I honestly doubt you're going to see this little community blog I'm posting, but I'm going to pretend you have found it and are now reading it. The reason I'm writing this is to give my opinions on Duke Nukem Forever, and also offer suggestions to make future Duke Nukem games better so something like Duke Nukem Forever doesn't happen again. I doubt you'll listen to my opinion, but as a gamer, and your customer, I at least hope you'd take some of these suggestions into consideration.
First off, I don't blame you for how Duke turned out. The game was in development with 3D Realms for what felt like forever, especially to a gamer. It was scrapped and restarted several times to support new technology. The overall concept transferred over each time, and in the long run you ended up with a mess of ideas, having to piece them together to make a "playable" game. I do, however, blame you and your head honcho Randy Pitchford for hyping the shit out of the game. Mr. Pitchford has said things such as "This game is so good you'll cum sparks like a 4th of July sparkler." and "When you're playing, you'll shit so hard it will rocket out of your ass and go up into space and orbit the moon, only for it to smear across the space station's solar panels and its orbit would decay, and it would fall down to Earth and kill thousands." I'd cite the source of those quotes, but I can't seem to find them at the moment. It's okay to be hyped to release a game like Duke Nukem Forever. But you also have to take into consideration that your opinion will be biased, and will appear biased no matter what. I hate using that word because it's thrown around so much, but it's truth. It would be like me shitting out a regular ol' turd and going "THIS IS THE GREATEST PIECE OF SHIT KNOWN TO MAN BECAUSE I MADE IT", when I know Peter Q. Shittington shits gold and diamonds. Plus, if you say things like how your game is going to be ultra amazing, it'll bite you in the ass in the end, much like it is now. We don't need another Peter Molyneux in the industry.
Overall, I thought Duke Nukem Forever was alright. Definitely not worth the wait, and not as good as it was hyped to be since PAX Prime 2010. If I were to score it, I'd give it a five out of ten. Right in the middle of great and complete crap. I was hyped up until the demo, which didn't feel right. Then the reviews came out and lowered my expectations a lot. And I think that may have actually helped me like the game more than I thought I would. The only reason I ended up playing it after the shitstorm of reviews was because I've been waiting for the game since I beat Duke Nukem 3D way back on my Windows 95 PC, and because Steam doesn't give refunds (as far as I know).
Now I'm going to list off some things I did like about Duke Nukem Forever, and what I didn't like.
- The game was paced well enough to keep me moving forward. It didn't really feel monotonous and boring all the time.
- Most of the level design was cool. You'd walk through one area like it was nothing, but then when you are shrunken it's like a whole new level.
- The first level was pretty awesome. That actually felt like the most polished part of the game, even if it was just a remake of one of the boss fights from Duke 3D.
- I'm 50/50 on this one. Some objects were fun to play around with just for the hell of it. But making a point of having to find some of these objects to increase your health just felt like a way to elongate the game. Overall it's at least a neat way to give you incentive to look out for things you wouldn't notice if you weren't looking.
Hated Level Design
- While I said I liked the level design, I also hated it. Getting shrunk felt like it happened way too often, like it was put in just to help make the game longer. And all I have to say to the underwater parts is FUCK YOU
- This kind of goes with level design. One big no no about first person shooters is not to incorporate platforming. Timing jumps in the first person just doesn't work that well. Plus there were so many times where I was small and had to avoid the floor because the water was electrified. And when I was normal sized, what did I deal with? MORE FUCKING ELECTRIFIED WATER. Seriously?!
- The boss fights were just so dull. The bosses normally just stood there and launched a very dodgeable attack at you. The shitty part is that tons of regular enemies that spawn to try and distract you from the fact that the boss is doing nothing. Plus, I'm pretty sure I fought the same boss four times, he was just slightly harder each time. The last boss was a recycle of the same boss. Seriously?
Duke Nukem Himself
- I didn't give two shits about the story or any of the characters in the game, and that includes the one thing I'm supposed to care about: Duke. Yeah, I think Duke is the right guy to go kick some ass. But his lines and everything just didn't feel right. He's super full of himself, and to top it off everyone else in the game idolizes him. It'd be better if there was someone there to contrast his character, like some random dudes that hate him because he's a fucking asshole (which he is). The President wasn't enough, because you saw him like three times, and every time it was mainly just a "FUCK YOU DUKE" then he disappears. In actuality, the president wasn't even needed in the game. He had no point. Anyways, back to Duke, his lines were also just stupid and emotionless. If I remember right, the only time I heard any emotion from Duke was when he was pissed off because the aliens kidnapped his fuck twins. If I were to meet Duke, I'd hit him in the face, or his tiny roid raged dick. He doesn't give a shit about me, why should I give a shit about him?
The Game Was Unfinished
- Yeah, you can go from beginning to end in the game. But that's not what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about was the huge lack of polish in the game. Like at the beginning where there's a bunch of girls outside cheering for Duke, when four out of eight of them were just static models doing absolutely nothing. Or the environments that just felt lifeless. Had some more polish gone into the game, it may have felt better, but it also may have taken much longer for the game to come out.
Before I wrap this all up, I want to give a short plot synopsis for what I feel could help move the franchise forward, instead of just standing in place. What I picture is the game starting out with Duke as a washed up has-been. Not many people remember him anymore, and the ones who do think of him as a joke. Even Duke is not sure of himself. Then something happens (I'm guessing aliens... again), and he starts to fight, blah blah blah vidya gaems. The thing here is that Duke will feel vulnerable, instead of the invincible asshole he was in Duke 3D and Forever. In fact, Duke will FEEL. Plus, you can build up to an actual story instead of "Aliens invade Earth. Don't attack them Duke. Oh shit they're attacking you. You saved the world the end."
Well that pretty much sums it up. I have confidence that if you guys make the game from the ground up and don't take twelve years, it will actually be a more worthwhile game. I'm counting on you. I don't want another Sonic relationship on my hands. I have the faith, so make this next game worth it.
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