Completing Duke Nukem Forever

We rented Duke Nukem Forever via our LoveFilm subscription a few weeks ago now, and the plan had been to play it through fairly quickly and return it.. however, we’ve been decorating the house, and we had ScampLAN, so it’s taken until this weekend to actually complete it.

As I’ve been playing, I’ve thought back to the demo.. I think it’s possibly the first time I’ve come across a demo which did the game so much harm, spoilers aside at least.  Based on the demo, I just wasn’t going to bother, and if not for the option of renting, it would just have been skipped.  I still think the humour, and Duke’s one-liners, are a mixed bag.. some of the lines are great, but some are repeated so often that they’re just annoying.. I got thoroughly sick of the swine and pork chop lines by the time I was half-way through the game.

The game is actually a decent length though, in this era of short singleplayer campaigns, and there have been some fun, varied sections.  Running around in the burger bar as tiny Duke, using spatulas to bounce around was quite funny, and I rather liked the ‘Gears’ section, though not the fight with the Octababies afterwards, capped with a full-sized Enforcer which I had to kite round boxes.. low on ammo and finding the Freeze gun a bit disappointing.

Driving around in the truck was fun if not particularly unique.. and forgiving of my usual driving style as the thing can be flipped if crashed 😉

I was also very happy to come across the Holoduke again!  This gadget came in very handy on the rooftop as well as setting off some nice memories of Duke Nukem 3D multiplayer, all those years back.  I’m sure he was stationary back then.. this one moves around 🙂

The Octabrains proved to by my worst enemy through the game, resulting in many deaths in the Forkstop level, as well as on the crane segment of the Generator Room.  On the Forkstop level, I found I had to run around destroying boxes and throwing barrels into the water, all while under fire from the pigcops, so that the Octabrains couldn’t throw them at me.. and when it came to the first encounter with the Octaking, I was annoyed that I needed to hide while my Ego regenerated, thanks to only just surviving the Octabrains before.

The second encounter with the Octaking was better, as I had plenty of pipe bombs to deal with the Octabrains as well as the Devastator to knock the King down quickly 🙂

The second to last chapter had me blowing up Hoover Dam, and a slightly tricky underwater section where I constantly felt at risk of getting lost.  The boss at the end of this level was the Energy Leech.. which was dubbed the Sea Penis, for obvious reasons!  This fight was a little frustrating due to the requirement to keep going back to the airbubbles between firing rockets or gathering ammo.. it ended up feeling too repetitive by the time I’d downed him.

I enjoyed the mad rush through the rest of the level as the water rose, despite having to take a few odd turns.. I was looking for ladders to escape, and finding none, which is rather similar to how Tim found it.. but the trick was to just run!

The last boss fight was the best of the game.  After a cutscene in which I was given back Duke’s golden pistol, the Cycloid Emperor appeared.. in a nice open space, so plenty of room to fight in.  My RPG was ‘donated’ by the first pigcop to appear, and ammo was provided by more pigcops until the third phase of the fight, when a supply crate is dropped.  When the Assault Commanders appeared, I did worry that the game would throw all the different enemies at me in turn.. but thankfully it didn’t, and it kept the focus on the Emperor.

Right at the beginning of the fight, Duke threatens to piss in the Emperor’s eye.. on defeating him, Duke carries out his threat, via quicktime!  So the game starts and ends with pissing.. unless you count the extra little scene after the credits, where Duke mentions running for President.  Insert smutty remark about debauched Presidents here 😉

Duke Nukem Forever

After trying out the Duke Nukem Forever demo a while ago, I wasn’t going to pick up the full game.. however, we have a Love Film subscription which includes games, and we decided to rent it for the 360.

I’m rather glad we did, because it’s really not such a bad game.  Simple, maybe.. still limited to two guns, but in the game itself it doesn’t feel so much of a limitation as it did in the demo, as you frequently come across more weapons that you can switch between.. and for the most part there’s a decent number of enemies and plenty of ammo.

The game started off like the demo, at the urinal, passing through the toilets and shower, with EGO boosts for interacting with certain things.. including throwing poo.  There was also an achievement for this, which means anyone looking over my Xbox Gamercard will now know my shame!  Following the Cycloid boss fight, you go for an interview on TV.. of course I explored the building on the way down, microwaving popcorn, signing an autograph for a little boy (badly, with the game pad!) and sticking my fingers in wall sockets.. Zap!  My TV show was cancelled.. so on I went.. no aliens yet, but a rather annoying guy mouthing off in the next room.  I was going to walk past him, but noticed a prompt as I got close which let me punch him.. that gave me an achievement and shut the guy up 😉

This was the sort of silly humour I’d expected from Duke..

The next level, the Duke Cave, had more random things to interact with, aliens to fight, and a nice puzzle involving a remote-controlled car.  After this, the aliens attacked properly, and I got to fire on the mothership itself!  Plenty of variation, which continued as I was then shrunk, and had to hitch a ride in a child’s toy car..

As the place was under attack there were plenty of aliens to avoid, and obstacles which I jumped over thanks to turbo speed and ramps created from conveniently fallen posters.. sadly the car didn’t make it further than this level as the final jump over a chasm ended with it wrecked.

Here was another boss fight, and the annoying twins’ abduction by aliens.  There was also a golden Shotgun here, which Tim tells me (now I’ve swapped it out) gives an achievement if you keep hold of it till the end of the game.  D’oh!

Duke doesn’t like his women being taken.. so he goes after the aliens, heading to the Duke Dome.  Highlights here included an ugly, floating boss who fired rockets from his undercarriage.. a good few waves of enemies and plenty of big guns and turrets, and a huge boss which had me laughing out loud at the end as the finishing move included drumming on his nuts, then him keeling over, cupping them!

The alien Hive was the next level.. creepy, with crying women moaning about being pregnant.. well.. fair enough, as the babies inside them were rather more like chest-bursters..  the twins exploded as I got to them, after a bit of dialogue which was more annoying than funny.  Creepy, with organic-looking textures, fast-moving bugs which reminded me of headcrabs, spindly arms which poked out of walls and hurt, and pods ready to explode.. there were also some bizarre wall-boobs, which Duke enjoyed slapping, and very dodgy sphincter-doors which Duke had to tickle to open..

Eventually, I found the Alien Queen..

She shields herself with her claws, so to hurt her you have to throw pipes onto the bouncy pads at the sides, and detonate them when they reach her.. this makes her drop her guard and allows time to fire a rocket or two at her, before she fires more Pregnators at you.  As well as damaging you, these squirt ‘juice’ into your face!

I haven’t managed to beat the Queen yet, as when I get her to low health she destroys the useful jump pads and brings along an “octobrain” which so far has put me down straight away.

Short break from the game, then.. but I will have to finish this soon so that we can return it! 🙂

Bulletstorm

I picked Bulletstorm up back in April, at i-42 after playing the first section on a friend’s PC, where Grayson and his group of ex-assassin-turned-pirates try to ram the General’s ship, the Ulysses.. and fail, crash landing on a planet filled with crazed gangs..

I finally got around to playing properly over the last few days, repeating the first section and then moving on to the planet where I came across the awesome Energy Leash!

I came to love this weapon when I found how easy it was to grab enemies from behind cover, dragging them to me and impaling them on nearby objects.  This also earned me Skillshots such as Pricked and Voodoo Doll.. and when I’d earned enough points, I discovered the Thumper upgrade, allowing me to fling all the enemies into the air.. this was more awesome still, and came in really handy when I found myself over-run 🙂

The Flail-Gun was also amazing fun, if a little sadistic a weapon.. two explosives tied together by a short chain, which easily wrap themselves around the targetted enemy for you to detonate at your leisure.. preferably near his friends to take them out too.  Normally I don’t really focus so much on guns, to the amusement and/or despair of those I’m with, but it seems the guns in this game are all rather fun.  Next up was the Boneduster, an insanely powerful gun up-close.. I discovered this just prior to heading into a miniature city in the Worst Family Fun Vacation Ever section, which meant all my enemies were up close!  Those who didn’t get shot by the Boneduster were kicked or whipped into surfaces which electrocuted them :>

I recently tried out the Duke Nukem Forever demo, and was disappointed by the fact you could only have two guns at a time, only changing them if you came across another on the ground.  Bulletstorm allows you to carry three, including the standard weapon, or four if you include the leash, with changes available at the Drop Pods.  So far, I’ve not felt that I’ve been limited.. maybe because the guns  are more fun to use, maybe because there are more enemies coming at you.. though I wouldn’t object to the Shrink Ray in here too 🙂

After escaping the miniature city, I got hold of the best weapon so far.. the MechaTon, aka “Waggleton P. Tallylicker”, a remote-controlled robot dinosaur which fired lasers from its eyes!

This section lasted longer than I’d expected.. many games don’t really let you play with the biggest weapons for very long, but this level let me kill lots of enemies and destroy rather a lot of buildings 🙂

Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Nukem Forever, long thought of as the ultimate vapourware, is finally on the way, and a demo is available via Duke’s First Access Club.. I got a key thanks to my copy of Borderlands 🙂

I played Duke Nukem 3D back when that was new, when my access to multiplayer back then was via LAN.. which meant very few people to play against.  This led to frustration, as I knew nobody else who wanted to play as often or for as long as I did, especially if I did too well.  There was a good selection of weapons, steroids for speed boosts, multiple routes around the map and little secret areas.. and the jet pack and a hologram device used to pop out a hologram of Duke as a distraction were fun and great for getting the jump on a rival, and usually the reason for me doing so well.

The game had very little in terms of story.. aliens invading, humans being mutated, Duke being the only one able to save the world..  so the single-player was about shooting aliens and mutated pig-cops, with Duke’s random comments and references to popular films here and there too.

So.. the demo.. starting off, I find myself being taught how to use a urinal..
Done with “pissing around”, as the first joke has it, I decided to try interacting with everything else I came across.. a little indiscriminately.. which is how I found myself flinging poo in the shower room.  Duke wasn’t too happy.. “What am I, a chimpanzee?”!

The graphics are better than I expected, though I guess they’ll have been undergoing tweaks throughout development, and the sounds are pretty good too.. but the jump animation.. uh, wow.  Disappointingly bad. 🙁

Outside of the shower block there were soldiers preparing themselves for the enemy.. they ran off as I headed towards them, leaving me to discover that I could draw on the tactics whiteboard while the remaining Marine cheered me on.

I left this room and headed out down the tunnel, where I got a glimpse of the enemy before he fired a rocket into the tunnel and collapsed it.  In the next corridors I met more marines and was given a dual-rocket gun before being let out onto the field to face the Cycloid, a one-eyed rocket-firing beast which is meant to represent the final boss from Duke Nukem 3D.

I felt like I ran out of ammo a little too fast during the fight, and although more ammo was available via airdrop onto the pitch, I felt like I spent too long running.

After knocking the Cycloid down I was able to climb up onto him and pull out some tubing from the back of his head.. killing him resulted in a slightly gruesome opportunity for a goal kick with the eye..

This led to a short cutscene which slightly irritated me as it featured a pair of bimbos kneeling before Duke, wiping their mouths.
This was a bit too gratuitous for my liking..

Back in Duke Nukem 3D there was a bit of a controversy over the “exploitation” of women.  There were strippers in various locations in the game.. 2d sprites if I recall correctly.. which if shot would be replaced by falling money, or in one case, by an enemy.  There were also a few XXX posters and porno shops, and Duke was supposed to be some kind of babe-magnet.. but it certainly wasn’t anything to take seriously.

With Duke Nukem Forever, it seems they’re using the strippers and seedy side of the game as a selling point.  I’m not overly bothered if there is sex or prostitution in my games, but being put in the role of a man receiving a BJ.. I feel more like I’m being forced to watch some guy’s fantasy than playing a video game.

Next up was a driving segment with a monster-truck and a turbo button.  Pressing space allowed four-wheel driving, and tight turns..

Running the pig-men down may or may not have been the intended way of getting through the level, but it was fun and fast.  Once I ran out of gas for the truck though, I hit the two-gun system.  There were plenty of weapons laying around, but aside from my pistol I was only able to have one of those at a time, meaning more running around if I wanted to play with a different gun.

The shrink-ray was pretty cool, and I liked being able to stomp on the shrunken enemies.. however, when it came to the explosives I got annoyed with having to press ‘3’ to throw the pipe bomb.. perhaps this is something that can be mapped to another key.

A ship was the boss for this section, and again I found myself having to run around more than I wanted, looking for pipe bombs and hiding behind rocks when the EGO (health) meter got too low.

Overall, I felt a bit disappointed with the demo.  It lacked excitement.  If this demo is representative of the full game, then it’s basically going to be Serious Sam without the hectic fun of swarms of enemies.. in that case I’d stick to Serious Sam..