Duke Nukem Forever
Developer: 3D Realms (Gearbox Software, Triptych Games, Piranha Games)
Platform: Xbox 360 [reviewed], PS3, PC
Back in May 1996, there was a little title released by 3D Realms called Duke Nukem 3D. The game used the infamous DOS-gaming character Duke Nukem to create an absurd parody of the ever popular Doom and Quake franchise. To this day, there are many from the ancient time of the 90′s who say that Duke Nukem 3D defined that generation of PC gaming with players blasting through the set-pieces, turning on sinks, and listening to crass one-liners coming straight from the mouth of Jon St. John.
Invigorated after the success of Duke Nukem 3D, 3D realms announced a sequel titled Duke Nukem Forever to release in mid-1998. It’s been fourteen years. After switching engines twice, changing development teams, the rumor to have become vaporware, and two console generations later, the Nuke has finally dropped into store shelves on the historic day of June 14th, 2011.
As I write this, it is one week later and I have completed what was once the longest-running gag in the history of video games. While it is definitely a new feeling to have reached the end-credits of a title that was announced when I was five, does this game deliver on fourteen years of development? Well, the short story is “not at all,” but of course any game that has to deliver on such a long development time will fall short of the hype it creates. However, is Duke Nukem Forever at least enjoyable?