Duke Nukem Forever
By Gearbox Software and 2K Games
Genre: First-person shooter
Players: 1, or up to 8 in multiplayer
Rating: Mature for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Mature Humor, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and Alcohol
The King is back; does he still reign? Spouting one-liners, kicking alien rear and wooing all the hot babes like he always has, I’d say he does.
The story picks up around fifteen years after Duke’s last adventure, just like in real life. Duke is living high off of the fame and worship of his adoring public; the world simply loves Duke Nukem, and why not? He singlehandedly saved Earth with an impressive arsenal of weapons, secured the safety of the beloved women of the planet, and undertook many grand feats all over the world! After all that, he lapsed into semi-retirement in Las Vegas; he bought a casino, surrounded himself by beautiful women as is his wont, and parlayed his fame and marketability into media enterprises, fast food chains and more!
When the aliens come back under a pretence of truce, however, he is warned to keep out of their way by the President himself, saying he’s in talks with the Cycloid Emperor himself, whom Duke defeated in his last encounter. His General friend and handler grudgingly agrees, that maybe the aliens are here to make peace, but all that quickly becomes moot; his secret hideaway, the Duke Cave, as well as Vegas itself, is under attack! Just like before, the aliens made the first move, and now it’s up to Duke to make the last.
Gameplay is definitely a throwback to classic FPS’s, and seems like a tribute to the real fans of Duke from years past. It works really well, but has, unfortunately, also worked to turn off fans of “new-school” gameplay, who have blasted the game for lack of originality as well as its use of several modern gameplay mechanics mixed in with the old, including regenerating health, and limitation to two weapons carried at one time.
That doesn’t, however, mean a thing to me. Things have to change, and I think Duke Nukem Forever brings just the right amount of change to keep things fresh, and the new turret and vehicle sequences, as well as fully interactive minigames including pool, pinball, video poker and others, mean you’ll be playing the game for a very long time.
Multiplayer, again, samples from the new-school without being in it. The persistent leveling system and challenges of many other recent FPS’s make appearances here, with the reward system relating not merely to gameplay enhancements, but additions to Duke’s personal penthouse! That’s right, when you’re not bashing the aliens’ heads in during the campaign, or those of your buddies in multiplayer, you can walk around a multi-room museum of Duke’s accomplishments and conquests, which are unlocked as you level up in multiplayer. The replay value is definitely there!
So, as Duke says, COME GET SOME! Five out of five!