PAXEast Hand-On Preview – Duke Nukem Forever
*Editor’s Note: Duke Nukem Forever is a filthy game intended for adults and as such I have decided to use some less pleasant language during the course of this preview, I have kept it to a minimum but if certain words that start with an “F” or “C” offend you then you may want to pass on this article… and probably on Duke Nukem Forever as well*
The biggest bad-ass in video games, circa 1996 at least, is finally back with a vengeance after an over fifteen year hiatus (lets be honest, no one counts those spin-off games). In development for over twelve years the newest installment of Duke Nukem has become something of joke among hard-core gamers over the last eight years. When developer 3D Realms discontinued development everyone thought that being able to play it was something that would never happen, but now the rights have been shifted to Gearbox Software. Because you asked for it and because you need it Gearbox Software and 3D Realms is fucking bringing it! Duke Nukem Forever will finally see a release on May 3, 2011. I know I took my day off of work!
So now that we know Duke is back in action the big question on everyone’s mind is going to be if the game was worth the twelve year wait? Well it is too early to tell but I can assure you from the little bit of the game I was able to play that it is shaping up nicely for fans of the previous game.
Control is very much like that of the original game, it may be a little too stiff for some people, but it is as classic as it comes. There are also newly added driving controls which were reminiscent of the Warthog in Halo, during the demo I got to take Duke’s monster truck around for a spin, but I really had trouble with the driving, I kept running into the sides. The steroid and beer power-ups return, but since there is no health bar anymore (replaced with a recharging “Ego” bar) they instead just give Duke a temporary boost in power, but at a cost; the beer, for example, will cause the screen to go fuzzy after just one drink (I always knew Duke was a lightweight). The weapons in the demo were all classics, the shotgun and the ripper machine gun being my personal favorites. I still hate the shrink-ray (which makes an appearance), I can never hit anything with that gun, but I can imagine it will lead to all sorts of hilarity in multiplayer so I better get good with it.
Interactivity is still a major part of Duke Nukem, and in Duke Nukem Forever they have taken it to a whole new level. Most of the previews you’ve been reading have no doubt made a major point of mentioning the excessively long piss can take, or the fact that you can yank a turd out of the toilet and throw it while Duke asks why you make him do these things, but those are just the most minor of abilities. In the beginning of the demo, for example, is a dry erase board detailing the battle plans to take down the massive alien wreaking havoc inside the Hollywood Bowl (I imagine that is where you are, but it has been so long since I played Duke 3D I could be wrong). By interacting with the board you get total control to erase the marker and write whatever you want on their, I personally drew a penis pointing to the alien’s face on the board because I have the imagination of a sixth grader and besides, the soldier looking at the board with me thought it was a solid plan (which I officially named “Operation: Cock-on-Mouth”), even though he didn’t understand it. I was also told that there was even more diverse interactive objects in the game, though I couldn’t get many details past a rumor of a “fully functional pinball machine”.
My all too brief journey with Duke began where Duke Nukem 3D ended (unless you bought the expansion), with Duke fighting one of the massive alien leaders called The Cycloid inside of a football stadium. I began inside of a bathroom where the very first thing the game told me to do was to take a leak in the urinal, you can drag this out as long as you want, but I had some ass to kick so I finished up fast, Duke can blame his UTI on me later. Right outside the soldiers were going over the plan to take out the Cycloid, which basically involved them all bum-rushing him, but that plan wasn’t good enough for me so I instead, like I said before, drew a penis pointed directly at the alien bastard before heading through the stadium to meet him face to face. After listening to some soldiers talk, and watching part of the stadium almost fall on me I was able to get my hands on a rocket launcher and begin the ascent to the surface to make my dream, Operation: Cock-on-Mouth a reality… it basically involved shooting The Cycloid in the face with rockets until I ran out of ammo, then reloading and shooting my load (heheh) again. It was a simple plan from a simpler time, but it seemed to get the job done. The battle remains reasonably faithful to the original, except that it isn’t ridiculously hard, but you still get to kick a field goal with his football shaped eye at the conclusion. Afterwards the camera zooms out to reveal that Duke was in fact playing the game while seeming to receive some oral gratification from a pair of twins in some very revealing schoolgirl uniforms (my favorite kind); taking a stab at itself the girls ask Duke whether the game was good, to which he replies, “Yeah, but after twelve fucking years it should be.”
The second part of the demo, which made up the bulk of it, was the level Highway 2. At the beginning you get to drive around for a few minutes in Duke’s truck, like I said before the driving controls could use a little work, but after it runs out of fuel and breaks down your goal becomes to find more gas to finish up the level. It is a pretty straight forward level and is very reminiscent of Duke 3D, you just move through a largely linear path and shoot at pig cops. There is honestly not much to say about it past the fact that I did hit a few glitches (bear in mind though this build I was playing was pretty old, and I was assure that a lot of these concerns have been fixed). The first glitch I hit was when you need to use a rocket launcher to shoot down a space ship, I made the mistake of dropping the
rocket launcher when I ran out of ammo, not knowing there was more ammo around the corner, but the launcher disappeared and there was no other way to take out the ship, so I needed to restart the battle. the second was during a part when you need to push a mine cart up a hill and jump in it to use the momentum to make a jump you can’t normally make, but when the cart got dislodged from the track while pushing I had no choice but to try to make the jump myself which didn’t go so well. Other than that I was golden.
Gearbox promises that the game is going to pose quite the challenge and from the demo I played I can agree with them. It definitely has an old school FPS vibe going and the difficulty is just one part of that. They also said the game would be quite lengthy, like games from the time tended to be, promising a good 15-20 hours of single player game, as well as a decent slathering of multiplayer.
I am not sure if the game has gone gold yet, but I am 100% confident they will make the announced release date of May 3rd and you can bet we will have a review of the game around that time. There will be a regular edition released as well as a Balls of Steel Edition which I have my heart set on; the collectors package will include the usual array of bonus content, as well as a Roman style bust of Duke that would look just awesome on my shelf (unless I can somehow get ahold of a marble pillar). It’s almost time people, keep your fingers crossed.PAXEast Hand-On Preview - Duke Nukem Forever,