Duke Nukem Forever: The first two hours

It’s been nearly fourteen years since news of a proper sequel to Duke Nukem 3D was first announced way back in 1997. Since then, the game’s made its way to development hell and back again. But with a solid release date set for May 3rd, 2011, Duke Nukem Forever is finally about to become a reality now that the torch has been passed on to developer Gearbox Software.

Interest in the long awaited return of gaming’s manliest hero is almost palpable. But will Duke Nukem Forever mark the triumphant return of oldschool shooters with attitude or will it just feel old? Will Duke charm the pants off you like he did back in the day, or will the game’s low-brow humor fall flat with the facepalm-ery of a crude Postal punch line? If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. After playing through the first two hours of Duke Nukem Forever, we’ve chronicled highlights of the best and worst from our experiences here for your reading pleasure.

Hail to the king baby!

After sending the aliens running home with their tails between their legs in the previous game, Duke is living the good life. He’s the most famous man in world. He’s the richest man in the world. All the ladies want him and the all the kids want to be him.

With the world officially saved, Duke Nukem is enjoying every material comfort available to him at his own personal palace, the Lady Killer Casino in Las Vegas. From his penthouse suite, we catch up with Duke enjoying a videogame based on his previous exploits. “So [Duke Nukem] feels a lot like we do,” explained Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox. Like us, gaming’s manliest FPS superstar has been waiting for years to play the new Duke Nukem game.

Above: DNF quickly throws you in a football arena with this giant boss. After pummeling him to submission, you finish him off by ripping out his eye and kicking it through the field goal for victory

Above: Soon after, the camera pulls back and you find yourself in Duke’s penthouse suite in the Lady Killer Casino

It’s a surprisingly thoughtful way for the game to open up. You’ve got the game-within-a-game, a bit of self awareness, and a subtle nod to the fact that it seems it really does seem like we’ve been waiting forever to play Duke Nukem Forever. But any concerns that Duke has gotten too high-brow and soft for his own good are put to rest when it’s revealed that he was being pleasured by two women the whole time he was playing his own game, which sets the tone for the over-the-top machismo you can expect to come. It’s not long before we’re bombarded with sexual puns and politically incorrect stabs at humor every few steps.

Feeding the ego

Duke’s penthouse rests on the 69th floor of the Lady Killer Casino, right down the street from the Fellatio Casino (based on the Bellagio Casino). Posters chronicling his ultra manly exploits line the walls and it’s clear that the only person who loves Duke Nukem more than his fans is himself. You see, Duke Nukem doesn’t have a health bar; he has an EGO meter, which fits perfectly with his narcissistic nature; as long as Duke thinks he’s amazing, he’s invincible – and we love that.

Above: All the girls want Duke and all the kids want to be him. This makes perfect sense


  • BigScary - February 23, 2011 5:57 p.m.

    I had given up on Duke, and now he's comin back. This is gonna be AWESOME.
  • gkrebbs - February 18, 2011 10:56 a.m.

    All the money being spent to promote this game and fanfare and all and you guys can't even put out a decent video of the game? If it has a full screen mode then why not put it in at least 520 to do it some justice let alone 720 or 1080p! Come on somebody... Regarding the game itself, I've already got the collector's version pre-ordered...
  • TRIXRFURKIDZ - February 13, 2011 7:34 p.m.

    Loved the game since the beginning
  • NullG7 - February 13, 2011 6:06 a.m.

    Where Do I Get That Controller???????
  • Shadowsedge117 - February 13, 2011 1:17 a.m.

    Long live the Duke!
  • TheIronMaiden - February 11, 2011 10:18 p.m.

    I'm the only one at my game store excited for this game : ( everybody else just wants another copy of madden or call of duty...hail the the king!
  • Transmatrix - February 11, 2011 8:38 p.m.

    Man, after seeing Ars Technica's review I thought this game was going to suck. I'm glad that someone else actually liked it. Now I at least have a little hope. I won't be pre-ordering it but I'm more excited about potentially playing this game now.
  • DeepIsh - February 11, 2011 4:22 p.m.

    Oh wow... Someone freeze me and defrost me in May.
  • Zeb364 - February 11, 2011 8:37 a.m.

    Hell yes!
  • jpickens - February 11, 2011 2:37 a.m.

    Maybe this will mean a revival in the franchise hope so because we can use games like the Duke Nukem games.
  • festerblatz82 - February 11, 2011 1:56 a.m.

    I can't take anything you say seriously after you proclaim TimeSplitters the best shooter of all time. Good lord. Duke is satire, he's not supposed to be taken seriously.
  • Cruddi - February 10, 2011 10:21 p.m.

    hehe i am excited for this, last Duke game i played was Time To Kill... Fantastic little game for the Playstation 1 in 1997
  • e1337prodigy - February 10, 2011 9:31 p.m.

    Fantastic. Great article/preview. I'm kind of glad duke nukem took so long so that some of the ideas that were in it 10 years ago are still in it, when all other shooters have moved on to the same thing. Duke will be different, and I'm glad. He deserves it. Hopefully it is a success and we see a regular duke game every 3/4years from gearbox. Also can you imagine a game with Serious Sam and Duke Nukem teamed up. It will have to have a co-op option. That would be so manly, you will have to do a multiply choice test just to buy it!!
  • Jasman - February 10, 2011 8:18 p.m.

    Hell YES! I can't wait for May.
  • jamboy199three - February 10, 2011 8:10 p.m.

    Lol DNF = did not finish, i still think theyre never gonna finish it XD
  • Person5 - February 10, 2011 8:10 p.m.

    @BellaKazza dude calm down. First and foremost, no one actually sees Duke as a role model, that would be absurd, Duke is a very stereotypical action hero that is taken to the extreme, it adds to them games charm as well as the fact as one man taking down an entire alien invasion twice does make him badass. People want this game out for one reason the fact that it has been in development for so long, and because D3D was awesome, he was the male counterpart to Laura Croft back in those times, but its not because our culture perceives that as "manly" but because it was a big part of that era of gaming and people just love some nostalgia, I guess I can't really convince you to like a game cus thats your opinion, but don't act like Duke is our idol and act like you feel better than us for liking Duke. and one last thing, TimeSplitters was good, but Duke was way better
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - February 10, 2011 6:15 p.m.

    News just in - this is an elaborate hoax, DNF was never actually going to BE a game. Joking aside, this looks pretty epic. If a bit late.
  • chriszewski - February 10, 2011 6:11 p.m.

    In addition to the Duke-revisiting, i could easily go for an updated Shadow Warrior. "You no mess with Lo Wang." "Whooooooo wantasome Wang?!" I do.
  • Stridefizzel - February 10, 2011 5:38 p.m.

    YES!! I am SO pumped for this game. And thank heavens for gamesradar, you guys are true gamers who are excited for a new game in a classic series. IGN on the other hand, they seem intent on not liking this game. This sight is better!
  • ZeRo - February 10, 2011 4:36 p.m.

    CAN'T FRICKIN WAIT!!! I've been so patient for the last 14 years, ever since I finished Duke 3D for the first time when I was 11 in my parent's basement!

Showing 1-20 of 45 comments

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