If you're a gamer, I don't need to tell you the story of Duke Nukem Forever. You know the old running jokes, you know the 10+ years gamers waited for it to be released. The elation when it was finally announced, and the giant tsunami of bile and bitter hatred when it actually got released. I read the reviews. The forums. The comments. It was unanimous: Duke Nukem Forever was the worst video game ever made.
It's not good. I am not going to come out and say "Duke Nukem Forever was actually pretty awesome", because it isn't. But I have been playing through it the past couple of days, and frankly, I'm not feeling the hate. It's mediocre, and it is broken in some places. I'm playing on PC, and the graphics range from absolutely gorgeous to "I can't believe they let this get released". The lighting is pretty atrocious in some spots.
But that's really my only issue with it. And they don't seem to be the issues anyone else has, although to be fair most people's strongest argument is just "This game sucks" without detailing why. A few people have said the humor is bad, or dumbed down, or juvenile. They've said the gameplay is dumbed down. They say everything is dumbed down.
Did you....did you ever play Duke Nukem 3D? The game where you could hand money to 2D stripper GIFs and pee on things? DNF is the same exact game, just with updated graphics. He has the same quips, the same one-liners, the same stupid, juvenile boobs-and-fart-jokes (or in DNF's case, poop jokes) sense of humor that DN3D had, completely unchanged.
The humor is juvenile. It's stupid. But it's also kind of funny in a 6th grade kind of way. Literally within 30 seconds of starting the game (you start facing a urinal with an on-screen command for which button to press to make you piss), I had accidentally picked a piece of shit out of a toilet, earning myself the achievement "Turd Burglar", and then hurled it across the room like a grenade. That pretty much sets the tone of the game. What kind of comedy were people expecting here?
The gameplay is a little dumbed down, I suppose. It adopted the more modern "regenerating health" model, much to the fans' chagrin. There isn't a lot of strategy to combat; it's mostly just throwing a bunch of enemies at you all at once. Oh wait, that's exactly like Duke Nukem 3D too. And at least Duke Nukem Forever mixes things up a bit with the levels, adding some areas where you are shrunk down to the size of a Ken doll, and ride around in an RC car.
I think gamers need a little perspective. Go back and play Duke Nukem 3D without any rose-tinted glasses. Think of how old you were when it came out, and think of how old you are now. I was 17 when DN3D came out, and I know I'm older than the average gamer is nowadays. 3D was not that great of a game, it was just funny because no one had made a game with that style of humor, and we were all kids back then.
If you'd paid $60 for DNF, I can see being pissed. This game is NOT worth that. I am coming from the perspective of having paid $4.99 on Steam over the holidays, and I feel like I made out like a bandit. Hell, it's worth it for the $19.99 Walmart is charging for the 360/PS3 versions. It's dumb, it's funny, and it's honestly kind of fun. It's not great, it's not going to impress you, but it's a good waste of time, and I promise you'll chuckle quite a bit.