Duke Nukem was a game that I never played when younger, so I felt that most of the reviews I had read, which condemned the game for failing to live up to it’s predecessors, would not apply to me. And while they didn’t, I still felt like there was something, well, antiquated about this game. Depending on where you went for your info, this game took either 12 years or 15 years to make, and let me tell you, it really does feel that way.
Starting out as a game in a game, you are introduced to some very remedial aspects. You can pee on demand, and scoop poo out of a toilet and hurl it at some one. You can turn on all the faucets and leave them running. You can draw on a chalk board.
And by the time I reached the end, sadly, those would be the funnest parts of the game.
The controls are stiff, made worse by the fact that the enemies jitter back and forth faster then you can lock onto them. And when you do hit them, it feels like throwing crumbled up paper at a tank with the hopes of stopping it. It didn’t seem to matter what I was using, or how little the enemies were, they usually took the same number of hits. Duke is a lumbering oaf, and it is never felt more then when you are trying to back away from ANY enemy, resulting in frustrating moments when your “screen going red means dying” leads to a death, whcih you did all the game would allow you to do to avoid. It is almost like the game goes out of it’s way to introduce these monsters, in mass number, just to remind you you can die. In most games, a well placed melee strike would do some serious damage. In Duke Nukem, you are reminded that Duke is revered by the populace because he is apparently a mentally deficient human being who got lucky, but in the face of a real threat, would be better off peeing in a urinal.
Which makes me sad, cause such events are so scarce in the game.
The levels are long, which may not be a big deal, but in a game that makes combat important and frustrating at the same time, long levels are exhausting. It was a genuine chore for me to make it through this game. Without the before mentioned familiarity with the character, I found myself really wanting to make Duke die, if for no other reason to justify it but that mindless rage I feel when someone is a rude driver. It just feels like Duke should not exist in the world.
I realize that the guys who put it out really just wrapped up the fifteen (twelve?) years of product into a playable game, and that the game was put out to sort of reintroduce the franchise. At least I hope that is the case. As such, I might be being a bit harsh, especially knowing their track record for amazing games (Bioshock, Borderlands and so many more), but this game, to me, really is just bad. And I liked Naughty Bear.