Duke Nukem Forever is a special kind of game. After all, it takes a lot of time and effort for a game to be this bad, and I don’t just mean bad, I mean terrible. Gearbox, what happened? How did this festering turd of a game manage to see the light of day?
If I was to try and tell you the things that DNF does right, I would be over and done within a minute, tops. It’s a lot easier to berate the game for the vast amount of things it does wrong than it is to congratulate it on the miniscule things it succeeds with. It’s one of those games that is so bad that you have to check it out for yourself, just so you can realise how bad it is and then continue the game of chinese whispers.
Right from the start, you’ll notice the dated graphics, the poor voice work and the clunky controls. All of those are instantly noticeable. Your next step on the train of shit will be to notice the very awful character animations. Stand in front of a mirror and start jumping around. It looks as if the top half of Duke’s body is suffering from advanced rigamortis whilst the lower torso acts humanly. The entire control scheme, on the whole, feels like it belongs ten years back so it’s not really that much of a surprise as to how poor the animations are.
The single player campaign, whilst rubbish, does have a feeling of ‘Duke Nukem’ throughout. Duke delivers similar one-liners with the same punch and humour as fans of the old games will recognise, as well as the same level of crude humour that made the old games what they were. As good as that may be, it’s not enough to make the game any less poor than what it is. I haven’t finished the campaign yet, but from what I have played, it is extremely dull and suffers from incredibly awkward driving sections that seem to go on forever (maybe that’s why it’s titled that?). Not only that, you can spend five minutes running around seeing and shooting nothing, only to have an entire army of enemies come at you all at once when you turn the corner. It is so inconsistent and clumsy that I have lost all encouragement to continue playing onwards. I wanted a new Duke Nukem game and I got one, but DNF belongs back on the old generation of consoles.
Perhaps the fact that DNF took so long to make is part of the problem as to why it’s so bad. It wouldn’t have been so out of place if it was released ten years ago, but in 2011, in the age of High Definition and next generation consoles, it stands out as the extremely rotten egg amongst the crowd.
Having a bad single player is enough to label this game as the worst of 2011, but that’s before we even get to the multiplayer. On the two occasions that I tried it, there had to be less than ten people playing it in the entire community of Xbox Live (which says it all, really). Less than ten, and yet, it lagged like there were tens of thousands populating the servers. Now if that wasn’t bad enough, if you do actually get into a match, you have to contend with extremely awkward controls and when you add that to the bizarre amount of lag, you’ll be giving up on it before you’ve even had time to take the disc out of the tray. I don’t know what they were thinking when they made this multiplayer but whoever is responsible for creating this horrid experience should not make another attempt at any point in the near future.
To put it as plainly as possible – Duke Nukem Forever is awful; It’s dated, awkward and easily takes the award for the worst game released in 2011. This game should never have made in the state it is in. The return of Duke Nukem was highly anticipated and it’s been a long time coming, but he would be insulted by this atrocious comeback after such a long hiatus.