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