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Published on June 5th, 2011 | by Derek Strickland, Contributor

Duke Nukem Forever Demo Impression

Duke Nukem Forever Box art.jpg

Finally, here it is: a playable demo of the infamous Duke Nukem Forever, a game that’s been over a decade in the making. Gamers around the world finally get to experience a playable version of the hugely anticipated title, and while the Duke’s signature style and personality are adequately reflected, there are elements of gameplay that make it feel a bit choppy when compared to the library of newer next-gen shooters.

The story is basically the same as we remember it: there’s an alien invasion underway, threatening to take over the entire world. Unfortunately for them, this is Duke Nukem’s turf, and he isn’t about to stand by and watch these alien freaks conquer the planet–the Duke is king, after all.

Right from the start players are treated with the raw, macho humor that only Duke Nukem could provide: pissing time away, literally. This small addition cracked me up right away, ditto for the “Pisohnme” brand of toilets. It’s the little things that count, and these tidbits of hilarity add up to provide a gaming experience only the Duke could provide.

To me, Duke Nukem is most awesome for the bits of sometimes appalling and shocking humor for which the Duke is most well-known. The heavily muscled renegade of our youth has been resurrected in full high-definition to meet next-gen standards of gaming, yet he still retains his cool, calm demeanor and kick-ass confident attitude.

One only has to look at the laundry list of Mature content on the official ESRB rating to know this game has the Duke in it: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Mature Humor, Nudity, Strong Language, etc.


The Duke Nukem Forever game demo is jam-packed with miscellaneous extras that ensure Duke’s persona is completely unchanged–he’s just as muscled and cool as we remembered him. With his signature attire and instantly recognizable wit, Duke Nukem has become a gaming icon that universally defines the word “badass”.

Right away gamers get to experience the heart-pounding action that is taking down a towering Cycloid behemoth in a football stadium, using the familiar strategy of simply filling the enemy with as much Devastator fire as possible. After taking down the boss, the Duke will make a field goal kick with the monster’s eye, muttering “It’s Good” as it passes through the goals.

After the boss fight, players get to drive Duke’s personal monster truck, Might Foot–hey, a renegade badass has to get around in style, right? While the truck itself is a bit rough to control, the driving sequence doesn’t last too long. Jumping out of the truck, players are now on foot and take the first-person view that is signature to the game series.

The aiming crosshair is pretty nice, and zooming in is possible with all weapons. Each firearm has it’s own feel, and Duke can pick up discarded alien weaponry and use it against the invading monstrosities. The classic weapons are all there: M1911 (the pistol), shotgun, the Ripper, the RPG, and the infamous Shrink Ray that delivers a hilarious result, dwindling all enemies down to action-figure proportions.

Controls are pretty standard, what players would expect from just about any FPS game–crouching, sprinting, zooming and jumping, and a melee attack for close range combat. The actions respond well in combat, and the game forces players to take evasive measures quite often such as crouching behind cover to avoid enemy fire.

The Duke is so cool that he wears his sunglasses at night, and for good reason: pressing up on the D-Pad to equip Duke Vision–yes, he’s so awesome that he has his own vision mode named after him. In Duke Vision, dark areas are instantly illuminated in a ghostly bluish hue.

Duke Nukem Forever hits store shelves on June 14th, 2011.

Final Truth: I was hardly disappointed by the Duke Nukem Forever demo, yet the graphics seem to be outdated–even though they are high-def renders fit for next-gen consoles–and the environments and scenery seem to be stale. The Duke Nukem franchise keeps its signature flair and style, however, and has successfully resurrected our buff hero to a new level of awesomeness.

With a multitude of classic weapons reskinned for next-gen gaming and hilarious in-game features like urinating in toilets, executing enemies, and kicking field goals with alien boss’ body parts. The firefights are surprisingly dynamic and call for actual strategies such as evasive maneuvers and hiding behind cover, making the game akin to many modern-day FPS games.

GAMINGtruth’s very own Ken Yarbrough had this to say on the Duke Nukem Forever demo:

I honestly didn’t enjoy it. While there were definitely some funny stuff, the gameplay is too archaic. I’m saddened, because I have a feeling this game is going to get torn apart by critics and gamers alike…and it took them 14 years to do it.

While the game may have fallen short to the incredible anticipation and hype behind this title with over a decade in development, it does revive the Duke Nukem franchise and is sure to have gamers out there amused by Duke’s signature humorous style. Overall the game seems not to be game of the year quality, however it does provide for an overall enjoyable gaming experience, and the demo is but a slice of the tasty action within the upcoming Duke Nukem Forever release.

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About the Author

I'm an aspiring games journalist who writes articles focused on everything from Indie Games to next-gen titles. [Twitter] @Mr_Deeke [E-Mail] derek.s(at)gamingtruth(dot)com

One Response to Duke Nukem Forever Demo Impression

  1. Pingback: Duke Nukem Forever | Game Glist

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