Google+

The GamesRadar Anti-Awards 2011

ANTI-GAME OF THE YEAR: Duke Nukem Forever

In the end, it could only be this.

Assuming you’ve read this article from the beginning and didn’t skip straight to the end, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. To be fair, Duke Nukem Forever is far from the worst game released in 2011 (or the worst to star Duke Nukem, for that matter), but that’s not really what this “award” is about. The AGOTY is traditionally awarded to whatever game embodies the worst aspects of the industry at the time, and this year, that’s Duke Nukem Forever.

After spending a decade and a half in development and being brought back from the dead by normally brilliant developer Gearbox, Duke Nukem Forever is a disappointing mess. It looks dated and lacks key features (like nonlinear levels and destructible environments) that made Duke Nukem 3D great, and yet it’s buggy and takes forever to load (on consoles, at least). It adds modern-shooter elements that don’t make sense for a hero who’s supposed to embody balls-out destruction, like a two-weapon limit and a flimsy, regenerating health bar, and then forces players through the kinds of insanely boring physics puzzles that most shooters abandoned years ago. It wears its sense of humor on its sleeve, and yet for all its out-of-context movie quotes, crass sexism and rehashes of things that were considered topical in 2009, the only thing in it that comes close to being funny is a sidekick who swears all the time.

Above: This isn't him

Through it all, Duke Nukem Forever exhibits a completely unearned sense of its own greatness, repeatedly telling us how much ass it kicks and how awesome it is that Duke is back after his long hiatus. And while we were excited to see him back in action, spending more than a few hours with him makes it clear that he’s a creaky relic of a bygone era – and so, unfortunately, is his game.


Runner-up: Blackwater

The mere existence of this game is offensive: it’s official propaganda for a mercenary company accused of war crimes, including the massacre of 17 unarmed civilians. Of course, we can’t hate a game simply for its subject matter, so Blackwater obliges us by also looking like something from 1995 and having horrible gameplay utilizing broken Kinect shooting controls within an on-rails, godawful shooting gallery that’s over in a couple of hours. And it costs forty bucks.

That's it for another year's bashing. Did we leave out something that pissed you off in 2011? You may find it among our personal Anti-Awards, or you can tell us about it in the comments below.

79 comments

  • Kuro - January 12, 2012 7:11 a.m.

    Is it bad that I liked the Battlefield 3 campaign? I never really noticed the AI ignoring my existence. I was enjoying myself, honestly. xD As for Duke Nukem.. Man.. I only got to the third or fourth level. I glitched through objects so many times that the low-brow humor which I usually enjoy couldn't even keep me playing. Thank god for Gamefly though. Saved me about $60 at the time of playing it. I'm a 360 fan, and I think it's really cool how the Sony guys bowed. You mentioned it already, but it should be stressed that in their position, that's a really honorable way for them to apologize. The deeper and longer the bow, the more it's supposed to mean. And I agree.. DA2 should have had something about how you replay the same areas over and over.. It's a little depressing to play for a second time.. Last but not least.. someone mentioned MW3 getting a mention? I agree as well that it should. It's the same gameplay from Modern Warfare 2. Which was TWO games ago. I really love apple pie, but after eating apple pie so much I will eventually get sick of it. And when there's suddenly a ton of hype about this NEW type of pie that turns out to be apple pie in a new box.. well.. that's just time to switch to a different type of desert. In otherwords, I've jumped from one side of the field to the other. Loved CoD until the latest entry. Until they start mixing things up, you won't see me playing it. It should get an entry somewhere.
  • slimjim441 - January 9, 2012 11:56 p.m.

    Quit your bitchin about DNF. Dated graphics aside, it was an awesome game and exactly what I wanted, just a little later than expected. If you ask me [shifts into maximum overtroll], Modern Warfare 3 should've won anti GOTY. The CoD series is a load of garbage after CoD2. I'm sick of people hyping up the series as the best gaming franchise when it's just a bunch of half-assed games that every Johnny No-Balls jacks himself off to his superior abilities to camp over his equally dickless opponents. So f*ck you CoD. Duke Nukem kicks ass.
  • AlphaDogZero - January 11, 2012 1 a.m.

    DNF wasn't just a mess because of the last gem graphics, it was also a mess because of the terrible gameplay, horrible dialog and absurd design choices -- GR are spot on in calling it the anti game of the year. Atleast CoD gets the (recycled) gameplay right.
  • slimjim441 - January 11, 2012 3:06 p.m.

    The gameplay wasn't horrible. There wasn't much to mess up in the first place. Running, jumping, shooting; it was all fine. And of course the dialogue is horrible, it's Duke Nukem. Full of cheesy kill lines, dumbass NPCs, and a half-assed plot made solely for the purpose of being able to have Duke kill aliens. My only major grief with the game is the lack of arsenal. Only being able to carry four weapons at a time was a little disappointing. But it was still one helluva game.
  • winner2 - January 9, 2012 2:37 p.m.

    DA2, definitely the biggest let down in gaming for me.
  • ET83phonehome - January 11, 2012 9:12 p.m.

    I can see where you're coming from, and I'm surprised that title never got a mention even in any of the GR editors' personal lists. I went into DA:Origins with no expectations and was still blown away. It was an original and compelling IP, which is traditionally hard to come by in RPGS. I eagerly awaited DA:II, and reserved my skepticism until actual playing it upon release, but found it just so lacking. Technically it did a number of things right and certainly did nothing that rendered it unplayable, but it was such an unfulfilled promise of what had been expected of a the sequel of DA:Origins.
  • Darkhawk - January 9, 2012 9:44 a.m.

    RE: The 9-10 scale. There was a time when 10/10 meant, quite literally, perfect, and it was reserved for titles like Super Mario 64 or Metal Gear Solid. Once you gave Bulletstorm a "perfect" score, you brought this upon yourself.
  • dekmaine - January 9, 2012 11:05 a.m.

    Exactly And whether or not a 10 means a "perfect" game is beside the point.It's still the highest possible score any game can get (inb4 11) and recently it's been given away too easily. e.g. Bulletstorm, seriously? At the time of the review everyone was so caught up in a joyful bliss of 10/10 that no one made a fuss about it. By the time we realise it the score system and fanboy expectations have been inflated.
  • TwinHallow - January 9, 2012 7:14 a.m.

    Best one is the Zelda one lol im a fan of the series and a 9 is pretty Awsome
  • quincytheodore - January 9, 2012 1:08 a.m.

    I was enjoying this article, then I... read the boner part. Geezuz, those two are the most turn off things in game. How could anyone...? While we're on subject, I got candidate, highly possibly winner of 2012 Anti-award, or Best of, your call. http://s1-01.twitpicproxy.com/photos/full/491949549.jpg You're gonna make an article for that, aren't you? Be honest...
  • Tikicobra - January 8, 2012 6:28 p.m.

    Did that opening paragraph make any sense to anyone?
  • matt-litzinger - January 8, 2012 6:21 p.m.

    Yes, the Xbox fanboy slamming of PSN going down was lame as all hell. I wasen't aware XBl went offline this year though but I did notice problems with its service I was having. One of the worst fanboy moments you forgot to point out was the Battlefield PC community constantly harassing the console players about anything and everything. Dues Ex comes in second for PC to console harassment.
  • talleyXIV - January 8, 2012 12:12 p.m.

    I have to be honest, I love Skyward Sword and with everything in me I believe that it straight up, no doubt deserves a 10. However I didn't post a comment about it. I realized that some people might not be up to the challenge of moving their arms for hours at a time. I also realized that a person not so physically up to the challenge might not enjoy the game as much as others. They may prefer to sit down to a game of Bulletstorm that got a 10, and just twiddle their thumbs and only use their index fingers, laughing along with the hilarious dick jokes and endless slaughtering of enemies. Instead of playing a game with a unique story, a control scheme that immerses you into the game, and some of the most brilliant puzzles and combat ever created, that got a 9. I understand. No really, I completely understand.
  • talleyXIV - January 8, 2012 11:39 a.m.

    I have to be honest. I think about 8 people were looking forward to Duke Nukem Forever, and they didn't even have good expectations.
  • doominatorx6 - January 8, 2012 6:17 p.m.

    You forgot me. So 9 people.
  • Stabby_Joe - January 8, 2012 10:57 a.m.

    Duke Nukem Forever didn't offend me as much as some other games (Blackwater as runner up is a good call). Although I am curious to the supposed better quality of the single-player DLC. Granted it's still probably going to not be very good but a step in the right direction maybe?
  • Ultimadrago - January 8, 2012 10:30 a.m.

    Gamesradar, for not expecting rampant misogyny in DUKE NUKEM...slap everyone in your offices...and then yourself.
  • CitizenWolfie - January 8, 2012 10:06 a.m.

    Just had a totally crazy thought. Utterly insane of course. Batshit insane. But here goes: What if, the reason GamesRadar have been giving so many high scores lately is because... wait for it... brace yourself... ... there have been a lot of brilliant games released this year? Oh the horror! How silly of me. Obviously GR are doing it on purpose to annoy us all and/or subliminally alter the standard scoring system. Yeah, that must be it.
  • doominatorx6 - January 8, 2012 9:36 a.m.

    'sigh' And yet another 'worst of 2011' list that has Duke Nukem as the shittest game of the year. Come on. You just knew that it was NEVER going to reach expectations, and even with that in consideration, people still expected way too much from it. Always bet on Duke? Maybe not. Plus, i'm pretty sure there were FAR shittier games that came out. Call of Juarez: The Cartel comes to mind.

Showing 1-20 of 79 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000