Recently, I was invited to preview a hands-off demo of Duke Nukem Forever. Just to clarify, ‘Hands-Off’ means I just get to sit and watch while the other party does all the work…you know, as if you’re on the receiving end of a ‘special service’ in a dimly-lit room with a ….well, you get the idea..
For someone who grew up with little luxuries in life, I admit that I had never played any Duke Nukem game. Yes, I’m aware (being an Xbox360 gamer) that there are two downloadable games on Xbox LIVE Arcade – Duke Nukem 3D and Duke Nukem Manhattan – but as they say, you won’t care for the character if you don’t know/can’t relate to him.
However, the demo was a huge eye-opener for me. Not only was I introduced to the big man in high-definition glory, the short two-level demo also showcased some interesting gameplay elements. On the whole (and from what I saw), gameplay is a fantastic blend of shooting, melee, driving, drinking, peeing and other interactive moments, mostly viewed in first person perspective. The interactive moments are eyebrow-raising and fun and they comprise activities you don’t [REALLY] expect to see/have not seen in a videogame. I reckon when the game is released, there will many videos posted online just to highlight users’ interactions during this moments.
What sets Duke Nukem Forever apart within seconds of playing (or rather watching) is the various quips and cheesy one-liners of DK himself and some of the characters. Granted, this game is for mature audience, so the humour and puns are very much adult, dark and bold in nature, some intentionally implied.
This is the perfect game for grown-up boys and manly men to ‘get it on’together in a room filled with booze, pizzas and perhaps in the company of …their (tamed) wives and girlfriends, or for just-turned-eighteen boys locked away in their private rooms, undisturbed so they can let their creative juices flow without judgment. Although I did not see this in the demo, the game ‘promises’ to let you read adult magazines and ogle at beautiful women, and guessing from what was revealed, it looks like we can expect something more than panning classic playboy pinups in Mafia II last year.
The other aspect that made Duke Nukem famous is its crazy firepower and we are not shortchanged in this game. I saw the awesomeness of the twin-barrelled ‘Devastator’ but what raised the fun factor was when I chuckled at a Shrink Ray gun that allows you to fire at a charging man-warthog and reduce his size to something no bigger than the palm of your hand, and then you proceed to scare the shit of his existence by attempting to stomp him out of his misery as he runs for his life. Need a health boost? Instead of going for the boring medical pack or some dose of serum, Duke Nukem simply pulls out a can of beer and gulps down some malty goodness. Re-fresh-inggggg.
The other important component in a game – graphics is also top notch. Everything in the game is highly detailed, from the glossy surface of the whiteboard, the dark and damp atmosphere in a lavatory, to the wet field of an indoor stadium in which you faced a mini-boss. As you move around and dodge enemy fire, items that get in the way are sent off flying or blown to bits, sending debris and splashes to your screen.
The fun does not stop there. I witnessed some cinematic sequences that push its humour and adult theme further. Instead of a brutal finisher on a dying cyclops monster, Duke is seen adding salt to the wound by setting up its eyeball for a satisfying long shot kick into the goal post, while at the end of one stage, he was seen to be getting a good rub by two twin-looking maidens.
Unfortunately, the demo ends as he was giving a one finger salute to a hovering ship. At the end of the session, I became a big fan. ‘Duke Nukem Forever’ looks to be the only game that can stretch my smile and a certain appendage at the same time.
The game is set to be launched here on 3rd May 2011, but if you purchase the Borderlands Game of the Year edition, there is a coupon inside that allows you to enter a code and stay in the line for an exclusive demo access.