Mixed or average reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 48
  2. Negative: 17 out of 48
Buy On
  1. Jun 14, 2011
    An extinct approach to first-person shooters, like a game locked into a time capsule that has been relased now (which is almost what happened). There are indeed many better shooters out there, but very few as charming, although the game might dissapoint some who are just looking for a FPS by today's standards.
  2. Aug 1, 2011
    Bottom line: Duke Nukem Forever was not worth the 15-year wait, nor is it worth paying the full $50. However, I cannot deny that I thought it was both fun and funny, which at the end of the day is what this franchise is all about.
  3. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Jul 30, 2011
    It would be a smashing hit if He came a decade earlier. Now our hero limps a little and thanks to his foul-mouthed nature only he is able to keep our attention. [July 2011]
  4. Jun 15, 2011
    At best, Duke Nukem Forever is a solid but flawed game, that most people would enjoy only as a new iteration in the 3D Realms veteran series. Despite some old promises, this game has a lot of trouble living up to those high expectations set forth by its saga's past triumphs.
  5. Jun 13, 2011
    It may go down as one of biggest anticlimaxes in gaming, but don't expect too much of it and you might enjoy it. I for one am going back to play it again, at least on PC. And besides, I'm sure Duke 5 will be the greatest game ever made.
  6. PC Format
    Jul 12, 2011
    A love letter to PC gaming, scrawled in crayon by an alcoholic bigot. Wait for the bargain bin to say goodbye to Duke. [Aug 2011, p.98]
  7. Jun 10, 2011
    If there's a game that deserves to be called "old school", this is it. There's hardly a change in gameplay and the graphics are out of date, too. The most remarkable thing about this game is the fact that they actually finished it.
  8. Jun 19, 2011
    With its incredibly obsolete graphics and technical aspects, combined with inappropriate modern elements, Duke Nukem cannot be called a good game. It is however a fun game, that offers the Nukem-trademark humour together with much variation in surroundings and gameplay.
  9. Jun 17, 2011
    Duke Nukem Forever is buoyed by the explosive force of its own brand. It has a lot of issues, first of all its old graphic engine. Fans will find an enjoyable experience, but there's much better out there for the same price.
  10. Jun 21, 2011
    Enough gimmicks to make you want to run through stages as quickly as possible, and a forgettable but fun multiplayer component, Duke Nukem Forever fails to live up to the legacy.
  11. Jul 3, 2011
    The PC version is definitely preferred over the console versions with better graphics, shorter load times, and a $10 savings off the retail price. Play with a controller and you'll be playing the 360 version that all Xbox owners wish they could be playing.
  12. Jul 7, 2011
    Awfully outdated, unfinished, bringing nothing new, but still quite amusing. Despite all of its flaws, Duke Nukem Forever is a legend and nostalgia trip for many fans who gladly forget all of its failings.
  13. Jun 23, 2011
    This game is neither a classic nor a complete failure. What ultimately makes it worth playing is the variety. The different parts don't all work quite as well as they should, but there's always something fresh around the next corner.
  14. Jun 15, 2011
    Make no mistake, Duke Nukem Forever is not a good game. But although it's easy to point out its many flaws, most people are forgetting its most important feature: Duke's return is quite entertaining, even if it's an outdated game that looks like it's from 2005 and plays like it's 2001.
  15. Sep 12, 2011
    Duke Nukem Forever would be quite decent if one felt entirely certain it's intended purely as a self-parody. As is, it doesn't do the expectations, the buyer or the Duke justice – oh, had he rather remained a vaporware legend!
  16. CD-Action
    Jul 4, 2011
    If I didn't have to write this review, I wouldn't complete the game. I would chuck it in after 2 hours. Duke might be a legend but believe me – this game is so bland it's a waste of time. Duke Nukem Forever should have stayed where it spent so much time: on the drawing boards. [July 2011, p.54]
  17. Jun 14, 2011
    It's a muddled, hypocritical exercise in irritation with solid shooting mechanics and decent encounter design. There's some dumb fun to be had in Duke Nukem Forever, but the game tries hard to ensure it's only fleeting.
  18. Jun 13, 2011
    It's just a mess. It pains me to say it, but it's absolutely true.
  19. Jun 26, 2011
    Effects lacked much of a punch, and a lot of the creature designs had a really generic, evil look to them. There was no personality here, and I think the direction of a serious aesthetic didn't do it any favors.
  20. Jun 25, 2011
    It suffers from a number of technical glitches and performance issues, which is just kind of sad given the game is 15 years in the making.
  21. Jun 19, 2011
    The jokes are pulled from all over the place and most of them fall flat, and no one gameplay mechanic is particularly impressive. It feels like it doesn't quite know what it wants to be, whether it's an old school throwback or a more modern shooter, and in the end it succeeds at being neither.
  22. Jun 17, 2011
    The game not only doesn't fulfill all the hopes we have put in it (lets' be honest – that was impossible), but even when looking at it without thinking about the legend, it seem extremely mediocre. Ugly graphics, cliché gaming mechanics and a general lack of attention to details resemble a typical budget production.
  23. Jun 15, 2011
    Quotation forthcoming.
  24. Jun 13, 2011
    If you're going to 'go modern', do it. If you're going to 'go retro', do it. Just don't go half-and-half and end up failing to appease fans of both approaches. While DNF is kind-of fun, is playable and can be enjoyed all the way until the end, it's far away from what it should have been.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 1176 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Jun 15, 2011
    I so wanted to like this game. We need new, innovative and daring FPSs - in short we need Duke. So what went wrong? Well this game feels likeI so wanted to like this game. We need new, innovative and daring FPSs - in short we need Duke. So what went wrong? Well this game feels like the rag bag of development that it is. Some levels are ok, not great, but ok. Most levels are terrible. The graphics are very dated - but it isn't just the graphics, the whole feel of the clunky. The level design is boring and extremely linear. The one liners are funny for the most part but they can't rescue this slow, ploddy game. Long boring driving sections - I love driving sections in most games but this just doesn't work. The vehicles feel like they are slowing you down more than helping. Out of fuel again? What's that - three times? It plods and it plods.

    Really annoying are the many times when a game character blocks your path by standing in the middle of a wide corridor. Look, I could drive a bus through that gap but Duke has his nose against the invisible wall and the game is not letting me past until I've watched a tedious video on a TV or listened to some dialogue. I want to scream "You're Duke - shove that guy out of your way." It isn't happening. This feels really pointlessly irritating when you find a kid sitting on your throne who refuses to move unless you take his photo. Yep that's right - Duke has to run around after some kid before being allowed to proceed. If that doesn't ruin the immersion nothing will. Bad, bad, bad idea - but it's just one example. I had plenty to choose from.

    I have waited for this for years. I played, and loved Duke 3D all those years ago. I wanted this to be great but I'm not letting that blind me to a truly horrible gaming experience. This is my opinion of course - but I have stated clear reasons above why this game is bad. And it really is bad. Oh God it's bad. How ever much of a fan you are stop and think. Or at least stop and wait until this hits the bargain bin - you won't have to wait long.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 14, 2011
    Quite frankly the greatest game of our generation. From the rock solid humor to the smooth graphics, all is good here. I can;t speak for theQuite frankly the greatest game of our generation. From the rock solid humor to the smooth graphics, all is good here. I can;t speak for the issues people are having with the console versions, but the pc version is top notch! Game of The year, BABY!! Full Review »
  3. Jun 14, 2011
    Not as ground-breaking as its predecessor, Duke Nukem Forever nevertheless brings in some much needed fun into the genre with a memorableNot as ground-breaking as its predecessor, Duke Nukem Forever nevertheless brings in some much needed fun into the genre with a memorable single-player campaign with humorous details littered throughout and some semi-old school pacing.

    The 12 hour SP campaign is unusually compelling, has some great moments and the interactive ego boosters you find are rewarding. The story and character is essentially over the top satire and a lot of the humor references other games and pop culture. The puzzles are great, supplying a pacing one finds in past Valve titles and are all very engaging. Most levels feel unique and a few provide interesting twists to gameplay. Many of the scripted sequences lack polish and a few areas appear downright bare when nothing happens. The FBA animations are world class and create cinematic events to immerse you in a rather zany action hero.

    The weapons are a smart mix of conventional, alien and fun. A limited carry capacity for primary guns stresses environmental interaction and map domination. The separately mapped explosives and powerups make for clever tactics. Boss fights provide unique challenges and end in amusing fatalities in keeping with the series. Duke's ego, itself a parody of regenerating health systems, provides some respite from the occasionally punishing combat and brutal enemy characters.

    Graphics are a mixed bag as Vegas looks like a dull attempt at realism and many outdoors areas in general don't have the vibrancy of most indoor levels, which are rendered well. Post-processing effects often tend to miss the mark and some explosions and weapon effects don't always look too good while other effects and dynamic soft shadows look very nice. The level geometry is mostly for the low end and while static meshes are detailed, this is a game that's meant to run better than it looks.

    Overall, it's a remarkably fun, un-PC game and despite the lack of polish in many areas, makes for a uniquely hand-crafted experience that stays with you. I'd recommend this to fans of the Half-life series who don't mind a varied pace. But those interested in graphics or more polished titles with tighter, combat to combat scripting like the Call of Duty series might want to wait till this one is on sale.
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