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Friday, June 24, 2011

Video Game Review: Duke Nukem Forever

5.0 out of 10

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My first thought when I turned on this game—the first entry in what, a decade or so?—was: something's wrong with my new awesome TV projector. Something has to be wrong. The graphics are so, so bad!

Turns out, it's supposed to be that way. Man, what a bad way to introduce a new generation of immature gamers to the Duke Nukem franchise. Not only do the graphics totally stink, the game's first-person qualities are so outdated that it feels like you're playing an old game on the original Playstation. The original Playstation!

Here's the premise: the aliens are back, and they're trying to steal Duke Nukem's women again. He's not a fan of that, you see, and so when the crap hits the fan, it's up to Duke Nukem to save the world. Same ol', same ol', in other words. What makes this just a little different than its predecessors is there's a heck of a lot more imagination going on, especially when it comes to poking fun at other first-person shooters. Two guns? No way. Health bars? Nope ... Duke gets an "Ego" bar, and he can get tougher by checking himself out in the mirror. Power-ups? No way, dude! Duke Nukem drinks beers to get a bonus.

And then the screen gets blurry. Awesome.

After about two hours of this, I got fed up and let my girlfriend play. While she's no fan of video games, I wondered if perhaps I was being a little too harsh about the immature content.

When we started, I laid out a few basics to help her get through it ...

Me: "If you want to gain health, you need to look into a mirror and admire yourself."

Girlfriend: "No. That's horrible."

It wasn't long before she was bathing in pixellated alien blood, doing steroids, and generally disagreeing with Duke Nukem's catch phrases. Most annoying, sometimes the catch phrases repeated themselves a couple times. Since they were all pretty lame or complete rip-offs of pop culture, hearing them twice in a row angered us both.

I think my girlfriend summed up the game best, after reading a particularly masochistic message displayed during the long, long loading screen: "No wonder the girls have left. What the heck are wall boobs?"