For some time now I have been talking about Duke Nukem Forever in my Finishing Journal. I hinted at what I thought about the game. But there was more to playing this game than simply playing this game. How this review came to be can only be told by Midnite Rambler. Sit back and grab a beer, it’s time for the second ever co-op review.
M. Rambler: Before we bring the pain, I feel the need to explain how all this misery came about.
D.Conrad: It seems like so long ago. Life was better back then, go on.
M. Rambler: There I was, minding my own business at the local GameStop when I heard a gravelly voice call forth from the ether…
D. Nukem: It was me, wasn’t it?
M. Rambler: Yes, yes it was. So I stood there in GameStop scanning around for the source of the noise. Lo and behold, sitting right in front of my face was a brand new copy of Duke Nukem Forever.
D. Nukem: Do you remember my exact words when you looked up and our eyes met?
M. Rambler: Of course… you said, “You wanna touch it, don’t you?” Naturally I began to walk away.
D. Nukem: But then I gotcha with my “I’d buy that for a dollar” catchphrase, didn’t I?
M. Rambler: Appealing to my thrifty sensibilities was certainly a great route to take, so I picked up a brand new copy from the shelf… and, Duke, need I remind you that your game was actually a whopping $5?
D. Nukem: A turd in the hand is worth two in the bush.
M. Rambler: What does that even mean??? And would you stop spouting moldy quotes from your stupid game and shut up already? I’m trying to tell a story here.
D. Nukem: Fine… douche!
M. Rambler: So, anyway, I walked up to the front counter and asked the nearest clerk if the Duke Nukem Forever experience was finally worth the asking price…
There was a slight pause, followed by an uneasy smile, topped with a healthy portion of awkward silence.
It was almost as if Duke himself was standing behind the poor fellow, whispering “now just act normal, nod slowly, and let the nice man buy me” into the clerk’s ear while holding a Devastator to his back.
Naturally, my response was: “SOLD!”
So I brought my new purchase home, and before even taking it for a spin in my PS3, informed Donald of the incredible news.
D.Conrad: This is the point in the story where I…
D.Nukem: Come Get Some!
M. Rambler: You mean like how you “got some” in the opening sequence/cutscene, Duke? I’d talk about how stupid and immature this game starts off, but Donald insists upon this being a clean website… Donald, how are we supposed to talk about 90% percent of this game if we can’t talk about 90% of this game?
D.Conrad: Well, I am going to go ahead and say to our more delicate viewers, avert your eyes. We are going to go CRAZY with stuff, but we are still going to toe the imaginary line I have drawn. You good with that?
M. Rambler: Yeah, so let’s start with a not so imaginary line… the graphics.
D.Conrad: Wait, this game had graphics? I thought it had eye abuse!
M. Rambler: Good point, I have no idea how it’s possible to make a current-gen console kick out N64 level graphics.
D.Conrad: You’re not being fair, the Banjo-Kazooie port on Xbox Live Arcade looks ten times better than Duke Nukem Forever. You have to view this game as a time machine, they didn’t build it from the ground up, they just used the art that had been created for it… over its 12 year development cycle.
M. Rambler: But I thought everything got better with age?
D.Conrad: This game proves that dead wrong.
M. Rambler: That means I should just hang it up on life then, because now I’m just depressed. I know one thing that age does make better… scotch!! I think I’ll go pour myself one to wash away the grief.
D.Conrad: Did you mean two? Because I need some medicine too.
M. Rambler: I’ll just go ahead and pour us four and make everything better.
D.Conrad: I did find that drinking to a stupor then playing this game sobers you up so fast with it’s sucking.
M. Rambler: Speaking of drinking… one of the game mechanics involved Duke drinking a beer to gain a sort of halfassed health boost… and after one beer Duke was sloshed.
D.Conrad: It’s odd, a three hundred pound guy can’t take one beer? What a light weight.
D.Nukem: Hail to the king baby!
Forever sucking -
D.Conrad: Well, we have talked about Duke’s alcoholism and “great” “graphics” but there is one thing in the game that needs to be addressed. It controls like an Aircraft Carrier in the Mojave desert. Why is it so… What is the word I am looking for?
M. Rambler: Not one word, but two: Turd Ferguson.
D.Conrad: You can pick up crap in this game.
M. Rambler: What??!?! How did I miss that? Was I too busy slapping wallboobs and drawing naughty pictures on chalk boards?
D.Conrad: Those were white boards, and you missed it because you are lucky. I was standing in a restroom at “Duke Burger” and it said press “X” to interact. So I did. THEN I WAS HOLDING POOP!
M. Rambler: I may have completely misjudged this game…
D. Nukem: No.
M. Rambler: But I’ve always dreamed about holding poop… I’ve just been too scared to actually try it out in real life.
D.Conrad: Well holding the control in your hand while playing this game is very similar to Duke holding crap. What’s funny is that he asked, “OH, WHAT AM I DOING?” I was wondering the same thing about playing this game.
M. Rambler: Since we can’t seem to get off the subject of crap, you know what I was wondering… who wrote this mindless drivel? With all the potty humor and lame pop culture references, the best I can guess is that an immature teenager had a baby… and then that baby wrote all the gags for this game.
D.Conrad: No, I think it was written by a committee of idiots from the town of Idiotville, GA. The gags were not well written in any way shape or form. The Halo one was terrible.
M. Rambler: You mean as terrible as the Valve one, or the Doom one, or the… oh, who gives a crap? Wait, no!! Please don’t give a crap, or Duke might pick it up.
D.Conrad: I did laugh at one joke. There were some boards to break in order to pass through a doorway and he said “a crowbar would come in handy right about now.” I laughed because this game is the polar opposite of Half-Life. I did need a crowbar… to smash this game into bits.
M. Rambler: A crowbar certainly would have come in handy during the 90 second load times that occur when you die due to the game’s bad controls. I could have used it to pass the time by beating my own skull open with it.
D.Conrad: Science has proven that crowbar beatings are 100 times more fun than playing Duke Nukem Forever. The situation where load times really got to me was on the Duke Dam level. That fight was a mess, I kept getting stuck on invisible things in the environment and the boss’s seeker missile could take you out in one shot. The game loads faster from title screen into the game than between deaths..why? WHY?
M. Rambler: Yeah, I don’t understand either… because they always say that good things come to those who wait. Well, this game made us wait and wait and wait… and there were NO good things. I’m so confused… my world is crumbling now as we speak.
D.Conrad: May I remind you that you caused this?
M. Rambler: You think I need a reminder of that? Hey, I brought us scotch, let’s just remember the good things I bring to the table.
D.Conrad: These do help dull the pain… and how witty were the sayings on the load screen. One tells you to go to online and find a game FAQ if you get stuck. Oh Duke Nukem Developers, you so witty!
M. Rambler: Agreed, but I will say that I took that advice… but only to see exactly how many more levels I had to suffer through. The bad news was, when I did that, I was only on level 3 and there were WAY too many levels left to slog through.
D.Conrad: There are 21 levels in this game. But some are broken up into 2 or 3 separate sections. This game needed to be over in 5 levels max. 1 preferably.
M. Rambler: Well, if I can only have one level, I’m going to take boobwall level. It featured naked ladies and… well, boobwalls… what are booballs you ask? Well they are three boobs stuck together and they… ummm… do things when you slap them. Oh yeah, and did I mention that there’s a prompt to slap them?
D.Conrad: I will say it. They squirt milk on the screen. I let out an audible groan when I saw them. I was kind of mad when I followed the on-screen prompt to slap them. The problem is, the level they are in is the only level with any degree of quality.
M. Rambler: Slapping wallboobs made you mad? Well, I was playing that level with my girlfriend watching… I was more embarrassed… she’s not into video games, and I can only assume she thinks I spend most of my nights spanking wallboobs in the basement.
D.Conrad: I told you not to play it outside the office. I plugged the PlayStation up to that TV in the janitor’s closet for a reason. I had to do that after my wife saw me use a level Boss’ testicles as speed bags. I had no words to explain to her what was happening.
M. Rambler: Words are hard to come by at this point… so I’ll just say this, and sit down, because it’s a lot of words…
I don’t understand how this is a GearBox game. I’ve played GearBox games. I enjoy GearBox games. I loved Borderlands and I can’t wait for Borderlands 2… but this… this is not right.
I can appreciate that they tried to do a lot of different things with the gameplay. Wait, no I don’t… because none of them were very good. FPS levels, mini-FPS levels, on rails levels, driving levels, night vision levels, swimming levels, zany world interaction, QTE’s, mini-games… am I missing anything? Wait, who cares? When a kitchen sink this big is thrown at you, all that can happen is the sink hits you in the face and you can’t see straight anymore.
D.Conrad: Did you dive into the bonus features? Because most of this was explained there. Truth be told, the history of how this game came to be is more interesting than the game itself.
Randy Pitchford started his gaming career working on this game right as it was starting up. He left to start GearBox. So I guess he feels that it needed to come to light? I wish he had just mailed me the money it took to produce this game.
D.Conrad: That is not right. Isn’t the saying, “you can wish in one hand and Duke Nukem Forever in the other hand… see which one is full of this game first”?
D.Nukem: That..hurt…hurt…bad *sob*
M. Rambler: Well, Duke, all I can say is… one good turn deserves another.
D.Conrad: Before we decide what this game rates, we need to talk about the most important moment in the game. Rambler, tell us what it is.
M. Rambler: The end?
D. Nukem: No… the epic ending cutscene!!!
D.Conrad: Duke is right. The ending were Duke dies, then he decides he is not dead and he is also president… WHAT THE $*%#?
M. Rambler: Don’t judge, don’t speak, don’t think, don’t breathe… none of that will help us right now.
M. Rambler: So, is that your game rating?
D.Conrad: Is my nose bleeding? When the rest of the guys refused to sit in the break room with us when we talked about this game, you came up with a great rating. Hit us with it!
M. Rambler: Well, I don’t know… I kind of don’t want to stoop to the level of this game.
D.Conrad: So what you are saying is that Duke Nukem Forever rates lower than a 1. But a 1 is qualified as Duke Nukem Forever. The game is worse than the game?
M. Rambler: You beat the game and you have to ask me that?
D.Conrad: You are altering the company’s rating system, I just want to make sure that we are on the same page here.
M. Rambler: This game alters my perception of video games as I know them… so yeah. Poop helmet.
D.Conrad: Well then, that is that. Duke Nukem Forever gains Did Not Finish’s first ever Poop Helmet out of 5.
M. Rambler: So, I didn’t want to mention this… but have you noticed that this game and your website have the same initials? DNF? As such, I vote that we never speak of this game EVER again.
D.Conrad: What game?
M.Rambler: Duke Nukem Forever.
D.Conrad Slaps M.Rambler in the mouth!
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