Duke Nukem’s Four Guns Forever

By Alec Meer on July 29th, 2011 at 12:30 pm.

Twice the weapons, twice the fun? Or just the same amount of fun but with a bit more mouse wheel scrolling?

There are many reasons to criticise Duke Nukem Forever. The incoherence, the leaden dialogue, the back-tracking, the unconvincing claimed satire of its attitude towards women, the half-baked mini-games, the oppressive linearity… and, perhaps most acutely for those who were more prepared to forgive such follies due to their fondness for the character and his earlier games, the strict two-weapon carry limit. I can’t imagine there’s much hope of DNF’s recharging health being thrown out, but Duke’s arsenal is about to be made a little less puny…

Two is about to become four, thanks to an impending patch that enabled Dukes to strap more weapons to his back at once. Finally, the big lunk can actually put those ridiculous muscles of his to good use. I can’t see myself ever playing the game again, but I do think this a good move on the dev’s part – genuine repsonse to feedback, and it could well make the oddly rare sections of the game containing out-and-out firefights a little more agreeably over-the-top.

That’s happening for all versions of the game, but the PC edition is due for a few platform-specific updates too. Specifically:

Valve Anti-Cheat System (VAC) support
Push-to-talk voice chat
FOV adjustment
“Other fixes and improvements that are still being tested.”

I can’t help but notice that ‘introductory screen containing 3000-word apology to every purchaser’ isn’t included on that list. I’m joking, of course. That would be ridiculous. Because at least fourteen purchasers really liked the game, and they’re sure to very calmly say as much below.

Patch details via the Gearbox forum, by the way.

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89 Comments »

  1. The Colonel says:

    Unfortunately those “14″ happy shoppers were actually AGED 14. There were only 2. I suspect they are off trying out “bitchslap a girl” in the real world somewhere.

    • BobsLawnService says:

      Because everyone who shoots a person in a game rushes out to do it in real life too?

    • Axyl says:

      Well..yeah.
      I mean..i played a LOT of Dawn of War 2…and now i’m a Space Marine.

      I took all the drugs in the world and started jumping off stuff after playing mario…

      doesn’t everyone?

    • DNF71 says:

      The Colonel squats when he pees.

  2. doubledope says:

    I never got past the writing board… *giggles*

  3. Joe W-A says:

    I really liked the game.

  4. thebigJ_A says:

    I don’t get why they bother.

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      lurkalisk says:

      This is tough to swallow, but people are of varying opinions. As it happens, there are a number of people who play the game and don’t immediately vomit up their organs upon viewing the sheer mediocrity.

      That’s why they bother. You may not like it, it may be quite bad (not that there is any objective truth on the matter), but that doesn’t mean shit as everyone else is concerned. They may be absolutely daft, or brilliant, but people play it, thus patching happened.

  5. CaspianRoach says:

    Yeah, but you still get what, 5 rockets for an RPG before you have to go to the ammo box? How does this solve anything?

    • amorpheous says:

      I thought the two weapon limit gave balance to the difficulty of the game. Four weapons makes things a bit more interesting, but upping the ammo limits would just make the whole thing a boring walk in the park.

      And even though it’s Duke, I doubt he could carry around that much heavy weapons ammo – and yes, I know he’s not real and the game’s not real and it’s not supposed to be realistic, but as I said before you don’t want it to be ridiculously easy.

    • Kdansky says:

      Limiting the fun to balance the difficulty sounds like a Really Bad Idea TM to me.

    • CaspianRoach says:

      Well the breaking point of me abandoning the game was the fight against some sort of a boss where I was supposed to run around in circles around an ammo box for RPG. It just felt silly, I had this mini-arena where I was meant to kite the boss around but I couldn’t because RPG ammo was running out in five seconds so I had to stay in one spot.

      Oh yeah, it’s that boss and area in that picture above.

      And when you only have five grenades, you tend not to use them just for fun because “you might need them later”. Five seems so little. It should have been at least double digits.

    • Snuffy the Evil says:

      @amorpheous

      Well, this is the Duke who can’t drink one beer without getting totally smashed.

    • BobsLawnService says:

      The two weapon limit is a large part of the reason I haven’t picked this up yet (That and I’m waiting for the price to drop.)

      Also, please add save-anywhere if you’re listening Randy.

  6. Burning Man says:

    I don’t get why so many people genuinely HATE this game. Sure it may not have been great, and I personally think it was a tad boring (I never finished it), but I couldn’t care enough to HATE it. This seems to be more of a ‘Lets all jump on the hate train. ‘Cause IT’S FUN!”

    Unless I’m missing something, and Duke had a HUGE positive impact on a great many childhoods, which this game has now gone and ruined.

    • Aemony says:

      Most people merely dislike the game simply because it isn’t any good. All this “hate” you speak of is merely what the dislike is interpreted as by the “likers” whom believes everything is divided in either black or white, with no gray inbetween.

      Seriously, almost no modern game has haters or even real ‘hate’. That is merely riddiculously strong words used by those whom likes the game, only to somehow fuel the opposition into something which it is not.

      Dragon Age 2? Almost no real ‘hate’. Disappointment, yes. Feelings of betrayal, yes. Common dislike, yes. Hate? No.
      F.3.A.R? Same.
      Dungeon Siege 3? Same.
      Duke Nukem Forever? Same.
      The Witcher 2? Same.

      Not even the CoD series have a lot of ‘true’ haters. It’s popular to dislike the CoD series, yes, but most whom does doesn’t really hate the games.

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      stahlwerk says:

      likers gonna like…

    • Bhazor says:

      The Hive.

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      Wisq says:

      Rule of thumb: If I am likely to hate a game, I’m also likely to notice this before I pick it up, and not do so. (Barring some weird exercise in masochism.) And so I remain blissfully unaware of how much I might have hated it.

      Conversely, I don’t go into these things blind — if I play a game, I may dislike it, but I’m unlikely to hate it.

      Now, that’s not to say I can’t hate a particular mechanic in a game, but it doesn’t usually translate into hate for the game. Especially because I can usually do some memory hacking or find a mod/trainer and get around that mechanic.

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      It's not me it's you says:

      Hate might be a bit of a strong word for my feelings on a video game, but for me (having played the demo, half-watched the first hour or so in a TotalBiscuit video and read several reviews in hope of finding some reason to play this (duke3d was a happy part of my high school years)) it’d have to be the pretty hideous casual misogyny. The gameplay was pretty turgid, but I’ve been known to wade through some pretty crappy mechanics to get to an entertaining story. This game seemed to try its very hardest to turn me off it at every opportunity.

      The worst thing is that it felt like whoever “wrote” this thing didn’t actually realise how dire it was. Not a speck of self-awareness.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I’ve always just found people remember Duke3d as better than it was. This game seems like mindless mysogynistic fun, just like the original. Oh and it’s outdated and essentially playing catch up with it’s competitors, oh yeah, just like Duke3d!

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      joeymcjoeysalot says:

      @ DrGonzo
      Duke 3d was amazingly good fun. Yes the engine was aged, but it was soooo damned fun. The power-ups, weapons, and one liners made me love it 10 times more than Quake with its true 3d models. I’d take a shrink ray over a nail gun in a second. Oh, and jetpacks. Looove jetpacks

  7. omwibya says:

    better than nothing…why wouldn’t they do this from the start? DNF now sucks a little less and we call it progress.

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      Wisq says:

      Failure to playtest? After all, you can’t expect them to have much of a testing budget left after all these years.

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    PoulWrist says:

    Didn’t really like it, but can’t say I hate it or whatever either.

  9. Nim says:

    A map editor and mod support could save this game.

    • LionsPhil says:

      No, it really couldn’t. The rot runs so deep anyone with modding talent would be far better suited building on a game that was already at least mediocre.

  10. Khemm says:

    Great that Gearbox tries to fix at least some things. For the sequel, please consider these:
    - larger weapon limit
    - no health regen
    - faster gameplay, DNF plays really slow and sluggish
    - no stupidly linear level design, Duke 3D had levels which felt like actual places you could explore and even backtrack to the start of a level if you so desired
    - secrets, secrets, SECRETS – hidden weapon and health stashes, ammo, sections of walls you can blow up or manipulate to get somewhere (remember the “this is one doomed marine?” – things like that were awesome!)
    - toggleable on-screen button prompts. Those huge icons “PRESS E” to do something are immersion breaking and annoying
    - make it possible to give strippers tips, it was in Duke 3D, but not in DNF, why?
    - idle animations for Duke – cracking knuckles and so on
    - no QTEs
    - no mouse smoothing or acceleration
    … and Duke 5 will be a great game.

    • doubledope says:

      I think they can come up with something more interesting when we reach 2023

    • manveruppd says:

      I’m with you on everything but the health regen. I hated it at first, same as everyone else, but then eventually I got it: by giving you big ego boosts every time you kill a boss, you eventually become a lot tougher than how you start out, and you’re able to take on much bigger swarms of enemies. It’s kinda like a pseudo-RPG levelling up thing. If they got rid of the recharging health they’d have to do other stuff, like give you increasingly more powerful guns, and maybe reintroduce body armour and scatter more and more items around to help you out.

    • soldant says:

      DN3D’s levels were still largely linear, the only thing that made them feel non-linear were the keycard or switch hunts. Pointless backtracking shouldn’t be lamented, nor should switch-hunts. There’s a joke PWAD for Doom which pretty much makes this theory clear. At one end of a VERY long corridor, there’s a switch, which opens a door to another switch back at the start, which opens another switch at the end, and so on until the door finally opens. That exact same thing applies to the pointless backtracking which people seem think qualifies as “good level design” and “non-linear gameplay”.

    • Khemm says:

      @soldant
      You know, Duke 3D had no tedious backtracking or looong corridors which didn’t allow you to explore, more like big areas with various routes you could follow and get rewards or surprises. To complete a level, you had to pass through certain points, sure, but you had pretty big “areas within a level” to have fun in. If you see a door in Duke 3D, you can be 99% sure there’s something behind it, it’s an room you can explore.
      In DNF, it’s the typical, boring modern shooter progression of “follow this corridor, can’t go to the right or left because the doors are just textures or this fence you can’t jump over, reach a cutscene/scripted event, follow another corridor, repeat”. And, there are NPCs in said corridors telling you every ten seconds “Duke, pick up the devastator” or “Duke, want to draw something here?”, “Duke, stop that elevator!!!”.

      There’s linearity with a maze-like level design and there’s LINEARITY “Duke gogogo, don’t worry, you can’t get lost, don’t worry, we’ll tell you what to do because developers think gamers are morons”.

  11. Scroll says:

    I played all the way through this game and it just left me empty. I didn’t enjoy it but I didn’t have a terrible time either, it just had very little to offer.

  12. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    The insurmountable amount of problems this game has won’t be fixed in a patch, as thoughtful as it may be.

  13. magnus says:

    ‘Because at least fourteen purchasers really liked the game, and they’re sure to very calmly say as much below.’

    Truly, sarcasm thy name is Alec.

  14. Moni says:

    YES! The patch is PC exclusive because the stupid consoles can’t handle more than two weapons. Consoles are stupid PC are great because they have twice as many pixels, and bigger textures!!!”!!”!”1

    • Dominic White says:

      Meanwhile, Resistance 3 is coming out on the PS3 soon. An FPS with no regenerating health, and the ability to carry a full arsenal of weapons, each with alt-fires.

    • jackshuster says:

      That’s weird because they had regenerating health in the original Resistance. I didn’t particularly think the first one was a good game though.

    • Dominic White says:

      Partially regenerating – a single bullet ‘scratch’ would heal in a few seconds, but get smacked with a shotgun and you’ll still need to find health.

    • Bhazor says:

      Resistance is basically what DNF should have been. Crowded with enemies, loaded with a dozen imaginative weapons and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of fun.

      Naturally the second game had regenerating health and a two weapon limit because… of something well thought out presumably.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4Dzjmssbak

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      It's not me it's you says:

      Man, Resistance was one of my biggest gaming surprises ever. I didn’t expect to enjoy it much, popped it in because I was sick and had nothing better to do and finished it that evening (or maybe the next day – as I said I was sick so memory is a bit hazy). I don’t think I’ve ever even completed a shooter in full before.

    • SirKicksalot says:

      Resistance even has Duke Nukem enemies.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Borderlands on the consoles managed more than two weapons. Maybe they should play that and try and figure out how the devs did it.

    • Rii says:

      Perfect Dark on N64 allowed the player to carry a full arsenal of weapons each with alt-fire capabilities on a controller with three less buttons than X360′s.

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    Lambchops says:

    Ooh, ooh, obvious rubbish pun time. Pick me! Pick me!

    i guess, this update was a . . . was a . . . sorry I’m cracking up here .. . . was a four gun conclusion.

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    Mechanicus_ says:

    I wonder what morale is like at Gearbox right now.

    I mean, Borderlands really seemed like their break-out game; everybody was waiting for what they would do next.

    Then they follow it up with a vanity project that ends up universally reviled in every respect. Now they are doing Colonial Marines and yet another Brothers in Arms game; in both cases doing something promising with them, yet not exactly franchises with a stunning track record of success.

    It’s laudable that they’re doing what they want, rather than what would be instantly commercially appealing; but please Gearbox, don’t fall on your sword just to release another Aliens/WW2 game?

    As an aside; remember Randy Pitchford saying he was offered the Blade Runner IP and turned it down because you couldn’t make a good game out of it? How hard do you think he was kicking himself when Bethesda started showing off Prey 2?

    • Burning Man says:

      He said doing justice to the Blade Runner IP would not be economically feasible. Which is very different from what you just said.

    • Bhazor says:

      No Randy isn’t doing a new BiA game because Furious Four has nothing to do with Brothers in Arms.

      At least thats what I tell myself.

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      Mechanicus_ says:

      @Burning Man – I spoke poorly there, but essentially he didn’t think a Blade Runner game would have broad enough appeal to cover it’s development costs. Then someone shows off a free-running bounty hunter game in a heavily vertical sci-fi noir city and receives loads of positive press; way more than say, Colonial Marines or Furious Four.

    • Burning Man says:

      @Mechanicus_
      Well from what I remember reading, his problem wasn’t as much with it making or not making a sizeable dent in the market, but in the amount of money he would have to pour into the development in order to make a good Blade Runner game. Granted, what that essentially means is that he did not think it would connect with enough people to justify its development costs, but what it also means is that it would have to connect with an unrealistically large number of people to work.
      It’s only an educated guess, after all. If you or I were in Randy’s place we might have made the game. And skipped over DNF. And released some bloody PR material for Borderlands 2.

    • Urthman says:

      Yeah, but the Prey IP has much bigger name recognition and brand loyalty than Blade Runner.

    • Starky says:

      The prey game also has little if anything to do with what a good Blade Runner game would look or feel like.

      Honestly a free running bounty hunting game is like the poler opposite to everything Blade Runner, despite the similar setting.

      LA Noir, or Heavy rain are much better examples of what a Blade Runner game should be like.

    • Khemm says:

      @Starky
      Heavy Rain? NOOOO! QTEs are evil.
      Westwood’s Blade Runner was perfect, do we need another one? Well, maybe, if it retained the adventure genre gameplay.

    • Rii says:

      “Yeah, but the Prey IP has much bigger name recognition and brand loyalty than Blade Runner.”

      Amongst what mouthbreathing audience?

      And that so-called “Brothers in Arms” game is promising is it? What bizarr-o world did I step into here? =/

  17. poop says:

    its a shame that this came out long after dnf had stopped being funny as the new daikatana and even longer after everybody stopped giving a shit about the game

  18. Red_Avatar says:

    I found the game to actually not be that bad compared to crap such as MW2 which was just respawning and other nonsense combined with OTT scripting. In that sort of light, DNF is a nice arcade FPS game but the two-weapon limit just killed it in the end so I’m very glad this patch is here.

  19. destx says:

    I had fun. It is a very stupid game, but I don’t regret buying it.

    Multiplayer is a mess though.

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    JiminyJickers says:

    Might actually bother to finish it now.

  21. The Sentinel says:

    A two -weapon limit? Who’s bloody stupid idea was that??

    /halo. Just end it.

  22. Matt says:

    Push to talk? Finally! Morons’ howling mic feedback was intolerable in multiplayer.

  23. Pointless Puppies says:

    I find it a bit odd that the devs can double the size of the player’s carrying capacity with the snap of a finger. Surely there has to be profound testing and tweaking to make sure the change makes for balanced gameplay? Unless, of course, it means the game was so haphazardly designed that you can slap ANY number of weapons on the player’s back and it’ll bean fuck-all in terms of balance…

    • Mman says:

      Yeah, the fact they can just tack on a higher weapon limit and end up with a slightly more enjoyable game as a result just shows how pointless and arbitrary the limit was in the first place (and the general lack of balance).

  24. John Magnum says:

    I actually think there’s a slightly less wrong way to handle a two- or three-weapon limit. In games like Bulletstorm, Bad Company 2, and Section 8: Prejudice, you frequently run across nodes where you can freely choose which weapons you want to carry. In Bulletstorm and Bad Company 2, you can ALSO choose to pick up dropped enemy weapons. This is very different from something like Duke Nukem Forever, Call of Duty, and Resistance 2, where you HAVE to pick up weapons lying around in the level.

    In the former, you can at almost any time choose what sort of loadout you want. You don’t have to wait for the level designer to go “All right, here, we’ll drop a rocket launcher”. It lets them be less obvious about signposting encounters. They don’t need to preface a fight against a tough enemy by dropping a machine gun right before it. You can actually put some thought and ownership into your loadout, and the two-weapon thing just becomes a restriction you work around.

    In the CoD/DNF/R2 model, you don’t have any real ownership over your loadout. You’re restricted entirely to the mercy of the level designers and the enemies you face. It also makes encounter design stupider. If a particular gun is really good against a particular fight, you will find it before that fight and virtually nowhere else. There’s no point in conserving the ammunition for good guns, because if you actually need the ammunition you’ll be sure to find it when you do.

    Crysis occupies an uncomfortable halfway point between these models. You do get authorship over your loadout with the attachment customization, but you’re still dependent on weapons from fallen enemies or found in supply caches. This is particularly obnoxious for weapons like the SCAR.

  25. Eclipse says:

    meh fuck the haters, this game was great

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I dunno if I’d say it was great, but I actually managed to finish it, which is more than I can say for a lot of other shooters. Even Metro 2033, which was largely awesome, lost me after the 500th time I had to fight a wave of respawning enemies. DNF had a surprising amount of variety when it wasn’t sticking a turret in your face.

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    DarkNoghri says:

    Out of curiousity, did Gearbox ever give Borderlands PTT? My recollection says that they eventually patched in the ability to turn voice off, but I can’t remember if they implemented push-to-talk.

  27. Rii says:

    Deleted

  28. Sapper Gopher says:

    “the oppressive linearity”
    Are you part of the group who loves Half Life 2?

    • John Magnum says:

      Just because one game’s linearity is oppressive doesn’t mean that all linearity, in all forms, executed at all levels of skill and finesse, is oppressive.

  29. Grey_Ghost says:

    Oooh, 4 guns & sexy terms like “FOV adjustment”? I may just buy this after all.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Don’t don’t don’t don;t don;t

      take it from someone who has and played it. Just don’t.

      50 bucks and 2 hrs I can never get back.

      If you must wait for the bargain bin.

    • pipman3000 says:

      Just buy ten copies of Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines instead.

  30. TNT4THEBRAIN says:

    so.. i don’t get it. did the update get released to the PC or not? =/

  31. stargategeek32 says:

    Hey hey hey! Hold on a second! This is a first i have heard of this being a crap game! I remember vaugley playing Duke Nukem on the N64 when i was around 8 and 14 now i loved the game, ive completed it, i enjoyed throughly and i thought although the 2 weapon cap was extremely hard and the low ammo i thought it was great part of the game, great graphics albiet a weak story but i dont think it let it down one bit! Shame on all of you and your game prejudices!

  32. dellphukof says:

    I don’t normally post these news things but this one made me love Gearbox a little more than I already do. Because everyone hated the 2 gun thing in DNF, they have decided to patch the game to allow you to carry up to 4 guns. PS3 and 360 patches probably going through Microsoft and Sony first before they are accepted.quang ba website