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.