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Duke is back

Duke Nukem's early adventures are considered classics of the first person shooter genre, standing comfortably alongside Doom and Quake as legends of the industry. This long awaited continuation of the franchise didn't quite live up to gamers' expectations, but it just about manages to provide some decent, if unforgettable, action and adventure. The story finds old Duke basking in the glory of his alien killing days, making a mint from appearing on talk shows and personal appearances. However, it's not long before the aliens return and Duke gets backing to kicking ass and cracking wise. What follows is a fairly typical Duke adventure, with heaps of blasting action, copious amounts of dodgy humor and loads of over-the-top weapons. There are some light puzzle elements thrown in, a few mini-games, some driving and platform parts, but for the most part this is the run 'n' gun action that we have come to expect from Duke. On the whole, this is a pretty solid adventure for a classic character but which falls down on a number of points. Part of the problem is that expectations were very high for this one, while the world had also moved on somewhat since those initial games. The sophistication of Halo had shown the world what could be done with the FPS, leaving this looking a little out of date. The humor falls flat for much of the time, while there are also issues with poor pathfinding, uneven difficulty levels and other such things. The visuals are decent enough but overall, it's hard not to feel a little let down by this, especially after its ridiculously long development time. Not bad, but no classic either.