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Game Review: Duke Nukem Forever

Updated on July 31, 2011

After twelve years since the last game, the Duke is finally back.

The Game

It's been 12 years since Duke Nukem has saved the world from an alien invasion that would have enslaved all the gentle sex. Our hero is now a big shot rich and famous, who spends a "normal" life in Las Vegas, in a building named after himself full of awards and trophies. The news marks a disturbing statement: the aliens have returned and are landing on earth with a seemingly peaceful intent, so that the U.S. president himself orders to Duke Nukem not to interfere the landing under any circumstance.

Soon enough, the aliens begin to sneak in the Duke house attacking and killing the guards and kidnapping many of the female guests of the Duke. At this point Duke Nuken can‘t take it any longer.

Duke Nukem Forever is the classic first-person shooter. Our hero will have to fight his way through hordes of angry aliens who will do anything to destroy him and have the green light for the conquest of our planet.

During the main campaign you will face enemies that have made our hero so popular: from the Pig Cops to the huge armored bosses at the end of a level. The game is perfectly linear from start to finish, with some mystery added here and there to diversify the gameplay.

In the role of Duke Nukem you have a high number of sophisticated weapons to choose from and some of them are brought from the previous game Duke Nukem 3D. The game inherits some of the mechanics of today's shooters, like the ability to bring not more than two weapons at a time, even though it will not be a big problem, because of the enormous quantities of weapons scattered throughout the game.

Even Duke's health has changed: the EGO is introduced, and you can personalize and increase it by performing certain actions or interacting with particular objects along the game. When Duke is injured, the EGO bar decreases to the end, causing death, but if you wait in a safe place for a few seconds, the bar will increase and your health will be restored.

You can also select four special objects: glasses, which provide night vision, the steroids, which give the Duke superhuman strength for a short period of time, the beer, which allows to charge the EGO bar twice as fast for a short period of time, and the Holoduke, which will distract the enemy for a short time.

The big news compared to Duke Nukem 3D is the introduction of vehicles. Essentially though, the driving sessions are reduced to a simple "go from A to B, and try to stay alive".

The great news for all fans of Duke Nukem is that the game continues with the vulgarity, cynicism and fun that has always characterized the series. The jokes and comments that Duke Nukem will perform throughout the duration of the game will literally make you cry from laughing. The game is also peppered with citations from the universe of play and movies.

Duke Nukem Forever has also a classic death match multiplayer mode:

Team Death match, Capture The Babe and King of the Hill. The multiplayer maps on which you can play are nothing more than a modification from Duke Nukem 3D. The maximum number of players for each mode is 8, which in my opinion is perhaps a little low respect to the map's size.


Duke Nukem is back in all its glory. Irreverent, vulgar, rude and cynical as every fan of the series likes. His humor, frequent quotations and his unique way of engaging enemies make the game a rare pearl in a present full of games that compete for the podium. This game is fun, period. No ifs or buts.


The game runs quickly, without ever being frustrating or repetitive. Nevertheless, it took me about 20 hours to finish it in medium difficulty. This is not because the challenges were particularly challenging, but because there are so many goodies that it would be a shame to miss because of hasty exploration.

Old school game play

Despite the introduction of new elements, the improved graphic and better game play, we are facing a tremendously nostalgic and old-school shooter game.

What I hate about the game

The technical part of game is outdated. Duke Nukem Forever is technically poor, probably due to the long and troubled development. The graphic level is below average, so that we could easily compare it to an early generation of titles such as Prey. Rather poor even the sound effects.

Loading game

The loading between levels are very long. Even when you die and reload the last checkpoint, you must wait 10 to 15 seconds before you can start playing again (truly an eternity), even though I have installed the game on the hard disk.


The game is far too linear. The path from beginning to end of each level is just a long required tunnel. The open spaces are few and do not give you the opportunity to fully explore.

In Conclusion

If you are new to Duke and you stand for the first time to follow in his footsteps, well maybe it's not a game for you. The enormous technical defects and excessive linearity could cause many to dislike the game, especially since the game is sold at full price. If you do not mind the graphic, but you look more at the substance and entertainment, then, this is the game for you.


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