It’s Here (Or Is It?) – Duke Nukem Forever

By Alec Meer on June 10th, 2011 at 9:55 am.

Congrats, man

Today’s the day. Today is the day. The day that over a decade of abject silliness is finally resolved: Duke Nukem Forever has been released. Good grief! It’s actually happened. It’s available in shops, whatever they are, right now, and also on Steam. Unfortunately, a number of players, myself included, are experiencing a problem wherein over 100 game files – including the main .exe – are not downloaded, thus preventing access to the game. (Yes, I’ve tried validating and redownloading; no, it didn’t work). Graaaaaaaah! A final, cosmic joke perhaps? I hope you’re not prey to it, but it does mean my plans to run an as-I-play liveblog have been denied for the time being.

So, anyone fired it up yet? How’s it seem? And how does it feel, to be playing this game of such infamy?

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108 Comments »

  1. westyfield says:

    Pfft, .exe files. It’s not like they’re important.

  2. TheApologist says:

    That’s annoying, but so very fitting.

  3. v_ware says:

    I have no intrest in this game.

  4. Demon Beaver says:

    Oink oink… *flutter*

  5. KauhuK says:

    I’m picking it up when it hits bargain bin. Unless it gets good reviews (from critics and users) in which case I’ll reconsider getting it from cheapest place. Also I’m replaying Stalker games with mods.

    • FakeAssName says:

      I honestly can’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate the launch of this game, kinda like when Transformers 2 came out and I tried to cerebrate it by watching Robotjox, but when I went to rent it both Robotjox and Robotwars were allready checked out.

    • sasayan says:

      I remember watching Robot Jox as a kid, to this day I can’t decide if it was horrible or amazing. It’s most likely both.

    • FakeAssName says:

      It’s the most amazing crap movie in the world, kinda sad that to this day it’s got the best live action mech combat. you would think that by now someone would have put together something better than stop animation.

    • DK says:

      I saw Robot Jox for the first time a while ago on Youtube (I don’t know if they still have it on there) and it was 80% awesome and 20% crap. But mostly it’s geniunely cliche breaking. It’s a real Greek tragedy, and it doesn’t pull any punches – with both “Hero” and “Villain” having character development in the end.

    • neems says:

      I’d never heard of it, but it appears the screenplay was written by Joe Haldemann, who wrote ‘The Forever War’ (bit of a classic).

    • thessalian_pine says:

      Yeah, The Forever War! Time dilated Space-Vietnam. Great Book, really enjoyed that one.
      Never heard of Robotjox, though.

    • fitzroy_doll says:

      @neems: Haldemann’s involvement is not an endorsement. The material he produced bears almost no relation to what was put on screen, other than the broadest outline of the story (far future, conflicts settled in arenas rather than on battlefields).

  6. Baboonanza says:

    It’s fine.

  7. Koojav says:

    I played First Access Something demo on Steam a few days ago.

    OMG. WHAT A PIECE OF CRAP.

    • lurkalisk says:

      I completely understand (but don’t agree with) the “It’s okay, whatever” sentiment, but crap? Sounds a bit hyperbolic.

    • Eclipse says:

      I bet he’s referring to the fact he spent the whole demo throwing that piece of crap around, as I did… right? RIGHT?

      Ok more seriously, it’s clearly not the BEST GAME EVER, but it looks like solid fun, solid duke nukem fun.

    • lurkalisk says:

      I would certainly agree that (given what I’ve played) it’s not the best game ever, but yes, it’s worth buying.

    • Koojav says:

      Maybe I should say I bit more what I exactly meant :
      I spent around 30 mins playing the demo and most important impressions where:
      - Oh great, we’re back to graphics from The Past, now I can finally downgrade my gaming rig.
      - Erm… that was a boss fight on hardest difficulty ? Seriously ?
      - Woo I get to drive a car. (1 min later) GET ME OUT OF THIS SHIT !
      - Wait, what ? I’m on a flat desert surrounded by high, straight vertical walls ? Now I’m sure I’m in the 90′s.
      - Uuu… time to fight alien spaceship using RPG ! But why does this ship has less details that a decent render of a box of matches ?
      - Ok… I’m in a cave with invisible walls that I can’t pass thru.
      And that’s what I meant by saying:
      OMG. WHAT A PIECE OF CRAP.

    • juandemarco says:

      It’s Duke Nukem, exactly what I expected. Nothing mindblowing, but certainly not a piece of crap!

    • Koojav says:

      @juandemarco would you mind saying why exactly it’s not crap ? Not a trollfest or flamewar enthusiast. I’m just curious.

    • Milky1985 says:

      “Oh great, we’re back to graphics from The Past, now I can finally downgrade my gaming rig.”

      Well its not quite graphics from the past, theres a surprsing ammount of detail in there but the internet seems to be shouting graphics are bad so i will have to add this to the list of things to ignore when people say it

      - Erm… that was a boss fight on hardest difficulty ? Seriously ?

      Erm it was a no lose battle to start the game off? You seriously didn’t get that?

      -Wait, what ? I’m on a flat desert surrounded by high, straight vertical walls ? Now I’m sure I’m in the 90′s.

      how is this different from the normal cityscape of high walls :p Was a bad choice of demo level from what i could see of the other levels but i was spending more time running around shooting stuff

      - Uuu… time to fight alien spaceship using RPG ! But why does this ship has less details that a decent render of a box of matches ?

      because its a metal alien ship? It did have a decent ammount of detail but not a lot, again, i was playing the game and trying to avoid being shot at the tieme (if you had enough time to ogle the ship maybe you shoudl turn up the difficulty from “easy”

      - Ok… I’m in a cave with invisible walls that I can’t pass thru.
      Didn’t see any invisable walls, just some unbreakable walls.

      basically you have seen a video some one bitching and repeated it. Seems that i have to add “its got bad graphics” (with no description of why they think its bad) to my list of clues that person either hasn’t actually played the game or just simply cannot be trusted as they are an idiot. Like the people who say “its a kiddy game”, “its not a hardcore game” or “mass effect 2 is not a shooter, its an rpg”

    • Koojav says:

      @Milky1985 Oh, wow. Fanboy called me an idiot during an internet discussion about a video game that I find poorly done. What an unexpected turn of events.

      Just go and play something that has been released on newer engine than UE 2.5 and maybe, just maybe, then you’ll understand the concept of bad graphics with small amount of details.

      Oh and btw. there have been quite a few metal objects in video games past those few years that have been modelled in detail. Hint: Have a look at Crysis 2, there were quite a few metal objects that don’t look like someone had a small budget of polygons to spend.

    • lurkalisk says:

      Koojav, I would try and loosen up if I were you. You come off as a rather antagonistic, unpleasant person. I would hope that’s not usually the case, but you seem to be making quite an effort.

      Now, I’m sorry if that’s offensive, I’m just saying you don’t seem to give a damn about being considerate. That’s not exactly uncommon (I won’t say I always try), but again, I hope that’s not usually the case for you. Sorry if your just a bit miffed about something…

  8. Quxxy says:

    I was going to give the demo a spin when I noticed two things:

    1. There is no demo. Apparently, the demo is being reserved for people who already own the game, which makes absolutely no sense.

    2. $80 USD. Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be forking out that much for it.

    What sucks is that I was looking to play Red Faction: Armageddon the other day; that does have a demo, but only on PS3 and 360.

    Screw it; back to Minecraft.

  9. Dirk Krause says:

    I shortly played it this morning before work and it worked perfectly fine. I can’t comment on the quality yet, but I’ll play it this evening and don’t expect to be disappointed. Then again, I am not a hard core gamer but an old Duke fan.

  10. abigbat says:

    IGN’s Charles Onyett did a great commentary on a section of the game; looks incredibly irritating.

    http://uk.pc.ign.com/articles/117/1175194p1.html

    • SirKicksalot says:

      I won’t pay attention to what IGN has to say after they complained about the lack of ironsights and setpieces. What guarantee do I have that “stages confusing to navigate” means just that it’s not COD-style linear?

  11. Polysynchronicity says:

    I watched TotalBiscuit’s first impressions video, and it doesn’t bode well for this game. :/

    • Amun says:

      I did enjoy all the preemptive defense of his position on the game. Also, the sequel that we’ve all been waiting for is really in the pinball machine — you just have to get a high score and it unlocks.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      This looks rather aged, doesn’t it?

    • Unaco says:

      What the hell is he talking about? Total Biscuit said here, on these very RPS Article Comment threads last week, that Duke Nukem was a Day 1 purchase! It is Day 1 of release, Total Biscuit has said, buy this game on Day 1. Did he recommend a shoddy game to be purchased, on Day 1, for full price, during a problematic release?

    • lurkalisk says:

      Relatively speaking, he seamed to treat the game somewhat more harshly than, well anything.

      Then again, most seem inclined to do so. I understand that standards improve with time, but that doesn’t mean a game can’t be judged on it’s own merit…

  12. chaostangent says:

    Played it last night when it unlocked (bizarrely) at 11pm. Nothing groundbreaking, certainly shows its age and the humour is about as scattershot as it gets. Realistically, it could never match the hype, at least now it’s out and the world can move on.

  13. terry says:

    M-M-M-MULTI-TROLL!

  14. Symitri says:

    So I downloaded it, strapped myself in and got ready to play. Then my client resized itself to 640×480 and while I tried to change it through the options it refused to let me. So then I closed it, rebooted it, and it was properly at 1920×1080. Then I went into the options menu, tried to change it, and waited through multiple stutters for it to go through. Finally I got past the terrible menus and into the game.

    After playing Borderlands, I should have expected the awkward FOV. But my play through the Witcher 2 on medium-graphics settings could not have prepared me for the terrible graphic stuttering that I got while playing DNF given how poor the graphics looked in comparison. The graphics being outdated didn’t bother me but the stuttering did.

    I continued playing through and felt generally bored with the experience. Nothing really leapt out at me or made me laugh and I’m pretty easy to please. I ragequit after two missions because I got sick of the stuttering. Overall, I felt I got more of an experience out of a Duke Nukem experience from Bulletstorm than I did from DNF. It’s not that it’s bad, but that it’s just incredibly average. It has no amusing quirks that make me love it past the obvious flaws, it just feels soulless.

    • papabear says:

      +1

      Duke is cheesy beyond his usual cheesiness. It is so cheesy that it feels raw, souless and boring. I don’t know, maybe I am not really a fan of Duke Nukem but I remember playing the game wildly a decade ago. Maybe Duke is just “out” now. Almost every game has the profanity, nudity or self glorifying characters nowadays. If you are after a decent/above avarage shooter this game isnt for you.

      Clearly this is just a quick money maker for Gearbox. It is rushed (I know it sounds weird), unpolished and there is no optimization at all. Hardly a 6.

  15. gwathdring says:

    Well, getting perhaps the most famous piece of vaporware to store shelves is certainly an achievement. I’m not sure what it means for gearbox but … I guess, congratulations. Still not sure just how hearty a congratulations to offer, but have one anyway.

  16. MonkeyMonster says:

    Bah, lost power to delete reply fails!

  17. Holybasil says:

    It’s not the Duke we knew and loved that’s for sure.

    • aircool says:

      Id’ say we’re no longer the people we thought we were. I’m sure the yoof of today will love it.

    • Nick says:

      Duke 3D is still a joy to play!

  18. Axez D. Nyde says:

    Duke ain’t gonna happen. Get over it.

  19. FuzzyDuck81 says:

    The notification that it had gone gold went out just after the weekend of “the rapture”. And there was much rejoicing. Now, on the promised day of release, it’s not available after all. And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
    I think this just proves the rapture must have happened, and we were judged unworthy…

    Or this is just crappy luck

  20. Spacewalk says:

    But will it be as good as Chinese Democracy.

    • Joshua says:

      Nah. Chinese Democracy is something that should be implemented gradually, as not to upset the entire nation. Duke Nukem should have been released earlier, because it’s goal IS to upset the entire world.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      I would have thought Spacewalk was talking about the long delayed Guns ‘n Roses album?

      Don’t know if it was any good though as I stopped listening to GNR after Use Your Illusion or some such.

      There’s also the possibility that I’ve entirely missed the point of all this and now look like a fool. :D

    • Spacewalk says:

      I had a bet going with someone on what would be finished first, the album or DNF. I lost. Axl likes taking his time getting to the stage though, we can still complete DNF before he gets there, quick!

  21. cliffski says:

    I can’t believe that John Major was prime minister when they started work on this game. Holy crap.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      It has been in development for half of my life.

    • The Tupper says:

      Does anybody know if anything in the new release even remotely resembles the game as envisaged at the start of initial development all those years ago? Or is it, as I fear, a quick and dirty cash-in once the IP rights were resolved?

      Oh – and serious replies only, please. I know many people have opinions regarding the game’s perceived lack of graphical fidelity making it seem like an elderly release.

  22. wcaypahwat says:

    Amusingly enough, It came out a day early, here.

  23. dethtoll says:

    At first I was angry that you Euros were getting it before us Yanks.

    Now I realize, it’s so all the quirks of a big release get ironed out before us Yanks get it. Hooray! \o/

  24. Koojav says:

    [Edit] I need to learn to use “Reply” function.

  25. phuzz says:

    At least Black Mesa hasn’t been released yet, so at least we’ve still got something we can joke about :)
    (HL2:Ep3? Don’t even go there, please.)

    • Nick says:

      Nah, EP3 isn’t funny.

      =(

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      I’ve heard insider rumors about Ep3′s production.

      Gordon isn’t going to take the helicopter as implied by the end of Ep3 to get to the Borealis. Instead, he’ll take a Soviet Akula Class nuclear submarine (remember, City 17 was in Eastern Europe) to attack the Combine forces (who are already on thier way to the Borealis) undetected.

      In short, Episode 3 will be a submarine simulator.

  26. JiminyJickers says:

    Bought it today. Its okay, but nothing special. Kind of wish I rented the console version and played that instead.

    But not a total loss that I bought it, does play very much like the original, apart from the 2 gun limit. But I was expecting the gameplay to be great, since they have had many years, but is just average.

    • soldant says:

      I think this is the main point: no matter what Gearbox or 3D Realms or giant ant people did, the game wasn’t going to be well received after something like 12 years of development. That said for a game that’s been in development hell it is a solid effort. I played DN3D back when it first came out and apart from the 2 weapon limit it does feel like a Duke Nukem game. There’s nothing majorly special about it except that it’s Duke. I wasn’t expecting much and I’m pretty happy with the game. Lots of people won’t like it, but that’s cool. I think people will be overly negative about it just because of the hype that’s been kicking around since 2001. Point is that after this long it would look and feel a bit dated. I mean they can’t remake the entire thing AGAIN.

  27. SirKicksalot says:

    PC Gamer review: http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/06/10/duke-nukem-forever-review/

    Spoilers: it’s good.

  28. vodka and cookies says:

    It unlocked for me last night and I’ve been playing it, not very impressed so far
    * Looks like Doom 3 (that shiny plastic effect), ridiculous number of shadows being used in the game makes everything to dark and dreary.
    * Two weapons is lame and they always put the weapon your supposed to use right in front of any major battle giving you a heads up
    * v-sync tearing, dear god I’ve never seen a game as bad as this thankfully I can run it well enough with v-sync enabled
    * enemies are super dim just come right at you.
    The few send ups of other games like gear of war gave me a chuckle

    Turn off motion blur, turn off all shadows adjust the fov and it’s not too bad. but this game is pretty much a mess which is not at all surprising.

  29. Milky1985 says:

    “* enemies are super dim just come right at you.”

    Its a serious sam style shooter, not a cod style one so thats to be expected.

    Anyway got the gaem last night, palyed it for 40 mintues without actually shooting anything (got loads of ego upgrades by playing pool, microwaving some popcorn, drawing a giant cock on the pages of a book i was meant to be autographing) seems like they ahve added lots of interactive stuff (i may have “acciendtly” shot down the blimp at the start) and are basically rewarding you with go boosts for screwing about.

    unfortantly the steam version has a major bug for me where loading checkpoints on the second level cause the game to lose all input and just put up a pointer on teh screen. A workaround has been found now but its a gamebreaking bug!

    • somini says:

      It’s funny to refer to Duke Nukem as a Serious Sam-type of game…
      It really shows how outdated Duke is…

    • arccos says:

      I would say this type of gaming seems to be coming back into style. Croteam at least seems to be making money at it, considering they released the HD editions and are bring up Serious Sam 3.

      Only so many Oorah shooters I can take before I need something else.

  30. TsunamiWombat says:

    Really? Doesn’t release here in the Colonies till the 14th

  31. RegisteredUser says:

    I would like to say and emphasize that all this “Would not have been good no matter what” is absolute nonsense.

    If good games are possible to make, then they are possible to make. Regardless of what came before.
    Therefore, it COULD have been good. But how well received is a franchise going to be that got raped from a true and proper classic PC FPS shooter to the most inbred console shooter archetype possible?
    Checkpointing, guns just thrown at you, 2 gun limit, regenerating health etc.

    You can’t expect a positive “similiar, just a bit better” game if you do the polar opposite of what the fanbase is/was used to and then expect triumphant shouts of “Hell yes, this is exactly what we not wanted, thank you so much!”.

    A good DNF was possible. They just did not make it. IMHO the sad part is, they likely had it right around the time they put the ancient E3 demo out and it still was a mostly “true” PC title.

  32. Blackseraph says:

    So is dolphin racing any fun?

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      THOSE FUCKERS MANAGED TO PUT FUCKING CHEST HIGH WALLS IN A FUCKING DOLPHIN RACING SIM!

      i DON’T EVEN FUCKING KNOW HOW IT’S FUCKING POSSIBLE, BUT YE FUCKERS FUCKING DID IT!

      So,*ahem* no, it wasn’t that good.

    • Blackseraph says:

      What a shame.

      Only part I had any interest in. :)

  33. MaxNormal says:

    Well I have to admit I am enjoying the game so far. The combat seems similar to console shooters – I’m thinking Resistance 2 (probably because I never played Halo). Once I turned off the depth of field the game looks okay graphically – a little dated but I don’t mind a game with Quake 4 / Prey level graphics.

    The world is less interactive than I hoped for because the interactive stuff is all scripted – you cannot pick up every object in the world ala half life 2. The most depressing moment for me so far was the pool table -it is the same as the one in duke nukem 3d in that they didn’t bother animating his hands holding a pool cue. It was disconcerting to go from having a quite good sense of Dukes physicality with every other interactive item / combat etc and then having the game just ignore it and have you be disembodied.

    I’m only a couple of hours in but so far I am not dissapointed with my purchase. I built a computer in 2001 (about 5 computers ago) in order to be ready for this game. This game doesn’t quite live up to the promise of that ancient trailer but it is keeping me entertained.

  34. Flappybat says:

    I played about four hours last night at release. Starting area is solid, lots of interaction, lots of nice thrownbacks to the past. The driving segment in the casino is alright, better than the demo but goes on forever. The combat is no better than the demo, really unsatisfying due to the feedback and enemies.

    Graphics are all over the place. It doesn’t feel like it’s on Unreal 3. The narrow FOV and extreme blur of things at range, it’s not even DOF it just has some distance blur that makes everything look awful. Luckily you can adjust both with config files but it doesn’t help the game look several years out of date in many places, particularly the enemy characters.

    I can see why they took the two gun systems, the levels are incredibly linear with no choices in the set pieces. It doesn’t make the game any better though, why carry around a useless comedy weapon like the shrink ray now? Boss fights have been awful as well.

    Unless things improve it’s heading downhill from a decent opening to a 6/10 score.

    • Nim says:

      “It doesn’t feel like it’s on Unreal 3.”

      It isn’t. Apparently it’s a heavily modified Unreal 2.5 engine (The development base was UT2004 engine I think)

  35. DBG says:

    “The game is not available in your region”.

    F this BS!