Duke lacks a lit­tle punch

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech - MIKE WIL­COX mike@ hy­per­ac­tiveg­ames. com

WHEN vet­eran video game icon Duke Nukem last graced your con­sole of choice, the world was a much happier place.

Mmm­bop was in the charts, Mother Teresa was feed­ing or­phans, and Jar Jar Binks was barely a glint in Ge­orge Lu­cas’s eye. Good times. The game wasn’t bad ei­ther.

How­ever, in the time it has taken for this se­quel to ar­rive, you could have raised a teenager, or waited for Guns N’ Roses to al­most fin­ish an al­bum. Fi­nally af­ter al­most a decade and a half, Duke is back in the game, bathed in his trade­mark scant­ily-dressed babes, big guns and bad taste hu­mour.

The clas­sic run-and-gun for­mula might well be in place here, though com­pared to the cur­rent crop of A-list video games, Duke’s lat­est out­ing also feels dated both tech­ni­cally and story wise.

Whereas the sex­ist one-lin­ers can be over­looked as child­ish hu­mour, there are no ex­cuses for the un­der­whelm­ing vi­su­als and unimag­i­na­tive level de­sign.

The game­play sees a re­turn to the good old days where most en­e­mies sim­ply come run­ning straight at you, forc­ing you to re­learn old gam­ing tac­tics such as cir­cle straf­ing and pan­ick­ing blindly, the least dur­ing the oblig­a­tory boss lev­els any­way.

Un­like mod­ern shoot­ers, there is no om­nipresent white dot or side­kick char­ac­ter to guide you in the right direc­tion through each level.

If you can ig­nore the looks and tech­ni­cal short­falls, Duke Nukem

For­ever still re­sem­bles some­thing of a solid old-school lin­ear shooter, fea­tur­ing Duke at his crass best, and 14 years over­due or not, his shot­gun still packs one sat­is­fy­ing punch.

Un­for­tu­nately it’s not the su­pe­rior se­quel fans were hop­ing for and sim­ply fails to live up to the hype sur­round­ing its tardy re­lease.

If you’re pre­pared to step into the way-back ma­chine to soak up an era of gam­ing not seen since, well, Duke

Nukem 3D back in 1996, leave your po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness at the door and stand united with the Duke.

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