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Well, aside from the obvious 14 year development time, which meant that they probably had to essentially start from scratch about three times, there are some core elements of Duke Nukem Forever that aren’t merely out-dated; they’re just plain bad. The arrival of Duke Nukem Forever has sparked a lot of debate, people are defending it and others are ripping it apart, but all I want to do is highlight the main things that made it a failure as a first person shooter in 2011. As I mentioned in my review, this genre has certain standards, and Duke Nukem Forever fails to even skim the bar of requirement on a lot of levels.
The overall presentation of Duke Nukem Forever is just plain bad across the board, everything has that fuzzy edged look to it and the detail level is very low. Textures are extremely limited quality yet still pop in and out. Most either look dull and flat or have a very out-dated, shiny look to them. The game just lacks anything meaningful in this department, from the dull colour pallet and lifeless environments, the graphics leave a lot to be desired. The bar for visuals is still being pushed for shooters, and Duke looking the way it does is just unacceptable.
The visuals are lacking in both artistic design and detail
This is easily where Duke Nukem Forever falls completely flat, the shooting is slow, unresponsive and clunky as hell. What’s even worse is the guns you use just aren’t fun to shoot. Enemies don’t react to anything but the killing shot and it just makes the weapons feel even more boring. Things are certainly not helped by the frequent and terrible jumping sections that fill the game, the movement is just as clunky as the shooting and yet the game puts you into one death trap filled section after the other. All this is topped off with extremely long load times between everything and if a load time is going to be this long, the gameplay at the end of it should be worth it, which it isn’t.
MultiplayerI really don’t think there has ever been a higher standard of multiplayer than that of today. The gameplay certainly doesn’t do the multiplayer any favours here but the whole thing just feels like it was put in at the 11th hour. The maps are bland, unbalanced and boring, the weapons aren’t fair and lag is a huge problem even on the best games. Having a multiplayer component that is as half hearted as this one in this day and age is just unacceptable in the first person shooter genre.
First person shooters are packed with tons of incentive for you to hang on to them, whether it’s a time investing multiplayer, a great campaign or just plain great games. Duke is asking for the same amount of money as the top tier franchises in the genre and that is just wrong. To even think for a moment that this game is worth a full price tag is ludicrous when you take into consideration how much (and of a higher standard) other shooters offer.
It’s a shame that Duke Nukem Forever couldn’t even be a good shooter, it really is. I imagine nobody is more crushed than the developers that have been working it for all this time. Hopefully Duke’s next visit will make up for this game and bring the franchise back to its former glory but make no mistake; Duke Nukem Forever is not that game. It’s surprising that Duke Nukem Forever has so many people avidly jumping to defend it since its release, it isn’t an outdated game, it’s just plain bad.