Duke Nukem Forever Review

Russ Pitts | 13 Jun 2011 17:40
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Success in old-school boss battles often relied on tactically assessing how much damage you could absorb while getting in the killing shot. Adding in the modern style of tactile damage dealing, rather than deepening the experience and creating something transcendent and new, merely adds another layer of calculation necessary to accomplish the same task and leaves the player nearly paralyzed while waiting for the single, infrequent opportunity to inflict damage on the enemy without taking any yourself. Even though Ego regenerates (through cowardice), your Ego bar is barely long enough to allow Duke to sustain more than one hit in this battle, meaning that if you mis-time your attack, get knocked down by the boss and, while helpless, sustain another hit from either the boss (in a surprise, off-rhythm attack of opportunity), or from one of the many supporting monsters, you will die and be forced to replay the entire level, hiding around corners, waiting for your next opportunity to attack.


A successful run can take up to 10 minutes, during which time little fun is to be had and the player, rather than feeling like a bad-ass action hero, feels more like the pussified FPS characters of more modern (albeit realistic) games, in which a single random shot from an unseen enemy can end your day. This section of the game took me over an hour to successfully complete.

Bottom Line: Duke Nukem Forever is a deeply flawed game that I would have stopped playing after five minutes were it not a requirement of my job to play longer. Although no amount of money could have convinced me to press on all the way to the end.

Recommendation: If you are stuck on a deserted island with only this game to play, go fishing instead. Worth playing so that you may be able to say that you did, but otherwise imminently forgettable and not worth your time.

This review is based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.

What our review scores mean.

Game: Duke Nukem Forever
Genre: Shooter
Developer: Gearbox
Publisher: 2K Games
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox360
Available from: Amazon(US), GameStop(US), Amazon(UK),


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