Duke Nukem – one of the most recognisable and iconic characters from early home-video game history. With a career spanning decades, Duke Nukem is an all-American hero who shoots first, asks questions later and picks up a brewskie and a couple of girls at the same time. With his blonde flat-top, Ray-Ban shades and hazmat belt buckle, Duke is unmistakable.

The last Duke Nukem game was 12 years ago – but you don’t have to be a fan of the series to know that – as soon as you’ve completed the first ‘level’ this point is pretty much rammed down your throat in a series of first-person perspective cut scenes as Duke is being ‘comforted’ by two twin girls in tiny uniforms while playing the Duke Nukem game. The dialogue in this first scene sets the tone – sexist and chauvinistic, Duke is rarely more than 30 feet away from some sort of 80′s cringey low-budget action movie gone wrong.

So to set the scene, after finding out that the first level was actually a computer game within a game, the aliens that last attacked 12 years ago have returned and despite the President ordering Duke to stand down, off goes our hero armed (at first) with his fists and a bad attitude.
Duke Nukem Forever game review PlayEject
Progressing through the first few levels is simple enough – its basically an old school shooter so getting from A to B is the main concept with a couple of mini objectives thrown in. These might be to restore power to a grid or a boss fight with a certain weapon. Thankfully there is some variety throughout the game. Being shrunken down after stepping in radioactive alien-goo and able to drive a radio controlled car is fun and a nice change to running around the dated-looked environments. Unfortunately it does become a bit repetitive and you do find yourself eager to get back to holding a gun and taking down some bad guys.
Duke Nukem Forever game review PlayEject
And thats the problem – when you’re running around shooting the aliens with guns that don’t feel chunky enough or have any realistic physics you cant wait to be back in the RC car but 5 minutes in the car and it gets boring again. The boss battles are pretty good in so far as they require a slightly different tactic than just uninterrupted fire but in all honesty they are nothing compared to the likes of the more impressive modern-day boss-battle games such as God of War 3.

For a game that has been talked about and in (and out) of the making for the last 12 years, we are really disappointed and let down. In all honesty Duke Nukem Forever could have been released 5 or 6 years ago and just about looked ok. But compare that to the games coming out at the same time as Duke Nukem Forever and its almost laughable.

Its a real shame to say but Duke Nukem may well have seen the end of his video game life – killed off by his own comeback!

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