For: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Developer: Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
When? 10 June 2011
What’s it all about? Well, if you don’t know the answer to that question then chances are you’ve been living under a rock for the past ten years or so. The Duke has Rambo’s same penchant for violence, ties with Evil Dead’s Ash for one liners and looks like he’s the evil twin of Captain America or such other all-American hero.
The game, famed as vapourware the world over until recently confirmed for launch (and that’s a confirmed confirm), is the successor to Duke Nukem 3D, the game that took Doom’s FPS mould and injected some much needed humour.
Why the delay in updating one of gaming’s most famous franchises? Who knows is the real answer to that – too much ambition, the bar being raised by the likes of Half-Life, funding issues, new engines coming along, you name it. What we do know is that DNF is finally very nearly upon us, but will it live up to the hype?
Early impressions suggest the jury’s still out, while there’s time to get the Duke up to scratch there’s no denying those visuals look a little rough around the edges, while there’s a little too much overreliance on the Duke’s penchant for partying in our opinion.
What you can guarantee at least is that this will be one hell of a ride as pig cops, aliens, bigger aliens, and more fall to Duke Nukem’s brand of ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ weaponry. The introduction of QTEs (that’s quick time events, get with the lingo chaps) means finishing off bag guys is more interesting than them simply crumbling into puddles of gore too.
Meanwhile driving sections, manning huge cannons and some fairly unstable environments all combine in an attempt to break up the standard FPS formula, so brining the Duke kicking and screaming into the modern day. With the likes of Bulletstorm already invoking the Duke’s spirit to great effect however it’s going to take quite a game for the FPS to make an impact.
Worth the wait? Ha! Only the throne is worth waiting this long for, and these days even that’s debatable. All we can ask of DNF is that it doesn’t besmirch a legend from gaming’s formative period, while simultaneously offering something new to a genre its predecessor helped define. Here’s hoping it’s another case of ‘Hail to the king’.