Duke Nukem Forever was once the game that’d never be released, then it became the game that never should have been released. Duke was a charismatic star of hyper-violent, sophomoric first-person shooters in his day, but that day passed long ago while his fans waited more than a decade for Duke Nukem Forever. After Duke’s studio closed, it seemed over for the crew-cutted one, but developer Gearbox dragged the game to the finish line, delivering Forever to a less-than-appreciative audience.
Instead of relaunching Duke in style, DNF felt like a relic from a bygone age that’d been hastily reassembled. Gearbox did their best to pull all the pieces back together, but the dated jokes, frat boy characterization, and objectifying women didn’t connect with most gamers. If Gearbox plans to continue the Duke franchise, then they needed to get Forever out before the series could move on, but DNF’s poor reception gave longtime fans the crummy Duke game they never wanted.