Duke Nukem Forever hands on preview

5 min read
14

DNNF

Over the weekend something happened that I didn’t think was ever going to happen, I cleaned my own toilets.. it’s a pretty crappy job and something I don’t recommend trying if you don’t have to.

The other thing that happened is that I got some hands on time with Duke Nukem Forever which a few months back also felt like an impossibility but this experience was far more enjoyable.

The demo consists of two parts, the first is the very beginning of the Duke Nukem Forever campaign where you see heavily armoured swat team members scattered all over the place and you quite quickly pick up on the massive sense of panic that is permeating through everyone.

You head out to the passageway and at the end of the passage you can see the cause of the panic, well to be more accurate you can see the feet of the cause of the panic standing in the middle of the stadium. Whatever it is it’s colossus and ugly as all sin. The setting instantly reminds me of Duke Nukem 3D and that is a sense that I continued to get throughout the entire demo.

Then the roof collapses and you are forced to find another way to get onto the field, after following the running swat officers and going down a couple of passageways you come across the weapon of choice for destroying the colossus, a multiple missile launcher which is a typical over the top Duke styled weapon.

You then take the elevator up to the centre of the field to take on the mammoth boss in front of you… the rest of the battle pretty much goes as expected, you hurl all your missiles at the boss, you then run out and need to grab some more and repeat the process. At the end the boss falls down and you have to rush up to him and pull something or other (possibly a cable) out of the boss to finish him off. Which you do buy kicking his brain over the posts for a goal kick.

DNNGEnemies

Next I am warped to stage 15.. or 14… either way long into the game and for some obscure reason I am driving a monster truck. GT5 has absolutely nothing to worry about the driving physics of DNF are pretty atrocious and are closer to Halo than anything useful. You need to drive around some canyons running over the odd enemy until you come across a break in the road which requires you to boost your speed and launch over the gulley. On landing you instantly run out of fuel which is part of a problem I hope Gearbox will be resolving before they release DNF.

After that I get my grubby mitts on a Rail Gun which was easily my favourite weapon, with the Rail Gun everyone is a one shot kill but importantly is that if you aim correctly you can remove the enemies legs, arms or head with one clean shot. It’s comically gruesome and hugely rewarding. After that I tried the shrink ray which I sucked at and a shotgun which was as rewarding as the shotgun from Doom 2.

Overall the game was enjoyable and the ending sequence of my demo was the Duke being felled and before blacking out managing to flip a bird at the hulking ship above. However as I alluded to earlier the game isn’t perfect.

The problem is that the game appears to often harp back to the old design decisions of obvious trip switches, the car runs out of gas when landing because the developers want you to get out the car. The end ship doesn’t arrive until you jump on the turret gun so you can end up wandering around for no reason.. etc.. there are quite a few instances of this happening and it really did ruin the flow of the game. The graphics aren’t mind blowing but that gets ignored entirely for now as the code we played was 4 months old and the game isn’t coming out for at least 6 more months now.

DNFStripper

Having said that the game is Duke to the core and that’s the entire point, the jokes are corny and fantastic, the gameplay is old school, the weapons are over the top and the game just feels exactly like you expected it to when you finished Duke 3D and knew there was a sequel coming.

That may not be what a lot of people want these days when you put it up next to COD, Gears, Killzone or any other current gen shooter but Gearbox have stuck with the original Duke, something that’s not entirely surprising since Randy Pitchford was part of 3D Realms back when they started developing DNF. So he understands the core Duke experience and that’s what we are getting whether we like it or not.

Hail to the King… Duke Nukem Forever will ship on the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 before Christmas 2011… that’s the closest they would be nailed down to.

Oh and yes there will be strippers.

Last Updated: October 18, 2010

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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