I've written a lot about Duke Nukem Forever here, so now that the game out it's only fair (and right) that I complete the record. Verdict - What a total and utter disappointment.
I could say a lot about this game, but it would mostly consist of pointing out what's wrong with the game. The game is ultimately a first person shooter (and a pretty rough, tedious, linear FPS) that features Duke Nukem. There's some lip service paid to nostalgia and the heritage of Duke, but it's clumsily handled and quickly gets on your nerves.
I could say more. A lot more, but it's all just so depressing. There are a few gems within the game, but almost all of the good stuff is buried under tons of tedium, scripted events and cut-scenes. The graphics are indicative of a game that's been in development for twelve years, and while I didn't expect the graphics to awesome, I expected them to be better. The game is hobbled by being a console game shoehorned onto a PC. The map is horribly linear offering little or no replay value (and it's not like there's much there in the beginning). You're only allowed two weapons. And yeah, it's also pretty offensive, which was to be expected I guess, but the problem here isn't that it's offensive, it's the combination of unfunny and offensive that's the problem.
But maybe the worst criticism of all I have of Duke Nukem Forever is that it's a first-person SHOOTER game where you spend most of your time doing EVERYTHING BUT shoot at things.
I'm not sure who's to blame for this mess - 3D Realms, Tryptich Games, Gearbox, or just everyone involved. I don't even know if there's any point in having an autopsy. Maybe it's just a case of too many people being involved and too much time having elapsed since the last game. The Duke is dead on the slab and while the game hints at a sequel at the end, I really don't see that happening.
Rather than prattle on more about the game I'll leave you with TotalBiscuit's excellent three-part review of the game. This guy manages to not only offer up a decent review, but also riff the game and make it funny.
One final point before I go. While the game is indeed a mess, the way that the PR company that 2k Games hired to handle the PR, The Redner Group, then subsequently handled the bad press the game generated has also festered into a disaster almost as epic as the game itself. Tweets like this (now deleted) are highly unprofessional:
And then following this up with Tweets like this is just lame:
Bottom line - The game sucks. It is total and utter garbage. Don't waste your money on this horrible mess of a game. If you must have it for the nostalgia, at the very least wait until you can pick it up from the bargain bucket (which I expect it to be in pretty soon). I'd suggest spending no more than $5 on this junk.
It could have been such an awesome game.
I'm sorry I ever talked about it in the past ...
Note: I purchased my copy of Duke Nukem Forever, and didn't rely on a press freebie.