GSY PREVIEW | X360, PS3, PC Sunday, October 10, 2010 | 12:40 AM

GSY Preview : Duke Nukem Forever

GSY Preview : Duke Nukem Forever

Ok, here we are. The most famous vaporware in the history of video games is eventually coming to life in 2011. 2K and Gearbox were so concerned about fitting with the main character of the game that they invited us in a dim lit and aphrodisiac music hall in Paris. The immersion would have been total if we had met some of these hostesses who usually party along with our pal Duke. But let’s get back to the game. We certainly had a special feeling when we finally put our hands on the pad to discover the legendary Duke Nukem Forever, 12 years after the official announcement. Here are our impressions of the short demo, so “come get some!”




We will not let him die without trying something!

Gearbox software CEO Randy Pitchford summed up 12 years of this extraordinary project. His first sentence was like “can you believe this?!” He certainly did not leave humor aside when he delightfully described the backstage of this building process. He even pushed his one man show further, stating that “Duke Nukem Forever is like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster: everybody heard about it, nobody ever saw it!” On a more serious tone, he explained us how difficult it was for them to undertake 3D Realm’s baby after they went bankrupt. They had the machine progressively running again by recruiting several people from the original development team. All levels are now developped and Randy showed us it was not developed by a just another major studio, but by true fans of the franchise. Our pal Duke hasn’t grown any older, and his sense of humor is still on the abrasive, brutal and vulgar side, just like old times. Gearbox did a perfect job bringing back to life a character we had lost sight of for all these years.



Nothing’s changed. Well, almost nothing

For the sake of having a story line – you wouldn’t expect an intricate scenario in a Duke Nukem game would you? – the game is set 12 years after Duke Nukem 3D. Not sure where this 12 year thing comes from… So Duke has become an international hero after he saved the world from horrendous pig-headed alien villains. He is now a celebrity, and his wealth is unparalleled on planet Earth. But this is not enough for him to settle down. It is quite the contrary since he decided to push the boundaries of outrageousness even further. He could have made the choice of a quiet life, taking advantage of his fortune until his latest days, but any of his plans was meant to be hampered by the aliens anyway. Duke’s lifetime foes are back. And they want revenge. During the demonstration, we could even see a group of aliens demolishing a golden statue of Duke. Yet another proof that crime often wreaks havoc in the life of true patriots.



Memories

Now that the scene is set, we are going to try to describe the demo as if you had played it. First image, first contact with the Duke: we found ourselves embodying the famous hero and urinating in a restroom… The thirstiest players will have the opportunity to make this unforgettable moment last for a while and enjoy Duke’s tasty comments. Once everything’s tucked in and trousers zipped up, you’re free to move forward. We felt an impression of déjà vu here since the restroom bore strong resemblance with that of Duke Nukem 3D’s first level. We rapidly realized we were in the locker room of a football stadium, while heavily armed were building some tactics on a dry wipe board, similarly to what football players do at half-time. You can wipe the board or even scribble on it if you want, so just let your imagination run free. Once the assault tactic was ready, it was time to enter the arena, and slay a few trigger-happy aliens on the way. We still didn’t have any weapon at this point, so we had to use what we had… We walked down a long corridor that lead us out, and found ourselves in a lift that went straight to the centre of the football field. An armored cycloid alien was waiting there, ready for slaughter. The more observant players will easily recognize the tribute to Duke Nukem 3D’s first boss. This is yet another pleasant reference for the experienced players that we are. It’s all in there: the famous Devastator that fires one rocket per second, and the gore finishing move in which Duke field goals the beast’s single eye! At that moment, we started thinking that the game was offering a remake of its predecessor's levels, which is good for nostalgia purposes, but a little worse in terms of novelty… But this is were Gearbox showed us their talent in creating surprise: the sequence we described was actually a game within the game. Mise-en-abime anyone?



Hail to the king!

Because guess who’s playing this game, comfortably chilling in his gigantic residence… Duke of course! We noted he was holding a Xbox controller with a custom livery. We do not know if he will be holding a Dualshock in the PS3 version, but we guess so. Then we noticed two blonde heads at the bottom of the screen. Those were simply twins who were pleasing the Duke while he was playing his own game. Duke’s everyday duty. After their job was done, the ladies asked Duke what he thought about the game. “After 12 f****** years, it better be good!!” Self-mockery is obviously not what the developers are afraid of, which promises even more surprises of this kind. The second level we played is actually the game’s fifteenth. We were in the middle of a desert, driving an all-wheel-drive Monster Truck in an environment that was reminiscent of Rage. The driving and grip sensations of the vehicle were not very good, but we started having fun quite rapidly after face-lifting some aliens with our front bumper. A boost function enables crossing obstacles with a pleasant acceleration effect. Players should note they can also use this boost up to enhance alien splatters upon collision.



Ten ways to slaughter an alien

After some time we ran out of fuel, so we had to walk. At that very moment, several groups of aliens arrived from several parts of the map. It was a great opportunity to try out the weapons offered on this map. Rest assured: all the good old death makers are here this time around. The classic laser aiming pistol which is not very effective. The more powerful, dismemberment-for-all shotgun. And the good old triple barrelled machine gun. Gearbox even included the sticky mines and the famous shrinking gun, which lets you trample on your victims as if they were insects. The laser sniper offers a bit of novelty here. It resembles the microwave beam, and after a headshot, it inflates your foe’s head until it explodes. Let’s hope we can put our hands on the freezing beam, as well as other toys from our brainless brute’s arsenal. After violent fights in the canyon we eventually took control of a fixed machine gun, and showered the wave of enemies dropped by an alien ship, as we took advantage of the usual explosive barrels laid out on the map. Unfortunately, we ended up being overwhelmed by the situation, hurled to the ground by the blow of an explosion. Rest assured though, our seasoned warrior still managed to grant the aliens with an obscene gesture before he collapsed…



Overall impressions


So here we are. After this 12 year wait, we must admit we just didn’t believe in anything anymore. We could finally put our hands on a playable version of what has now become a myth in the gaming industry. The risk with this is that we may become too demanding after such a long wait. The game is still far from perfect in its current state. There’s nothing mind boggling from a graphical point of view, though the game still looks clean and runs smooth. The driving sensations are clearly lacking as well, but this isn’t an essential part of the gameplay. The aiming system also requires some adjustments in order to be comfortable and natural, though there’s currently nothing that hampers gaming comfort in any way. In the end, Duke Nukem Forever seems to live up to its predecessor’s level. It is humor-packed, and offers several references to the past, ranging from pointless brutality to “disrobed” ladies. It is probably going to be a game to be reckoned with, provided you appreciate its specific universe. As far as we’re concerned, we’re obviously excited to see more about it!
Again we'd like to thank Balita for translating the whole article. :)

All comments

Commented on 2010-10-10 01:39:51
Nice preview. Did they say that driving "isn’t an essential part of the gameplay?"

Also, any word on multi player?

Thx for this.
Commented on 2010-10-10 02:06:25
Great preview indeed. Damn its 12 years already, time is passing way to fast I guess, they annouced it back in 1997...wild times xD
Commented on 2010-10-10 05:29:51
Duke was one of the few shooters I enjoyed as a kid, and from the preview it sounds like the Forever will have everything I love about the series :)
Commented on 2010-10-10 09:31:17
"Hail to the king, baby!"
Commented on 2010-10-10 10:38:46
Please don't take this the wrong way. I've been PC gaming well before the first Duke Nukem.
And well, I've got to say that it has been so long, that no amount of spectacle, or amazing game play will ever, ever live up to the hype and anticipation to this games release - almost to the extent where I wish it stayed a joke or myth.

The original Duke Nukem's were okay, nothing to write home about, but they were memorable more for the time period they were released. Part of what will kill alot of this anticipation is this alone I believe. The industry has been so watered down with run of the mill FPS's and same shit different packages, that to me, this isn't the time to release it and they would of probably been better off releasing it 5 years ago or 5 years from now.
Commented on 2010-10-10 11:43:28 In reply to tomcatobi
Posted by tomcatobi
Nice preview. Did they say that driving "isn’t an essential part of the gameplay?"
Also, any word on multi player?
Thx for this.
Thanks and thanks a lot to Balita.

Yes indeed, only a few levels give you the possibilty to drive a vehicle. I think I have also seen a buggy for a few seconds in the trailer.

Nothing about the multiplayer yet, Randy just said "You will see..." ;)
Commented on 2010-10-10 14:21:31 In reply to FireWire
Posted by FireWire
"Hail to the king, baby!"
OR... Rest in pieces!!!
Commented on 2010-10-10 16:39:00
I'm glad they didn't change anything of Duke's attitude. The balls need to be hard.
Commented on 2010-10-10 22:03:03 In reply to SangHee
Posted by SangHee
I'm glad they didn't change anything of Duke's attitude. The balls need to be steel.
lol, I guess steel is pretty hard.

I'll be buying this without reading reviews probably, maintaining blind fanboyism and throwing a fit when it crashes to the desktop.
Commented on 2010-10-11 07:51:02 In reply to crookedmind
Posted by crookedmind
Please don't take this the wrong way. I've been PC gaming well before the first Duke Nukem.
And well, I've got to say that it has been so long, that no amount of spectacle, or amazing game play will ever, ever live up to the hype and anticipation to this games release - almost to the extent where I wish it stayed a joke or myth.

The original Duke Nukem's were okay, nothing to write home about, but they were memorable more for the time period they were released. Part of what will kill alot of this anticipation is this alone I believe. The industry has been so watered down with run of the mill FPS's and same shit different packages, that to me, this isn't the time to release it and they would of probably been better off releasing it 5 years ago or 5 years from now.
this is true, but i am pretty sure most people are not expecting much from this game. i mean yeah, it has been 12 years but its not like they spent the last 12 years working in shifts to complete the game. no one will be surprised if it sucks, and if it is any good people wont have anything to complain about. either way though, whether good or bad, i think the hype for this game is long gone and no amount of marketing or advertising for this game will really bring up a huge fan base.
Commented on 2010-10-11 11:17:35 In reply to mustacio
Posted by mustacio
no amount of marketing or advertising for this game will really bring up a huge fan base.
nah, I'm sure a penthouse dlc would definitely... prick up some interest. Guaranteed.
Commented on 2010-10-11 11:31:34
This game needs DVD extras, to explain everything that went during the development of this cursed game.
Commented on 2010-10-12 14:30:38 In reply to Ghost_Deus
Posted by Ghost_Deus
Thanks and thanks a lot to Balita.

Yes indeed, only a few levels give you the possibilty to drive a vehicle. I think I have also seen a buggy for a few seconds in the trailer.

Nothing about the multiplayer yet, Randy just said "You will see..." ;)
Great preview to one of the franchise's I actually got to work on back in the 80's. I hope the gameplay is real fun like the first two Duke Nukem games. Your preview at least confirms it will be fun to play. When can we expect the first trailer and some ingame images?
Commented on 2010-10-12 17:46:31
Wow. Oral sex jokes. That's pitiful even for the Duke. Uberfail right there.
Commented on 2010-10-13 15:01:44 In reply to digi_matrix
Posted by digi_matrix
This game needs DVD extras, to explain everything that went during the development of this cursed game.
DVD would be too small :D
Commented on 2010-10-13 16:13:49 In reply to syler3000
Posted by syler3000
When can we expect the first trailer and some ingame images?
To be honest I don't know...
We made an ingame video during the show, but 2K didn't allow us to release it. Apparently it was too perfect... ;)

About the game


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    GriftGFX I just think it's a pretty bad sign if a new game can't generate interest on a free weekend. The fact that there are other new games is not a very compelling excuse imo. (28 minutes ago)
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    GriftGFX Black Ops is also the most popular Call of Duty sub-brand now. (29 minutes ago)
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    Sdarts Also, even WD2 and Dishonered 2 sold much less than the previous games in their series. Same for CoD:IW, very few games that got released this Holiday season sold more than their predecessors. (41 minutes ago)
  • Sdarts
    Sdarts electric devices, entertainment devices, etc. So who has that much money left that isn't reserved for Christmas perparation and gifts?! All around bad timing, hence why I believe Spring would be right (43 minutes ago)
  • Sdarts
    Sdarts Then you have the fact that by now people's wallets are hurting. And many people buyed new consoles, PS4 Base or Pro, and XB1 S. Plus Holiday season sells a lot of other things like clothes, PC parts, (45 minutes ago)
  • Sdarts
    Sdarts I believe it has to do with the fact that there's too many games to play at the moment, and most of these new games ar very long. This is the week FF15 was just released, and WD2 on PC as well. (46 minutes ago)
  • Sdarts
    Sdarts Maybe, but I believe it would have become a kind of "cult-classic" niche game even if it failed to become a very huge success. Still, if a game like TF2 isn't succesful, it's a real shame. (48 minutes ago)
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