll say it now that the tits, arse and semi-nekkid women are back and better than ever, from the very start you meet the “Holsom” twins and various female admirers but it really ramps up in the stadium parts which is what I was really wanting to see. The reason for this was in the first game there was the strip club of course at the start and there is one in this game too as part of an ‘interlude’ section but I’ll get into that later, then there was the story of the aliens capturing hot females and using them to birth alien spawnlings etc (whatever their called) and you encountered them throughout the game. This one is no exception except the graphics look a hell of a lot better, as you force your way into the dome via wrecking ball you go deeper into the hive and find various naked girls bound by tentacle vines standing upright or dangling from the roof struggling and whimpering and with some their bodies exploding into small insects so you’re better off shooting them or smashing them in the face with your gun to kill them.

The Alien Hive Level with the Holsom Twins and other captured women.

 Duke does take this in light saying “sorry babe it’s better this way” or “why do they take the hot ones” but man, I love that this kind of stuff is still in games as it was one of the main things I wanted to see in the new games and seeing it as a kid was pretty effed up. The strip club portion is pretty much what you’d expect, lots of wandering around with topless girls and then a lap dance at the end wa-chow! I’m worried we’re becoming a totally PC state where nothing controversial is allowed or quickly removed but if this stuff is still happening then I’ve got nothing to worry about hopefully.

Yehh Baby!
The gameplay in Duke Nukem is pretty straightforward for a first person shooter you can run, jump (not far, Duke is too heavy lol)  and melee attack which is often used with a gun in your hands, instead of health Duke now has an “Ego” meter which depletes as he takes damage and fills back up when he isn’t, you can increase the ego cap by doing things like looking in a mirror, weightlifting, shooting hoops in basketball and basically anything that would make Duke feel good. Which is an interesting way of doing things but worked ok I guess. At the start you are mainly punching and throwing things at the aliens but further on you get all kinds of weapons such as the pistol and shotgun to old favourites such as the Ripper, Shrink Ray and Devastator, you also get to mess around with Alien weapons such as the AT Laser and Enforcer, my favourite weapon was probably the rail gun as it did a lot of damage and was accurate so it could kill most enemies in one shot.

Using the "Duke Vision" and about to crack some aliens in the face
Speaking of weapons you could only carry 2 at a time and ammo was scarce so you have to swap weapons quite a lot to deal with the situation which was a bit of an annoying modern-day limitation, fack Duke should be able to carry all those guns anyway. I didn’t have much trouble running around smacking and shooting things, was pretty easy to manage some of the guns were pretty fun to use like the shrink ray.

"Now that I've shrunk him I think I'll just stomp on him and save some goddamn precious ammo"
The graphics are pretty much what you’d expect from a game of the era, pretty good, some areas like the Casino, Duke Burger and the Alien Hive looked amazing, not to mention the T&A heh Everything is basically on par as far as I can see, some rough models but otherwise good. The Music is great, I dunno why, it’s just so appropriate that it works with all the somewhat cheesy rock and metal. The sound is fine too, gunshots, splatters explosion, aliens and crying, screaming, moaning women, check. Not really too much else to say about the sound and graphics are all good.

Down but not out!
Duke Nukem was pretty much everything I expected it to be, funny and ridiculous, because I never had the rampant nostalgia of Duke Nukem 3D though I did find it pretty damn groundbreaking the first time I played it, though this was kind of groundbreaking as well,  the Boss fights are pretty epic, you’re fighting giant Alien queens and massive hulking monsters then punching them in the balls and ripping their heads off to finish them off, one of my favourite fights was with the giant eel under the damn which tried to crush you with its body. I also love the way the game attempts to do so many things some poorly but it’s all part of the fun, you’ve got things like fixed turret shooting then you’re on to driving a Monster truck through a canyon then you’re doing a western style shootout through an old abandoned town. it takes off so many things and Duke’s humour though lowbrow and sometimes annoying really adds to the flavour of the game.

Much epicness of fighting the Alien Mothership
I'm unfortunate to say I didn't really try the multiplayer mode, as I didn't really find any local servers and didn't really want to bother as it was technically an afterthought, the singleplayer was fun but I really couldn't be bothered after that.

Would I recommend this to friends? Oh hell yes, all I’ll say is, just play it once, you’ll have some stupid fun and get a boner, unless you’re a girl that is, which makes me think actually what would girl gamers think of this? Meh too philosophical for Duke I think, Hail to the King!

Score: 7/10

Things I liked:
  • Packed with ego and testosterone.
  • Funny dialogue and bravado from Duke
  • Lots of different activities
  • Fully rendered T&A and still has the kidnapped women subplot :D
  • Not half as bad as people said it was.
Things I didn't like:
  • Can only carry two guns at a time and limited ammo available.
  • Ego-based health is kinda silly and needs other ways of recharging
  • Feels slightly unfinished but I spose you can't complain at least it was finished at all
  • Little replay value though I have played it twice, multiplayer mode almost overlooked


I wonder what cereal Duke eats for breakfast?

No comments:

Post a Comment