Not the Duke Nukem game you are looking for. If you were looking for one. Chances are the answer is a resounding “lol, what?” to that question.
Here’s the formula for Duke Nukem Forever:
1. Put in a bunch of zero-assed internet jokes that any teenage intern could have gathered in an afternoon. The internet isn’t funny. We’ve all seen every meme ever “created” i.e slapped together on imgflip or quickmeme in less than one second, at least 6,000 times. They were funny one time. One.
2. Slap in some obligatory attempts at crude humor like picking up poop, drawing a dick with a marker, or attempts at being “misogynistic” like having two girls blow Duke while he plays his own video game.
Even if you ignore the absolute lack of soul or personality that went into the humor itself, Duke Nukem Forever was a boring, uncreative shootfest game whose best moment was aforementioned fellatio scene. The one where you play an homage to the end of Duke Nukem 3D, which took place before the actual game even started. God damnit, the game was so close to being good for a whole 30 seconds. Was that too much to ask?
Forever was nothing but a Frankenstein’s monster of mish-mashed gaming concepts which had proven popular in the years and years the game spent in development limbo – in good games. Like Counter-Strike, or Half-Life, or Halo. The vehicle segments were buggy and boring. The combat was braindead. The Duke quips were 14 years out of place. The levels were uninspired, as was the level progression, and the game’s one true callback to the original was a juvenile level full of alien anuses that culminated in fighting a three-breasted alien who took zero effort whatsoever to kill. There weren’t even strip clubs or nudey mags, or keys, and the captured human women were irrelevant (I’m not counting the mandatory, ridiculously bad strip club intermission level).
The fact that this game has 70% positive reviews would be amazing, if it weren’t simply proof that gamers have no taste. In fact, the score went up 3% since I originally wrote this. It has no replayability, and that’s a stretch to say it even had playability the first time.
Gearbox certainly deserves credit where credit is due – by all accounts they salvaged what 3DRealms spent a decade screwing up – and managed to release a game that people not just inexplicably paid for, but treated favorably. I have no qualms saying Duke Nukem Forever is one of the worst games I’ve ever played, without a doubt.