Friday, June 3, 2011

Duke Nukem Forever verdict

So I just got done playing the demo of Duke Nukem Forever. For those of you who don't know, the demo is only available for the Duke Nukem Forever First Access Club members who got their code through various 2K Games packages, mine in particular coming from Borderlands. So how was the game? All I could say after finishing the demo was, "WHAT - THE - FUCK - HAPPENED?!"

Regular readers of the blog remember my rant on Halo being a huge contributing factor to the downfall of the first-person shooter genre with it's regenerating health and two weapon inventory system. I was playing FPS games back in the 90s when you could carry a retardedly large arsenal of weapons at a time and had to keep your health in check with medkits and varying strategies. While Valve works on Half-Life 2: Episode 3, I continue to miss those days, so it came as no surprise that I was really looking forward to Duke Nukem Forever, which seemed to have it's gameplay mindset still pretty set in the good ol' 90s. I remember having high hopes of being able to press the "9" key to pull the biggest weapon I've found out of my bottomless pocket to dispatch that one enemy that knocked most of my medkit shoes off. Now I've played the demo and I can safely say I should have stuck with the cynical mindset I've had for today's shooters to avoid being this disappointed. It's a good thing game demos can both hype you up AND prepare you for the worst.

Health regeneration and two weapon inventory reared their disgusting two heads once again, dashing all hopes I had of re-living the days when shooters didn't suck ass. I could have forgiven it a little if the gameplay was at least satisfying to play, but sadly, no, not even that was given to me. Every event of the demo felt weak, the animations lacked serious polish and to top it all off, the graphics felt dated, but that's to be expected for a 13 year development time.

It's times likes this that I realize, when I'm not looking forward to a single game release for the rest of 2011, something has either gone terribly wrong with the gaming industry, or I'm already a bitter old bastard that's hard to please. Maybe that's why so many people dream of getting into game design, not because they just want to be more involved with video games because they play them so much, but to prevent this unacceptable downfall of quality standards and games that aren't fun to play, but follow formula of previous titles that sold well. Of course, now I'm just leaving on a more bitter note than before.

In summary, Duke Nukem Forever appears to have suffered at the hands of the Halo plague just like all the rest of the FPS games in this day and age. After 13 years in development, I'm ashamed to say the wait may not have been worth it. I know I'm basing this off the demo, but the game comes out in just a couple weeks, so I don't expect much else is going to improve.


  1. I know what you mean bro.
    All these bad game releases lately made my awfully pessimistic about the direction in which the gaming industry is going. 6 months ago I had a full list of game I look forward to in 2011, but now that list is down to Skyrim and Half Life 2 Episode 3. Even Portal 2 turned out to be a huge disappointment from Valve, simply recycling Portal 1 with bigger maps and more puzzles.
    The worst thing is that most, if not all of my friends ENJOY these crappy 'modern' games. That fact, combined with the bad games' intimidating popularity, only reinforce my opinion that gaming, and pop-culture overall, are getting shittier by every minute.

  2. Hmm. I understand your opinion, but do not agree with it. I have played the demo for Duke Nukem Forever, having also got a First Access code. The health regeneration, although present, is sort of midway between COD and Halo regeneration systems and Half-Life 2 style health, being that you did regenerate health, but not all of it in the demo.

    Secondly, I believe there's nothing wrong with games industry; it's just following and learning from what made games like COD and Halo good to appeal to bigger range of consumers, and it just so happens that the games industry thinks that health regen is one of those things which made Halo and COD popular. So in other words, as you put it, I think that you are a "bitter old bastard that's hard to please". But there's nothing wrong with that. Not all games suit everyone.
    But I wouldn't say that this is an entire "downfall of quality", which is a little strong, as you can't claim that games like Halo, COD, Battlefield etc. are of "poor quality", it just doesn't suit a minority group who feel so. Otherwise, how else did these games sell so well?

  3. they sell so well because they are mainly aimed for kids who the first thing they played is halo or CoD who will play anything that doesnt require them to think or put a little effort to play, also that dont care about a good story line, just the repetitive kind of multiplayer, i wont deny that i loved the story of CoD MW 1 & 2, But Whenever i switched to multiplayer the only kind of players i found where kids thet seemed to only speak in swear words, and it ruined it for me, they are good quality but if you think about it, they are just the same game over and over jst with diferent weapons and graphics

  4. It's the pirates fault, obviously.

  5. 2 weapon system is supposed to make weapon and ammunition management more difficult... if that's what you where asking.

    But you knows, having infinite pockets always sounded good (that way you had to choose the right weapons).. and after the 90's we had many games like serious sam, Unreal 2 etc... which allowed you to do this.

  6. I am finally glad that I can find someone with the same feeling towards the gaming industry,

    With the deterioration of gaming happening constantly over the past few years I have noticed that no one wants to play a seriously submerse game IE: The Elder Scrolls Series, Fable I, Jak and Daxter. These are RPG games but even RPG's are becoming worse and worse.

    The regenerating health system is "Ok" if it stays in an FPS but I've noticed that other genres are putting it in there too, Making them a complete drag because it kills the very fundamentals of a game.

    In the next few years I expect this to get even worse, But every now and then a really good game comes up but, They never seem to gain popularity because everyone wants a specific type of game. And that type of game is just a mock up of some other games thrown together until thats the only thing being made.

    I hope this makes sense.

  7. CoD is why we can't have nice things.

  8. Went to midnight launch, also got the free trucker hat, and all i have to say is "COME GET SOME"

  9. I don't think the purpose of not being able to carry more than two weapons is that it makes it more realtistic. I think the purpose is to reduce complexity. Cycking between several weapons is hard on console which dominates PC now. Pressing (Y) once is so much more easy than pressing it over 9000 times. It's also more easy on PC too because, remembering to press [1] or [2] to cycle is much easier than memorizing which number represents each weapon.

  10. @Alex

    So, blame consoles again.

  11. Sorry to say Bo, but you are suffering from a severe case of nostalgia fever. Have you ever been to /v/? Everyday over there, people complain about what gaming has become. These are the same people who probably grew up with classics like Doom, Nintendo staple titles, etc. Because of this, they are not so readily accepting of change. You complain of regenerating health as a factor that seems to be making games easier. If having to backtrack 20 rooms to grab the medpack you forgot or entering a checkpoint with 10 HP right before a boss fight is what you call fun, you are entitled to your opinion. But games that employ regenerating health can still be quite challenging. Maybe you just aren't playing at the highest difficulty.

    It is not like I'm trying to force you to like this new change. But complaining about it will only make you more pessimistic and cynical. Look to /v/ as an example. That place is an absolute shit hole of people pissed off at current trends. And what is their rationale? That new games aren't anything like their precious childhood memories. What can I say? Gaming has evolved. It has grown and developed. The ability to store 20 weapons in your pants pockets isn't realistic, though the matter in which games should employ realism is debate in itself. And the fact that the gaming industry must mostly cater to the bigger audience; the 12 year olds, the college students, the sweaty pizza-pop consuming leviathan leveling his alt; is not news. It is apparent everywhere. After all, people make games for money, not pleasure. The few outliers in that scenario will not be making video games for long.

    Sorry for the rant Bo, but I thought you would be interested in the perspective of someone who used to think like you do now.

  12. Hey BoSchitt, I too played the demo, then the game, to find it wasn't really worth much. The shooting was bland, and one part gore + women crossed and that part over did it a little.
    Definitely not worth the wait, sad to say.

  13. I could only agree with Boo.
    Today main problem with FPS - regenaration.
    Maybe somebody asks me - Why? What is wrong with it? And i will answer - it is too easy to play even on the highest diffictly. There is no good memories about game you have completed. May be healing with medkits is not very realistic, but at least it makes you use your health reserves more carefully. With healh regeneration - you neet only to hide for a few moments and you are alive and happy again, and again, and again, and again. (Unlimited numbers of again).
    There is no chalange at all, sometimes such regenaration reminds me liquid robot from Terminator 2.
    PC - what are your problem with 10 weapon buttons system people? What the difficulty to remember the old standart 1 Knife 2 pistol 3 shotgun 4 assault rifle and etc?
    It is not so difficult as many people think.
    Sorry for my bad english.

    July 11, 2011 4:14 PM

  14. Nice arguments here got me quite thinking for a while. As a player of these games I'm quite oblivious to these facts. Good food for the thought. wow accounts for sale

  15. Regeneration is not the main problem, i think more of the restrictions that are put in a game only because they want it to be more real, a game is not made to be as real as possible but as fun as possible, sure the 2 weapons only may apply to games like CoD or Halo but to a game like Duke nukem?... I mean the whole purpose of the game is giving you a good time by making no sense at all, Aliens kidnaping women for no apparent reason, Futuristic weapons and the balls of steel of duke by making it all with his fist (If you are hardcore like me), in that kind of games realism doesn't seems like an improvement it seems more like a restriction to have not as much fun as you would get from the old games.

    And another thing, many pepole defend the topic that the current gaming industry is not bad because the games evolve and addapt, that is not real... why you ask?, the whole reason for making the games like they are making it now is just for profit, game commpanies sees that a game is selling really well and so they try to copy some things that were included in the game (2 weapons limit and life regeneration in this case) with the hope that if they do that their game will sell as much as the other game sells.

    And finally im not saying that the actual gaming is lost and that i want the old games back, what im saying is that the games are now more centered in selling than being fun experiences, but eventually game companies will see that and the games will be a full experience and fun as well

  16. There may be some hope for a good FPS. From what I understand, Doom 4 will be bringing back the old style of shooters. There isn't much info about it right now, but apparently the game is returning to the original, action packed style of the first and second games instead of the more horror styled third game.

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  18. Duke Nukem was and will forever be immortalised in gaming history, and this is his legend.