It's taken some 15 years to get here, but Duke Nukem Forever, the "shamelessly inappropriate" first person shooter video game, has finally arrived.
So far, the critics aren't impressed. It's not the political incorrectness of the game--which includes blowjobs, strippers, and an a "oversexed Peter Pan" fighting "sex criminal aliens"--that has them grumbling, but rather the graphics, load time and more.
The Guardian writes, "[What] do you get for 15 years of patience? Not much at all. Visuals are grainy (perhaps a deliberate throwback to older Nukem titles?), aiming is clunky and there are occasional frame rate issues and buggy moments," adding "even the nostalgia – and bad taste humor – can't make up for the frustrating load times."
"It's a clumsily put together game that, even when it tries hard to deliver exciting action set pieces like fights against giant bosses, feels dull and derivative. The only impressive part about Duke Nukem Forever is that it exists as a finished game," writes IGN in a preliminary review of Duke Nukem Forever that critiques the load times, dated look and "poor level design."
Joystiq is also less than thrilled with what the game delivers: Duke Nukem Forever is "for better but mostly worse, perpetually stuck in the late 1990s. For all the delaying, the stalling, the drama surrounding the game, it's tough to say if any part of it has actually benefitted from the more than a decade of development. What has, at long last, been committed to a disc and placed into a box might have been alright a dozen years ago, but by today's standards it simply doesn't hold up."
PC Mag is slightly more positive in its assessment of the game, which it gives a score of 80:
After all of its tumultuous history, it’s ended up as an entertaining FPS wrapped in juvenile, smut-laced humor. Its gameplay is a hybrid of old-school and new, and it won’t wow players with stunning visuals—its window of opportunity for that passed years ago—but it does put on a good show of alien ass-kicking by working what it’s got.
CNET predicts that bad reviews may not mean much for Duke Nukem Forever's success: "We'd be surprised if early negative reviews hurt sales that much. Gamers have spent years anticipating Duke's newest adventure, which will appeal to fans of swearing, explosions and testosterone-soaked innuendo."
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Here's a preview of Duke Nukem Forever:
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