Wow, has it really been 15 years since the game was in development? OF COURSE IT'S BEEN! But the big questions are has Duke Nukem Forever reached expectations and has he aged well. In short No he didn't meet expectations for some but did for me and No he hasn't aged well because he hasn't changed and I like that. I mention that he hasn't reached expectations or aged well because the audience who knew Duke in the 90's have matured and may not like him anymore and the way the new game plays may upset old fans. Well I'm reviewing it now so I hope you haven't ran away yet.
The story of Duke Nukem Forever is what you'd expect. The Cycloids are taking away the women and Duke is out to get revenge. I know seems simple but hey it's Duke Nukem! He's back to take arse and kick names... I mean kick arse and take names. The setup this time is the Cycloids have shown up on Earth and seem to not be causing trouble until they go after Duke for revenge and take his twin hotties away from him. The president blames him for starting the fight and Duke wants revenge for kidnapping his babes.
Gameplay is like most FPS games and I highly recommend changing the settings to Duty(I think that's what it's called) so it has the same setup as Call Of Duty and it's the easiest way to play it, trust me! The game borrows from other popular shooters but it mainly borrows from Halo, Call Of Duty and believe it or not Half Life... really borrows from Half Life in the sense it tells you nothing and you got to work out everything yourself for the most part and it's puzzles. They even make a couple of references to Half Life.
As you know this is a FPS but the game has power ups in it... remember what those are? Throughout the game you'll find beer and steroids along with holo Dukes to use in the game. Beer make you take less damage(and makes you tougher apparently), steroids make you only do super powered melee attacks and the Holo Dukes create a hologram of Duke to take aggro (yes even an Army Of Two reference). There are no grenades in the game but you do get pipe bombs which remote detonate and trap mines which explode when the laser line is crossed.
The weapons are all the basics you'd expect but over the top for the most part. You have the basic handgun and shotgun but the machine gun has 3 barrels and is called "The Ripper", an RPG which looks nothing like what most of you are used too, The Devastator which is a machine gun that shoots rockets, a rail gun which is your sniper rifle... on steroids and some alien weapons which... suck, as well as a shrink gun and a freeze gun which both of them are fun to use but pale against the shotgun.
There are some vehicle sections but they don't have weapons on them and take a while to complete. As mentioned above there are some puzzles to solve but they will seem familiar if you've ever played a Half Life game.
Your health bar(Yes a health bar! Remember what they are?) can regenerate like in every other FPS and it's actually called your Ego. You can increase your max Ego by finding interactive items throughout the game and defeating the bosses... some with hilarious results. Also bosses can only be defeated using explosives or turrets... you have been warned!
The game is also fairly long, taking me over 15 hours to complete over 2 days... yeah it's the length of 2 Call Of Duties! One of the real hooks of the game is Duke's one liners... they are PRICELESS! I couldn't help but laugh my arse off throughout playing this game, his comments to picking up a turd are just hilarious! Duke makes various references to other games and there are a couple of Easter eggs in the game you have to find that also have one liners attached to them.
The game has online multiplayer matches which are the same as every other shooter but with a Duke Nukem twist and unfortunately Christopher Sabat's voice for the announcer... am I the only one sick of his and Steven Blum' voices? I didn't get much of a lag when I played but since only the PAL region has it as of me typing this so if Halo is anything to go on it's going to be bad when the rest of the world gets it.
Duke Nukem Forever is a hard game to recommend because I feel the audience who'd get the most fun out of the game aren't in the age bracket to play the game. Seriously even though I had fun with the game I fell that 13 to 18 year olds would enjoy it more then the adults it's suppose to be targeted at. Is Duke Nukem Forever a good game? Yes. Is it a great game? Hard to say to be honest. Let me make it simpler. If you are a fan of Duke Nukem you have a 60% chance of liking it, depending on how you grew up and if you're easily blinded by nostalgia. If you're under 20 and above 12 you'll love it!(I don't encourage under 20's to buy or play the game without parental permission) I loved the game myself but I have to give it a 4/5. It's nice to finally see Duke again after so many years. I was 12 when I played Duke Nukem 3D on the PlayStation and he hasn't changed a bit.