The 8 worst moments in Duke Nukem Forever

6. The loading screens

Like we said in No. 4, these things pop up with every death or new area, and they’re ridiculously long, uniformly boring and feature two pieces of music that will trigger painful flashbacks for anyone who plays through the game (on consoles, at least – lucky PC gamers only have to watch them for around 10 seconds). Don’t believe us? Here’s one in its entirety:

Above: Now, imagine watching this after every. Single. Death. 

7. The Hive level

The Hive is one of the better-designed levels in Duke Nukem Forever. However, it’s also the one with the most horrifying content. As unwholesome and annoying as the portrayal of women around the beginning of the game is, it’s nothing compared to what you’ll find in the alien Hive. Half the reason Duke goes to war with the aliens is to rescue Las Vegas’s captured women, but when he finds them, they’ve all been trussed up and impregnated with glowing alien larvae.

Above: Shoulda... shoulda maybe hurried a little

The only thing he can do for them at that point is to flatly quip “sorry, babe, It’s better this way” as he shoots them dead. And when Duke finally encounters the Holsom twins, who’ve suffered the same fate, he’s weirdly emotionless and unsympathetic as he watches them simper, swell and explode. There’s a hint of anger that comes through in his follow-up quip, but he really doesn’t seem to give two shits about what just happened. And if he doesn't, then why should we?

Above: And no, you can’t shoot the Holsom twins first. You have to watch them explode

Apart from being really unsettling, the whole thing is a weirdly dark departure from the goofy tone of the rest of the game. Sure, people get killed and gibs fly everywhere throughout DNF’s run time, but that’s par for the course in a violent shooter, comedic or otherwise, and it’s usually at least somewhat entertaining. Meanwhile, going around executing topless girls in glistening alien bondage is inarguably creepy, even in the context of mercy-killing. Even if something similar happened in Duke Nukem 3D.

To be fair, the reaction to this level has been a little over-extreme, with some critics interpreting what they’re seeing as graphic rape. And that isn’t an entirely unfair assessment, considering that what they’re seeing is a bunch of half-naked women writhing against gelatinous dick-poles.

Above: That erection is nowhere near as big as the one watchdog groups will sport when they find out this exists

While there is arguably a depiction of rape in the level, it’s less shocking than you might think. The game makes it (sort of) clear that the impregnation is of the oral, Aliens-inspired facehugger variety, which is generally seen as less objectionable when portrayed in popular culture. The culprits are called Pregnators, and they look like some kind of horrible cross between the parasites from Cloverfield and Frankenstein’s nutsack.

They’re also not picky about who their partners are, and I guess we should probably commend 3D Realms at this point for not squeezing in a gay joke when this happens:

Above: Although probably it’s just because Army of Darkness doesn’t have any particularly homophobic lines for Duke to recite 

On that note…

8. The wall boobs

What is this I don’t even

Jun 21, 2011

Duke Nukem Forever super review
Was it worth the wait?



Voice of Duke Nukem defends Duke Nukem Forever
Voice actor Jon St John and Gearbox's Randy Pitchford weigh in on negative Duke Nukem reviews

19 reasons we still love Duke Nukem 3D 
Not sure what all the Duke Nukem Forever fuss is about?


  • Stridefizzel - July 12, 2011 6:37 p.m.

    Ummm... I'm actually enjoying this game just fine. Yeah it's a little over the top, especially during the hive level, but I've been playing shooters for years and this really is pretty fun. The shooting mechanics remind me of bioshock, and they're waaaay better than the left for dead series (seriously, the L4D shooting mechanics can suck my balls), the multiplayer is actually a blast - i love the chaos of it, and I'm actually having a lot of fun with some of the things you do in the story. I really think the shrink down sequences are some of the most unique things I've done in a shooter since the old days, and I would take Duke Nukem as a protagonist over every other bland, cookie-cutter dead beat protagonist from pretty much any modern first person shooter (Bioshock, call of duty, etc.) At least Duke has personality! I give gamesradar kudos for not jumping too much on the bandwagon of hate for this game, because it's really not that bad. Actually I think it's pretty fun, and I'd give like a 7 or 8 if I had to review it.
  • LTS - July 12, 2011 4:06 p.m.

    I'm sick and tired of people complaining about load times!! It's like... [COMMENT LOADING... 70 percent] [COMMENT LOADING 90 PERCENT] [COMMENT LOADED. PRESS X TO CONTINUE] X. ... Have they even played Fallout New Vegas? I literally sat through an HOUR LONG load screen the other day, because consoles can't handle the game and have shit memory. Literally. It started freezing up, so I left it and did some stuff, came back an hour later and it finally loaded, only to crash immediately later. At least the loading screens in DNF are long for a reason and it doesn't crash.
  • yoshiking - July 12, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    Was I the only one that, after watching the loading screen video, who really didn't see what was so wrong about it? You know what's bad? An 80 minute cutscene... that you can't skip
  • MidianGTX - July 12, 2011 5 a.m.

    I love how the mindless fans instantly assume the reason people don't like the new Duke game is because of the sexual innuendos, rather than just accepting they don't like it because it's total and utter crap in general, WITH innuendos plastered on top just to give it an extra glossy coat of turd.
  • XxSwiftyxX - July 11, 2011 12:07 a.m.

    I think we live in a generation with people who simply have no patience to wait, we expect instant gratification or in this case everything to load without delay. Firstly I don't even think the loading times are a problem, I have a cell phone and a netbook I can browse on while waiting no big problem. I think that Duke Nukem deserved better than a 3 on gamespot or ign. The game was not perfect but it was a great game, the problem being most people had a big expectation for duke nukem, understandable that we had waited so long, but if you are a true Duke fan you should have understood why. Those who had not played previous games such as Duke Nukem 3D, Duke Nukem Planet of the babes ect.. Don't understand Duke is not to be taken seriously its an escape in reality, the one liners make Duke, the crude humor is apart of it, and if you can't handle the content in this game its certainly not for you.
  • prevet - July 7, 2011 11:50 p.m.

    You can't take a game like this seriously, if you just roll with it is a very fun game no, it is a awesome game.
  • lhjwamangoo - July 1, 2011 7:23 a.m.

    Hell no. Guys who bash Duke are just Modern warfare like game fanboys n graphic whores. I play all kinds of shooters and duke is something new. Something awesome. I was playing bad company 2 (ya im late) but Duke made me forget about it :D
  • lhjwamangoo - July 1, 2011 7:12 a.m.

    I'm playing on xbox 360. Except loading time it's awesome as fuck. Duke deserves at least 7 or 8. If bullshit like crysis2 got 8, duke should get 9 or 10.
  • The Ledge93 - June 28, 2011 4:41 a.m.

    Who made this game? Running With Scissors?!?!?!
  • zarathustra - June 26, 2011 8:51 a.m.

    Boy what a shit game. Fanboys that pre-ordered will obviously deny it - they blew plenty dollaz on a turd. Hopefully in time everyone will forget this total piece of meh & Duke will finally rest in peace.
  • Fiirestorm21 - June 25, 2011 4 p.m.

    Alright, at this point, if you've paid any attention at all to the gaming media, and STILL got Duke Nukem Forever, then you've lost the right to bash the game as a whole for the loading screens. Seriously, I hate talking with people about this game only for them to obnoxiously keep bringing up the upon-death loading screens. Granted, it is objectively a valid criticism, but it's just one facet. You've all been warned now, get it for the PC, it's not exactly a resource hog with its graphics. Let's move on. So, on that note, death never bothered me (or many other PC gamers from what I've seen) nearly as much as 360 gamers. Hence the general discrepancy in complaints on the game's difficulty. Boss fights didn't bug me. Level design I'm also not fully understanding people's complaints on. As the article notes, this is largely the same stuff that Half-Life 2 did, and is considered to be one of the greatest shooters ever made for it. Where the hell did our standards change? I like this kind of level design because it introduces VARIETY. You know, that trick designers used to use to improve the game's pacing, before it was all-shooting-all-the-time like in Call of Duty? (Excuse me, COD's quick-time-events, I forgot. Those definitely count.) The puzzles are a change of pace. If I'm shooting stuff ALL the time, that gets boring. It's literally repetitive. By definition. The puzzles are a break, a chance for me to relax a bit before tensing up and becoming ready to constantly utilize my reflexes against further waves of enemies. I will generally concede to the game's humor. Yeah, it's not supposed to be sophisticated, but even then, it does feel out-of-date (for obvious reasons) or it simply misses its mark. Thank you for a reasoned reaction to the Hive level, though; while I'm not a fan either, it's like you said, the reaction has been just a little overdone. Tasteless attempt at humor through rape and OMG how horrible is that? No, more like just a botched attempt at straight-faced Alien-style sci-fi horror. That and the whole thing that came out towards the start of the review wave, where people were making a big deal over how "hypocritical" the game was to be poking fun at Halo's regen health while DNF uses it own. Setting aside another obvious response which is that it's a joke, not exactly an intellectual examination of the merits of different types of health systems, the joke had nothing to do with regen health whatsoever. It was a joke on Master Chief needing power armor while Duke does his thing in a tank top. That's all. Way to blow it out of proportion. *deep breath* Wow, anyway. I'm a newcomer to this series, having only barely played the original, so don't mistake my motives here. Just been annoyed by a lot of the response to this game.
  • boxterduke - June 25, 2011 3:01 a.m.

    And let me tell you why you wrote this article. You know that Duke is famous and that any article about it will bring hits to your site. IGN did it with the second review and now this site.I'm still waiting on Gamespot to do the same. If you guys are professionals then you would know that nothing and I mean nothing that has been in development for 15 years would live up to the hype. So why don't you enjoy the game for what it is. I think enough is enough. Stop bashing the game, there are tons games worst that DNF. It is a fun and enjoyable game.
  • Japanaman - June 23, 2011 10:56 p.m.

    Duke jumping made me laugh. If he didn't jump like a stiff, (if stiffs could jump), it wouldn't be funny and if it wasn't funny, it wouldn't be a Duke Nukem game.
  • Fiirestorm21 - June 25, 2011 4:01 p.m.

    Alright (GR, add an edit function in, seriously), I meant at the beginning if you got it for the consoles. PC it's fine. If that wasn't clear from context.
  • boxterduke - June 25, 2011 3:03 a.m.

    Oh and loading times? Why don't you grow some balls and play the game on a PC. pffft
  • AndIThoughtHeSmelledLikePizzaOnTheOutside - June 23, 2011 3:11 p.m.

    I would love to hear more commentary from everyone as to what they would like from a sequel. I think if the reason they didn't tone down the stupidness is that it would be boring otherwise. Maybe in a better game, they could be more subtle with their humor.
  • CitizenWolfie - June 23, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    You bitch and moan about loading times and then put 45 second adverts before a video lasting 45 seconds. I really can't give the Duke as much grief as everyone else seems to be. It sort of feels like kicking an old man after he has shat himself and said something offensive. I guess if it doesn't come with a portal gun, plasmids or a celestial paint brush any game is ripe for riducule?
  • thewulfen - June 23, 2011 3:42 a.m.

    Lots of mad bros up in here. Its sort of adorable.
  • kyle94 - June 22, 2011 8:33 p.m.

    @Misfit119: Wow. Just. Wow. I didn't like the breasts, I didn't like throwing poop around. But good lord, that was almost comical. Are you trying to be a parody? Or are you unintentionally a paradox? Here's a hint; saying "We're not putting ourselves above you, you're lowering yourself" is contradictory to exactly what you're doing. By simply saying that, you're putting yourself over the target while denying you're doing so. You're either making fun of people who actually do that, or you're a complete bugger. If you're going to attack a target group, go ahead. Just have the common courtesy to not try to pin the blame on them. Just say "I have higher standards than that" and you would be respected, instead of laughed at. Hell, I like psychological horror films a whole lot more than slasher films, but I don't go around acting like a snob. I don't act as if their choice of entertainment makes them lower than me, nor do I act as they're purposely choosing to degrade themselves. Though, if you were trying to be a mockery of snobs, good job. Your comment did get a laugh out of me.
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - June 22, 2011 8:17 p.m.

    @misfit119 Who the hell cares if you want to play with shit? And you're saying that by doing that, you're lowering yourself? I hate you mother fucker for thinking you're better than everybody else. Go suck your brothers cock.

Showing 1-20 of 92 comments

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