Duke Nukem Forever... Forever Immature

     This shouldn't really surprise anyone, that after playing through Gearbox's tremendously delayed (12 years or so) Duke Nukem Forever, that The Duke is just as crass, self obsessed, and over the top as I recalled from long ago as a teen in the mid 1990's.  Honestly, there's an endless stream of film referencing one-liners, mostly naked ladies, and impossible weapons (the shrink ray is exceptionally fun- allowing you to shrink enemies down and boot stomp them).  This is a game my 13 year old self would've loved.

     Duke's machismo is more than enough to assert his testosterone laden muscles over the alien invaders, so much so that he doesn't even have a health bar- it's an EGO bar!  He has plenty of methods of slaying the invading aliens through the campaign- FPS, turrets, driving in a remote control car and an over sized monster truck, and even smaller games to distract you from the main game like slot machines, air hockey, and a whack-a-mole knock off.  I would like to note that the controls are absolutely horrendous on the mini games and somehow, even worse, in the swimming sections.  They get to be very frustrating and detract from what the game was actually somewhat good at- the stupid humor and just plain shooting things into a bloody pulp.  Just fixing the controls would've boosted this game's playability a considerable amount.

     Really, the only parts that are worth it are the FPS and the ludicrous humor.  As immature as it is, I admit I laughed out loud more than I should have.  I mean there's an Achievement/Trophy called Turd Burglar, for picking up a turd from a toilet.  And, yes, I did laugh out loud about it.  Finding all the Easter Eggs that are classic Gearbox nods to other games and movies were actually one of the highlights for me- the Portal companion barrel and the shrink ray's gun design is awfully reminiscent of the one used by Chell.  These are wonderful additions, but they cannot support the whole game.  Yes, there was a bunch of fun in this beer guzzling, steroid using, stripper ogling man, but when it comes down to it the crappy game mechanics and poor story don't keep it going to the end of the game.  Just a small amount of more depth could've gone a long way.

     In fact, after playing this, I wonder how much of Alien: Colonial Marines was stripped straight from this game.  I can see the blatant theft from their own games- weapons, melee attack, and all the alien eggs and bursters.  Really, Duke Nukem Forever could've been a wonderful way to update and satirize FPS games, but it ended up being a joke in itself.  Perhaps they'll make use of the IP and create something more worthwhile.  Probably not though...


     ...luckily for us all, Gearbox put all their time into the Borderlands series, and rightly so.  Despite the flaws, the Borderlands games are far superior.  (Why didn't they just re-skin the Borderlands stuff into Aliens: Colonial Marines?  It would've probably been much, MUCH better if they had.)

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