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Old 20th Jun 2011, 08:56 AM   #1
hal
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BeyondUnreal Reviews Duke Nukem Forever

Twelve or thirteen years ago, BeyondUnreal's original home was just starting to take off. Around that same time, Duke Nukem Forever switched to the Unreal Engine and began a long and troubled development cycle. Around 2009 Gearbox Software reached out to the floundering 3D Realms and helped shove the final product towards the finish line, acquiring the rights to Duke along the way.

So here we are with game in hand. Good? Bad? Both? The game is selling very well and critics and fans are sharply split. Check out our review for one opinion.



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Old 20th Jun 2011, 12:29 PM   #2
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I think the game was mostly slammed just for not living up to 13 years of hype. It's hardly a bad game, and it makes you laugh. It's not an amazing game, but I don't feel it deserves the panning the press is giving.
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Old 21st Jun 2011, 05:22 AM   #3
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Nice read and a really fair review imo. Basically mentioned everything I noticed while playing, pros as well as cons.

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Originally Posted by SirTahngarth View Post
I think the game was mostly slammed just for not living up to 13 years of hype. It's hardly a bad game, and it makes you laugh. It's not an amazing game, but I don't feel it deserves the panning the press is giving.
I agree. It's simply impossible to live up to this kind of hype. I played the whole game in basically two sittings because it was just fun to play.
One thing that definitely bothered me was the lack of blood decals though. Blood and gore is such an essential part of a Duke game imo and there's lot of it in DNF. But I never got any decals, when I stomped monsters or executed them, or parts of them hit walls... A minor detail, maybe, but there's blood on the camera and all, so...
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Old 24th Jun 2011, 05:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by nELsOn View Post
Nice read and a really fair review imo. Basically mentioned everything I noticed while playing, pros as well as cons.



I agree. It's simply impossible to live up to this kind of hype. I played the whole game in basically two sittings because it was just fun to play.
One thing that definitely bothered me was the lack of blood decals though. Blood and gore is such an essential part of a Duke game imo and there's lot of it in DNF. But I never got any decals, when I stomped monsters or executed them, or parts of them hit walls... A minor detail, maybe, but there's blood on the camera and all, so...
I can't believe people keep excusing what this game is because of the "hype". The hype is what Gearbox and 2K made it. They created it and blew it way out of proportion to make sales. It's the same thing as the disappointment when UT3 was released. Fans were promised a lot and didn't get it. When you promise great things, people expect great things.
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Old 24th Jun 2011, 06:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
I can't believe people keep excusing what this game is because of the "hype". The hype is what Gearbox and 2K made it. They created it and blew it way out of proportion to make sales. It's the same thing as the disappointment when UT3 was released. Fans were promised a lot and didn't get it. When you promise great things, people expect great things.
when a game is in dev hell for 13 years I don't really expect much tbh :P
If a game was in truly continuous development for 13 years I would be impressed, but sceptical at how they managed to keep up with technological growth and advancement.
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Old 24th Jun 2011, 09:33 PM   #6
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I can't believe people keep excusing what this game is because of the "hype". The hype is what Gearbox and 2K made it. They created it and blew it way out of proportion to make sales. It's the same thing as the disappointment when UT3 was released. Fans were promised a lot and didn't get it. When you promise great things, people expect great things.
Hype wasen't an issue for me, i know that no game can change hands so many times and not have problems as a result. We don't see it often in games, but it happens a lot with movies, where a director will get in a fight with the studio and quit, and then another one takes over, and the end product allways suffers for it.

So yeah, i was fully expecting choppy narritive flow, old assets mixed in with newer assets, probably a bad rushed ending, i knew there would be problems, there simply had to be.


What i was also expecting, however, was a game that was like DN3D, a classic and fun shooter, voiced over by the Duke.

What i was not expecting where all the boring puzzles, the Doom3 style constant monster spawn-in, the boring vehical sections, the even more boring turret sections, the prolonged sections where you never get to shoot anything, all the setpieces of the game that where obviously just copied from other popular games, and just how few jokes the Duke actually makes, and how so many of them falls flat (yeah Duke! make fun of Valve's redundant puzzles! ... wait what, you still expect me to do the damned puzzle? shoulden't this be where you pull out the shotgun and yell "BLOW IT OUT YOUR ARSE!" and destroy it? WTF!?).

I knew the game would probably lack direction, what i did not know was that it would so frequently be, well, boring..

And sure, it has it's good moments too, thouse mostly beeing the ones that are like the old DN3D game with some honest to tits action, but you have to wade through a lot of dull and boring gameplay between thease sections.
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Old 2nd Jul 2011, 10:10 AM   #7
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I think the game was mostly slammed just for not living up to 13 years of hype. It's hardly a bad game, and it makes you laugh. It's not an amazing game, but I don't feel it deserves the panning the press is giving.
This is true...sure it wasn't worth getting the Balls of Steel Edition for, which I almost did, but at the last minute, I canceled the BoSE package and went straight for a Steam direct download instead, which wound up being the better move, imo.

Needless to say, it is pretty good, but I still find myself reverting back to the EDuke32 community and supporting the growth of Duke 3D modding. Seems like more people are more likely to follow the EDuke32 community rather than supporting DNF any further.
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Old 21st Dec 2011, 02:43 AM   #8
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5 bucks on steam , worth it...
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Old 20th Jun 2011, 05:43 PM   #9
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I think it was slammed because it's a game that feels, plays, looks and is clearly designed around 2004. Half Life 2 would take the same beating if it were released today. The game mechanics people are used to today are much more streamlined than they were back then and the game just doesn't feel that "good" for 2011.

Now, comparing it to games in 2004, it would have been pretty good...
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Old 20th Jun 2011, 05:48 PM   #10
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I think it was slammed because it's a game that feels, plays, looks and is clearly designed around 2004. Half Life 2 would take the same beating if it were released today. The game mechanics people are used to today are much more streamlined than they were back then and the game just doesn't feel that "good" for 2011.

Now, comparing it to games in 2004, it would have been pretty good...
So why didn't most reviewers do that? Seems to me they just wanted to jump on the bandwagon and give it a piss poor review, which is not right. The game is obviously the version they re started back in 03-04, so review it as such.
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Old 20th Jun 2011, 06:40 PM   #11
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So why didn't most reviewers do that? Seems to me they just wanted to jump on the bandwagon and give it a piss poor review, which is not right. The game is obviously the version they re started back in 03-04, so review it as such.
Why? The problem is, gaming has evolved. The old "drag out each level with repetitiveness" bores most people. You can't really pretend like a game came out in 2004 when it came out in 2011.

That said, many current reviewers don't really know what gaming was like pre-2005, especially on PC. Even if they do, it's likely they don't from a critical perspective.

And, of course, part of the problem is that the game has issues even when considered in terms of the 2004 era. I don't think it would have been more than a 7.5 game back then, so time hasn't been kind to it.
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Old 21st Jun 2011, 09:53 AM   #12
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Why? The problem is, gaming has evolved. The old "drag out each level with repetitiveness" bores most people. You can't really pretend like a game came out in 2004 when it came out in 2011.

That said, many current reviewers don't really know what gaming was like pre-2005, especially on PC. Even if they do, it's likely they don't from a critical perspective.

And, of course, part of the problem is that the game has issues even when considered in terms of the 2004 era. I don't think it would have been more than a 7.5 game back then, so time hasn't been kind to it.
Ok fair enough, but let me ask you this question. Super Mario Galaxy came out in 2007, got rave reviews, and is based on gameplay from 1996. Why wasn't it panned for having archaic gameplay, yet Duke was.
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Old 21st Jun 2011, 11:10 AM   #13
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Ok fair enough, but let me ask you this question. Super Mario Galaxy came out in 2007, got rave reviews, and is based on gameplay from 1996. Why wasn't it panned for having archaic gameplay, yet Duke was.
Because the formula for 3D platformers has pretty much worked since 1996 There haven't been massive changes to that formula really at all since Mario 64. Conversely, FPS games have changed a lot since 1996 both graphically and in terms of gameplay/design.
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Old 2nd Jul 2011, 03:59 AM   #14
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I think it was slammed because it's a game that feels, plays, looks and is clearly designed around 2004. Half Life 2 would take the same beating if it were released today. The game mechanics people are used to today are much more streamlined than they were back then and the game just doesn't feel that "good" for 2011.

Now, comparing it to games in 2004, it would have been pretty good...
As per what? Comparing Unreal Tournament - released in 1999 to games in 2011 - The original owns almost anything released in the past 3 years, except maybe Starcraft 2, but thats an RTS, not an FPS. So Duke Nukem Forever looking like it was released in 2004 is hardly a drawback.

I don't care if it has whizz bang super matrix style effects - that doesn't matter. As long as its a good game I don't care. M.U.L.E. is a good game. It was released in 1984 with the most basic of graphics. Yet, it is still a good game.
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Old 2nd Jul 2011, 09:18 AM   #15
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As per what? Comparing Unreal Tournament - released in 1999 to games in 2011 - The original owns almost anything released in the past 3 years, except maybe Starcraft 2, but thats an RTS, not an FPS.
UT also costs like $10 and a large part of why it stands up so well is nostalgia. Aside from that, UT is not single player and thus cannot suffer from the problems DNF does.
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So Duke Nukem Forever looking like it was released in 2004 is hardly a drawback.

I don't care if it has whizz bang super matrix style effects - that doesn't matter. As long as its a good game I don't care. M.U.L.E. is a good game. It was released in 1984 with the most basic of graphics. Yet, it is still a good game.
Nobody else cares about that either. A single player FPS feeling and playing like it was released in 2004, with the added issue of looking that old AND the added issue of also feeling like a video tour through FPS gaming history over the last 12 years really hamper the game's overall quality. Is it the worst game ever made? No. But it's not the best and some people won't find it very entertaining.
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Old 20th Jun 2011, 06:33 PM   #16
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So is this a Pamela Anderson scale? 10 years ago she'd be a 9/10, in 2011 maybe a 5...

Nice way of getting around giving an Unreal game a score
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Old 20th Jun 2011, 07:10 PM   #17
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So is this a Pamela Anderson scale? 10 years ago she'd be a 9/10, in 2011 maybe a 5...

Nice way of getting around giving an Unreal game a score
Not sure if you meant the review, but we started a review or two ago not giving out scores and instead trying to present the positives and negatives.
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Old 22nd Jun 2011, 01:55 PM   #18
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Not sure if you meant the review, but we started a review or two ago not giving out scores and instead trying to present the positives and negatives.
Didn't notice the no score before, guess we'll have to await the new Nalicity for numbers

All the same, good review. IMO from what I've read and seen regarding DNF it's an all-right game regardless. I'll prolly get it when it hits below $20 because it looks like fun no matter what year it was...
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Old 20th Jun 2011, 07:29 PM   #19
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I was actually surprised how much running and gunning I was able to do in the game, especially in comparison to other games.

At first I thought it was going to play terribly because the level they put in the demo in my opinion is probably the worst level (in terms of game-play) in the entire game.
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Old 20th Jun 2011, 07:30 PM   #20
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Honestly, are you guys serious? This game doesn't even hold a candle to the original Unreal, not to mention anything from 2004. Completely uninspired level design, tedious back-and-forth combat (either between ammo caches in boss fights, or lol, cover) and puzzles so stupidly easy you're wondering why they're in the game in the first place.

Ugh. No matter how you slice it, DNF is a terrible game.
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