View Full Version : Duke Nukem Forever Demo Impressions

03-06-2011, 11:25 AM
So first access keys went out last night for most pre-orders, having spent the past hour or so running through the demo afew times, I'm left feeling abit conflicted with it, sure its the old demo from PAX, and its easy to look past the visuals considering the development history, but the game does have some obvious and in fairness expected issues, poor animations, some outdated gameplay mechanics and general jank.

Its great to finally be playing as duke again after all this time and I am still looking forward to the full version, but it will be interesting to see what people think coming out of the demo.

03-06-2011, 11:27 AM
The demo seems hastily thrown together. The first level was amazing, but the second one was quiet as hell, Duke never talked, the driving was short and seemed mostly pointless, and I'm just hoping based on things like the unfinished jumping animation that the demo is the one from PAX, because if they consider this anywhere near a finished product, I'll be crying myself to sleep.

Also the demo was 15 minutes long.

03-06-2011, 12:02 PM
According to the internet, it's the exact same PAX demo from last year. I wonder how much they polished it up and how much better/worse the final game will be?

I enjoyed the first level, but outside of that it was a bit too slow for my tastes.

03-06-2011, 12:03 PM
Look in the mirror while jumping, and you'll see only the legs are animated. I have to imagine the game will be a helluva lot more refined for the final release.

A shame they pretty much shat the demo out, though. I was secretly hoping for a 1-map Capture the Babe demo.

03-06-2011, 01:01 PM
It seemed interesting at first, I've never turned on so many showers and taps or thrown quite so much poo all at once before. It's the first time I've ever had to go and fiddle with the mouse controls, it's all set up for a 360 controller. It just feels a bit slow. Movement and pace wise. I liked the weapons, although why bother with a realistic two weapon inventory in something like Duke Nukem? I'm not gonna play it for realism, so why can't we just keep the weapons we find? I was enjoying it most when it felt like I was playing Duke 3D but with nicer graphics but most of it didn't even feel that good. I'm almost tempted to say it feels like a fan mod with nice model work and a bit of money spent on the presentation, but with no idea about gameplay. I wouldn't pay the full price for this. The £39.99 Steam price tag is ridiculous, I'm not even willing to pay the £30 pre-order price. Definitely a future sale purchase for a rainy day but unless it gets some stellar reviews I can wait.

Did anyone else get a sound error in the mines? Restarting the demo fixed it for me and it was all over quite soon after so I don't know if it would reoccur.

03-06-2011, 01:07 PM
Um, where exactly do I get the demo? I've got the First Access Club key on Steam but I can't activate it via Steam...

03-06-2011, 01:09 PM
Um, where exactly do I get the demo? I've got the First Access Club key on Steam but I can't activate it via Steam...

They should have sent you an email. I bought the PC version off of Amazon and they sent me the Xbox 360 demo. Doesn't bother me because I have a 360 but I did think it odd.

03-06-2011, 01:12 PM
Um, where exactly do I get the demo? I've got the First Access Club key on Steam but I can't activate it via Steam...

You have to sign up using that key at www.dukenukem.com/access, then they'll email you the key for the beta.

03-06-2011, 01:12 PM
They should have sent you an email. I bought the PC version off of Amazon and they sent me the Xbox 360 demo. Doesn't bother me because I have a 360 but I did think it odd.
Right, found it, 1st I had to enter the Steam key on this site - http://www.dukenukem.com/access/
//edit: thanks venn :)

03-06-2011, 01:18 PM
I also didn't get a mail, but I found my old First Access Club registration and entered that key on the aforementioned site to get my Steam key for the demo. Installing now and my impressions will follow later.

03-06-2011, 02:16 PM


Some of it is excellent, some of it is meh.

+weapons, shrink ray, shotgun, pipe bombs, devastator etc. They felt a bit flimsy at first but feel pretty chunky after awhile.
+humour, lots of it. Lots of popculture references straight of the bat as well
+ graphics are good but dated,
+ lots of interactivity with poo, white boards, etc

-regen health
-two weapons at a time
-god awful vehicle section

I quite like it but it does feel real dated and not a good sort of dated like replaying quake and I hate all the "modern" fps concepts give me health packs any day.

03-06-2011, 03:30 PM
I assume the full game is better than this demo.

I don't mind the regenerating health, but I DO mind the extremely linear level design and the disgustingly bad attempt at macho humor. Either joke about it or do it seriously, don't joke about not doing it seriously. It doesn't work. Postal 2 got the gross-out humor right. DNF, not so much.

The biggest problem, however, is that I didn't die one single time while playing this. The first boss didn't hit me once, and I wasn't even trying to dodge him. That might've been by design, though.. But later on, I was playing very carelessly, and enemies got me down to zero health several times... and just stopped shooting. They stood around, waiting for my health to regenerate (from zero!) and/or for me to shoot them. Heck, I didn't even have to use the shed in the fight against the dropship.

I have great respect for gearbox, and I realize this demo is old, so I expect the full version to be better than this.

03-06-2011, 03:32 PM
My friend actually had trouble with the demo, dying three or four times.

More than anything I just don't want the awkward silences like during the second demo level. Duke should be spouting about three times as many lines as he is.

03-06-2011, 03:36 PM
why? He didnt talk too much in the dn3d

03-06-2011, 03:44 PM
They didn't know he was going to be an iconic piece of gaming when they were making DN3D. There's no excuse for not having all the extra content for him, either.

03-06-2011, 03:50 PM
Having him spouting off after every kill would get old quick. If we wanted a witty one liner after every kill they would have made the blood guy (caleb?) give a witty retort after every kill.

Mmmm Blood. what a game.

03-06-2011, 03:55 PM
Not like that, just have more comments about the levels, and whatnot. You can't say it wasn't an awkward silence in the second level.

03-06-2011, 03:58 PM
which was the second level? That crappy truck bit?

I admit i got out the truck before it ran out of gas and walked to the boost jump bit and then had to walk all the way back for the car. that bit was silent and boring.

03-06-2011, 04:49 PM
I really didn't like it. Posted this on another forum:

I have just played the demo. It is embarrassingly bad. And I don't mean the puerile humor nor the archaic gameplay. I guess that goes with the territory, this being an old school game and all. No, it is bad in a technical way. Check out this screenshot (http://i.imgur.com/QlUsF.jpg) of the depth of field effect for example. This would have looked awful in 2001, let alone 2011. The graphics in general give the impression that this game was made in the original Quake engine. Okay, that is a tad hyperbole-ish maybe, but still. I mean, look at this screenshot (http://i.imgur.com/tOV6b.jpg). Check out that sky box. Were they even trying? And don't get me started on the way this game is ported. Just think Borderlands (http://gbxforums.gearboxsoftware.com/showthread.php?t=122404) and you'll get the idea. Not ever going to buy this game. It is a turd (http://i.imgur.com/TMlFY.jpg).

03-06-2011, 04:53 PM
i don't see any problem with those screens you posted. they look fine to me.

03-06-2011, 04:55 PM
Yeah, Original quake engine? Haha. You honestly have never played quake.

03-06-2011, 06:23 PM
Having played it afterwards I said that it felt alright, not ground breaking, not terrible. Just alright.
The car seemed to handle like a goat however running over things tends to be amusing anyway. Some of the guns didn't feel particularly powerful however that may have been more due to the difficulty than the weapons themselves.

The first "boss battle" aka the ship was daft due to the invincible shed™ saving the day. Also I do feel the need to ask about the "Holsom twins", why god why?

Also where's my damned jet pack!

03-06-2011, 07:02 PM
Felt pretty dull to me. Humor wasn't doing anything for me. Bulletstorm seems to be doing what DNF was trying to do a whole lot better. If I want an "old school fps" vibe, I'll probably just reinstall Painkiller.

03-06-2011, 07:53 PM
It started great, then went downhill and finished rather quickly.

03-06-2011, 10:18 PM
That's what she said.

04-06-2011, 12:23 AM
Breaking news! Game anticipated for over a decade turns out not to live up to hype!

04-06-2011, 12:39 AM
Oh, it had a ton of hype even in the late 90s, well before it became a joke. I clearly remember discussing it with a friend and wondering why everyone was so excited; we'd both played and enjoyed Duke3D, but there was nothing particularly special announced about DNF. Of all the games I played in the mid 90s, Duke ranked pretty low on the list of sequels I'd like to have seen.

04-06-2011, 01:04 AM
I liked that I ran fine. This is a big plus. I'd have been annoyed if it didn't. I don't have that powerful a machine but it handles Bulletstorm and Brink well enough, two games that would get my attention over Duke. I also liked that I now have a game that I can compare with Prey over which has the best soap dispenser.

I just hope the full game is more engaging. The trailers seem to promise something better. If not then the only hope for it is if a decent modding scene grows out of it. Duke 3D had a ridiculously easy to use editor, even a moron like me could get a train system to work and make mirrors. I wish they could come up with something as good as that again, but I realise due to technical reasons that wouldn't really be possible. If Gearbox and 3D Realms couldn't come up with a decent Duke game then hopefully a fan project will be able to do it, even if it's just recreating the original's levels.

04-06-2011, 01:41 AM
Felt pretty dull to me. Humor wasn't doing anything for me. Bulletstorm seems to be doing what DNF was trying to do a whole lot better. If I want an "old school fps" vibe, I'll probably just reinstall Painkiller.

sod off painkiller isnt old school at all and it doesnt even play like an old school fps.

04-06-2011, 02:21 AM
I kind of enjoyed it. I didn't like the minecart level but I enjoyed the first stadium level. Then again I'm a DN3D fan and my inner child really couldn't care less, so I'm probably biased. I think part of the problem with the demo is that there's no context for the levels at all; one minute Duke's in a familar setting, then he's in the middle of the desert with absolutely no explanation or progression. I didn't think it was that dated in graphics, it looks on par with most other games these days. I've seen a few ridiculous comments across the Internet comparing it to 2004 games which makes me wonder if the commentors were around in those days...

It's not going to be a smart FPS, an instant classic, or ground-breaking, but after all these years it didn't have a hope in hell of living up to the hype, just the same way as some people were initially disappointed by STALKER on release.

but I realise due to technical reasons that wouldn't really be possible.
More to the point though is that it requires thinking in true 3D. Sector based engines were really easy to map for because of the simple level geometry, it was like drawing on graph paper. You can't make things like Worldcraft/Hammer any easier than they are in that respect. With all that said, HL2's mapping scene is pretty dismal outside of TF2, actually most games seem to have poor mapping scenes these days probably due to the greater amount of work involved and most people don't care unless it's a retail quality mod for some reason. I don't think DNF will see significant mapping at all.

04-06-2011, 09:11 AM
sod off painkiller isnt old school at all and it doesnt even play like an old school fps.
Err... are you trolling or something?

Painkiller clearly plays like an old-school FPS.

04-06-2011, 09:36 AM
Just need minor changes, less balancing, less mainstream and more Duke.

04-06-2011, 10:26 AM
I finally found the time to play it and... meh. It really makes me miss the old-school FPS level design from DN3D. Also, Gearbox need to learn how to put together a good demo. Having two completely disjointed, small levels was probably not a good idea.

I'll reserve judgement until I have played the full version, though. Might still be a good game. I hope.

04-06-2011, 10:52 AM
This game feels WAY too much like cowadoody. Why do you need only 2 weapons? Why can't you have more? Why do you have to have regenerating health? And at such a high rate no less? Why does the god damn screen need to turn red when your health is down.

I am thoroughly disappointed by this consolitis plagued mess. Canceled my pre order on this sucker.

04-06-2011, 11:10 AM
The game looks so.... bleak?

Here's a scan of the first ever preview in 1997 (http://imgur.com/a/n1REf#BCiYD).

- "To build Duke Nukem Forever on the Prey engine would have delayed the release until late 1998, around the same time as Prey itself."

- "But that 256-color limit may not be the case in the final game."

Bad Sector
04-06-2011, 01:57 PM
Err... are you trolling or something?

Painkiller clearly plays like an old-school FPS.

I'll agree with Simon, Painkiller doesn't play like an oldschool FPS. Oldschool FPS isn't defined by hordes of mindless AI monsters. Games like Doom, Rise of the Triad, Quake, Unreal, Blood, Duke3D and other similar shooters of that era had other qualities not found in Painkiller (or Serious Sam btw). Level exploration (for meaningful secrets, powerups, keys, etc), a more vertical level design, pre-positioned enemies, minor puzzles (some games actually took that to more than minor, see Jedi Knight as an example) a more abstract design (mostly in Doom and Quake, although Dark Forces and Jedi Knight being in space had some freedom with level design too), more projectile-based enemies, etc were all properties of an FPS of that era that Painkiller and Serious Sam lack. In fact if you go and play Doom and Quake today (something i do frequently - only a few hours ago i finished the first episode of Q1 in nightmare) you won't *really* see many enemies.

What Painkiller (and Serious Sam) has is that it went for mindless shooting when most other shooters went for realism. The "oldschool" confusion probably exist because every new FPS (at the time, especially around Serious Sam 1's time) was/is presented as "better" because -among others- has more realistic AI. Going for more mindless AI sounds like a step backwards, hence "oldschool". But this is just my own assumption. In any case, there is nothing common between a real "oldschool FPS" and Painkiller/Serious Sam beyond the mindless AI.

04-06-2011, 03:09 PM
I really wanted to get DNF when it came out, consciously just for the nostalgia value as it was a big part of my youth.

After all this marketing push and the videos and screenshots I've just totally lost interest (or even slightly annoyed by it all) and I'm not even going to get it for that. :(

04-06-2011, 07:47 PM
Played the demo yesterday and thoroughly underwhelmed by it (though I was never expecting to love it, I was willing to be won over). Not funny, feels dated rather than nostalgic, and not all that much fun to play. As I said to a friend yesterday, 'its more like a step back, than a look back'. Having said that, its not terrible, just not great.


04-06-2011, 07:49 PM
It looks and plays like an old game, but does have its funny moments. "Tonight you'll dine in hell" made me lol. Gearbox did the best they could without completely re-starting the game from scratch.

04-06-2011, 08:22 PM
It seems possible this game could be loved in the same manner Serious Sam is, providing they go for the big arena combat with swarms of enemies. I cant help but think many are over-criticizing the demo based on pre-conceptions. I've heard a lot of complaints at how simple, base and ugly it is.
Base, yeah, it was always going to be. Blow jobs and faeces throwing, kinda expected from a man who sits on bleeding throats to poop. Ugly, yes and no. Some pretty horrendous textures, but with Crysis 2 not long released, we're bound to have a period where nothing really compares. It's a tech demo after all. Although, I'm kind of praying the demo was missing some death animations to save download times!
As for simple, what's wrong with simple? The best game I've played in 2011 was so simple a 5 year old wrote, voiced and drew the entire thing.

In short, I need the final product first. What we've seen so far wasn't frantic and that's the key word. If the combat gets frantic and over the top, we may yet have a worthy product. Not that the internet will ever allow amodernised IP to be considered worthy. It's just not in our collective nature.

05-06-2011, 09:55 AM
Two weapon limits. It's modern standard. Since Halo 2001. It's also about choices and consequences. Existence of consoles.... George Broussard explains something.....


I'm done with DNF.