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Written by David Ramsey   
Thursday, 23 June 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Duke Nukem Forever: The 3D Vision Experience
Forever Is a Long Time
Come Get Some

Forever Is a Long Time

If you're interested in this game, you've probably already read some of the currently available reviews, wondering if it was worth the wait. And yes, many of the criticisms are valid: the graphics don't approach the level you'd see in Crysis or Mafia II; the humor is vulgar and misogynistic, and the gameplay at times can be uninteresting, such as the early section were Duke is accidentally shrunk and must make his way in a toy car, without the ability to even shoot anything (there are advantages to this viewpoint, as shown in the image below). True, this is a DirectX 9 title(!), but I think such carping misses the point of the game, which is that it's supposed to be cheesy, vulgar, and misogynistic. These are the same people who have never, ever enjoyed Mystery Science Theater 3000.


The game begins with the Duke playing...Duke Nukem. It's a sly bit of referential humor, but establishes the setting well. 14 years after the alien invasion, Duke's cashed in on his celebrity with a massive, Las Vegas style hotel/casino complex named after him. There are also "Duke Burger" franchises and other homages. The aliens return, but the president orders Duke to stand down so they can try peaceful negotiation. This doesn't work. Unexpectedly! The aliens are gunning for Duke himself, and most of the action early in the game takes place inside Duke's casino as the aliens blast through walls and ceilings, gunning for The Man. As the Duke would say, "Come get some!"


Although most of the "kill actions" (like stomping on shrunken enemies) from the original Duke Nukem 3D remain in Forever, there are some new moves such as "Execute": a brutal head kick that decapitates a downed enemy. The Pig Cop on his knees in the image below is ripe for this. There's a certain visceral satisfaction to watching the head bounce away in real 3D. In the shot below, you can see Duke's "Ego meter", which replaces the "Health" you normally see in first-person shooter games. When Duke's ego runs out, he dies; but you can increase it by drinking beer, and increase the maximum ego by doing things like lifting weights and killing boss monsters.


Once you move outside, the "3D Vision Experience" really comes into its own. In the image below, I'm shooting a turret gun at Pig Cops that rush out from behind burned cars and charge towards you. It's hard not to flinch backwards the first few times you see this, as the enemies appear ready to burst through the screen.


Here's where the trouble started: the local Duke Burger franchise. What, you think this is over the top for a burger joint? Nothing's too good for the Duke! 3D Vision excels at giving the impression of distance.


After lots of fun above ground killing baddies in the shattered remains of the city, you'll move underground into the alien hive. Here, you'll need Duke Vision to make your way about. I guess that's why he wears those shades all the time.


One of the boss-level monsters you'll have to overcome: the aptly-named Queen Bitch. Just guess where you have to shoot her to take her out. While you're trying to do that, she'll bombard you with bugs that skitter towards you and spit acid balls, as well as slashing at you with giant lobster-like claws and some sort of electrical/telekinetic attack.


With most of the boss-level monsters, killing isn't as simple as firing into them until they go down: you'll often need to jump onto your vanquished foe and physically rip off a valuable piece of anatomy to make the kill. But this being a modern game, there's more than just blowing away bad aliens: there are several "puzzle areas" as well, where Duke must use wits and cunning to proceed. Sometimes, a little radio-controlled car can be really useful, and those bouncy alien lilly pads can often put that pipe bomb right where you need it.



# RE: Duke Nukem Forever: The 3D Vision ExperienceDoug Dallam 2011-06-22 22:58
"Damn, I'm looking good!" I sure wish it had gotten better reviews. I'll probably play it anyway, but I don't have 3D equipment. I guess I'm going to have to start saving up for a 3D monitor because "It's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum... and I'm all outta gum."

So many memories of blowing my friend up so many times with those remote detonated pipe bombs and those CCD TV monitors. lol
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# I'll bite,....RealNeil 2011-06-23 06:30
I don't have the 3D equipment. But I'll probably buy this game anyway. I loved the prior Duke games, mostly because of the simplicity, and constant action in them. (mindless 'kill it if you see it' action) It was a good wind-down after a long day at the job. I wonder David, did you happen to play this game without the 3D equipment? If so, how did it look?
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# RE: I'll bite,....David Ramsey 2011-06-23 07:19
Yes, I did, on my 27" 1920x1200 Dell monitor. Still very playable!
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# RE: I'll bite,....Adam 2011-06-23 13:02
You're going to be horribly dissapointed then, DN:F has become little more then a crappy copy paste of other (better) games, such as a lot of the 'puzzles' being ripped off from HL2.
What got me most of all though was how thorougly boring it seemed, large sections with absolutely no shooting in whatsoever. Which for a Duke Nukem game seems like the worst let down of all.

Oh, and the graphics are bloody rough and poorly optimised which doesnt help things.
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# RE: RE: I'll bite,....Doug Dallam 2011-06-23 15:15
What a let down. Why ever bother doing the stupid thing only to destroy it? Thanks for posting.
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# RE: Duke Nukem Forever: The 3D Vision Experiencerich1051414 2011-06-24 21:34
Don't bother buying it, play hl2, gears of war, and look at some porn, you'll have a much better time. It seems the reason it took so long to come out is because 3D Realms had no original ideas of how to deliver the game, and obviously it couldn't even be saved by Gearbox. Instead of making Duke Nukem more than a walking 80's stereotype, which don't get me wrong, was quite entertaining when this character was created, they instead just threw us a pathetic shell of a man made up of horrendous one liners that would make the CSI: Miami guy cringe. You could of given Duke some depth, or at the very least, a new script. The only new line I can remember is the one used in the commercials, about it 'taking 13 #ing years...'. The sad part is, that joke is on him. Making Duke the king of the world doesn't make you like a guy who only speaks in comedic #baggery, that was only funny when he surely didn't stand a chance. R.I.P. Duke, i wish i could say i will miss you, but the memories of you are now superseded by the total fail they made you into.
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