Monday, June 6

For the King to Earn His Crown

For those who purchased Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition (twice in my case; I know I have a problem, but at least it was for two different platforms!), the demo version of Duke Nukem Forever was made available for download on Friday. I wasn't able to get my hands on it until yesterday, but I have no doubt that the impression made would not have been much different had I played it any time earlier.

If the demo is anything to go by, Duke Nukem Forever will be rough on the eyes, however, faithful to the puerile spirit the series has been renowned for.

Put up your.... dukes

It should also be frustratingly difficult if the full game plays like the trial. The first fight - which was impressive in terms of scale - lulled me into a false sense of security. I took minimal damage and defeated the titanic alien foe with nothing more than circle-strafing punctuated with sprinting for ammunition. It was painless; easy, nothing like its predecessor, Duke Nukem 3D. I was treated then to corny jokes about the game's long development cycle, which you all must have heard by now, which was followed with an enjoyable dalliance with a monster truck. Once I had to get out of my near-indestructible means of conveyance, it all went to hell.

Textures failed to load and those that did were of poor quality. A grainy veneer appeared intermittently over the action unfolding on screen. Enemies gibbed in an unconvincing fashion upon explosive impact (or being stomped after a hit from the shrink ray). Duke Nukem Forever is not looking like a game that has been in development for over a decade.

I'm happy to report that despite its unkempt appearance, Duke Nukem Forever was still fun to play and full to the brim with toilet humour. Kicking a field goal with an alien's eye was the highlight, but there were some challenging firefights which featured some unfailingly aggressive foes. The demo also affords players the ability to trail a respectably diverse arsenal of weapons including many favourites from the game's 2D predecessor.

While my experience left me feeling a little underwhelmed, it is important to note that this is essentially the same demo that was shown at the Penny Arcade Expo last year. The developers will undoubtedly have applied a few coats of polish to the final product; and no, I'm not just saying that because I've already paid for my copy. Truth be told, I'm looking forward to having the final product in my own two hands; not because I think it will be a "Game of the Year," contender, more because I want to see it released after more than ten years in development limbo. To put it into perspective, Duke Nukem Forever was first announced when I started High School. It has been in the works for about half the time that I've been alive.

Believe it or not, the king is set to return

For an idea of what the human race has achieved in the time that Duke Nukem Forever has been in development, I strongly recommend that you visit the following link for a laugh. Has anyone else pre-orded Duke Nukem Forever?

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