Console: X-Box 360, PS3
Developer: Gearbox Software, 2K Games
Synopsis: The King is back. Duke Nukem was last seen on much inferior consoles, but remains in the hearts of many a young adult male from over a decade ago from the alien killing mayhem and the essentially irreverent nature of the character. After 12 years of peace, the aliens are back, and Duke is still around, ready to send them home.
There was a lot of hype leading up to this game, but in general the critics have not been kind. Regardless, I went ahead and bought the game to try it for myself. The game was certainly faithful to the Duke character, with achievements for looking at porn, and ego boosts (replacing the word shield) for tipping strippers, aswell as for the actual business of alien slayage.
All well and good, and frankly this is the type of stuff I loved… over a decade ago. The simple fact of the matter is that where I grew up, Duke hasn’t. Potentially this will be great for 15-year-old boys that will have no memory of the original so that they can rediscover it for themselves, but it wasn’t for me. As for gameplay, it is your classic first person shooter, a genre I do play, but not my genre of preference. That said, the gameplay is a bit addictive, so I can’t say I wish to bag it out either. The game gets more interesting when Duke is shrunk down to the size of a rat, and also in levels where he rides in monster trucks or goes underwater, but these levels are few. The big bosses can be pretty frustrating, but in the end the key to beating them is the same. Keep moving, don’t get hit, pummel the hell out of the thing. It gets a bit tedious.
I will admit, I pushed through with it. Yes, I did even complete the game, and 48 out of 50 achievements. I was even tempted to try for the last two, both of which I would have gotten for completing the game at Insane level. If I was not a fan, why did I do this?? So that when I trade it in for something better, my OCD doesn’t tell me I didn’t give it my best before parting with it. I got to about level 5 on Insane and got to a point I could not beat, then realised, why am I wasting precious hours doing this?
The game is a bit addictive, yes. There are some amusing one-liners, and occasionally the more juvenile elements do appeal to a sense of nostalgia. But they also occasionally go to far. I am posting below a video of our friend The Cyber Siren’s opinion, which was a bit more glowing than mine. In the end, the game wasn’t bad, it was a good way to kill a few hours, but it gets old if you play it long enough.
2 stars out of 5
The Cyber Siren’s review