Duke Nukem Review
this game has been getting hammered for existing, and not being the new master queef game, so here's a much more fair review
GRAPHICS – Yeah, that's where this game gets rough. The graphics feel dated, probably because they are just re dressings of the old Id software title we were promised more than a decade ago. That said, I do firmly believe in gameplay over graphics, and I will fight you over that all day long. It does not matter how sexy your eye candy is, if the game it's in is terrible. Other games out there today are all about the fan response to the shiny textures and the particle effects and lens flare, and this game takes a step back from that, and to its credit, reminds you that stuff isn't everything.
GAMEPLAY – Even though I have heard tell of a fifteen hour single player mode, no wheels were re-invented for this. The guy who invented the wheel doesn't have to do things like that. Instead what you get is what any good Duke fan would expect. Guns, tits, one-liners, and several tons of bullets. What's new though, is the level of interaction. You can play pinball in a relatively well done pinball game, which isn't entirely full featured, but things like that add a sense of depth and layers (not to mention health bonuses) that other games out there (Call of Duty, Halo) seem to be missing. Now, I am not saying these games should be loaded with mini-games and Easter eggs, but what would it hurt?
This title is aware the industry has changed, and in some ways it has been left behind, and it makes fun of that. Early on, Duke is offered a very Master Chief looking outfit, and he turns it down. That's just one example of the updated humor and satire in this game. Of course such things have hurt the feelings of my 'comrades' in the reviewing world, who feel the need to feverishly defend their precious genre staple in green. This might be part of why the game is doing so poorly in the press.
ISSUES – The controls are a little clumsy, and not as fluid as your modern shooters. This above anything, in my opinion is what makes this game feel old. It's stiff. The load times are terrible. And I don't think installing it on your console hard drive will help, it didn't help in other games with this issue (SPLATTERHOUSE), but it isn't that big of a deal. It gives you a chance to take a leak, and hey, even Duke Nukem has to take a piss now and then.
FINAL SUMMATION(S) – If you are a Duke fan, then you'll like this. If you're looking for a light-hearted-non-world-war-II shooter, I would suggest this one.
Gearbox has stated (openly) that they don't see this being one-and-done title. So, I suspect Duke will be taking up the position of industry satirist. Lauded by fans, but loathed by the critics. I would also expect more window dressing on future titles, just to please the people who only care about graphics (like the critics).
“...There are so many ways of being despicable it quite makes one's head spin. But the way to be really despicable is to be contemptuous of other people's pain. You ought to have some apprehension that the man you see before you was once even younger than you are now and arrived at his present wretchedness by imperceptible degrees.”