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YMMV: Duke Nukem Forever
  • Awesome Music:
  • Breather Level: After The Hive you go to the the strip club, and have a scavenger hunt to get a lap dance. It turns out it was All Just a Dream.
    • And in The Doctor Who Cloned Me DLC, The Burning Bush chapter, which plays pretty much in the same way in that you're given a couple of scavenger hunt tasks to carry out.
  • Broken Base: Over the Two-Gun system. Some say it's a nice change, showing 3D Realms wasn't seeking to just re-hash Duke 3D in prettier graphics, and are willing to try different things with Duke. They also cite how it's only a gun limiter, not affecting pipe bombs, trip mines, steroids, and the like. Others say it's 3D Realms/Gearbox changing Duke to what's popular. Then there's a third party saying they did it because of consoles and their limited controls (the officially given reason), and that console FPS players would get confused and/or frustrated by having more than 2 guns at a time. This particular base breaker was alleviated somewhat in a patch which allows Duke to carry four guns at a time.
  • Crazy Awesome: It's Duke Nukem. What did you expect? Incredibly Lame Fun...?
  • Contested Sequel: And let's leave it at that.
  • Critical Backlash / Critic Proof: Duke Nukem Forever has gotten scathing reviews from many critics, yet it still managed to sell enough to be profitable. Some critics have even said they're somewhat insulted with how well DNF has sold, in spite of the thrashing they gave it.
  • Crosses the Line Twice
  • Demonic Spiders: Octabrains and berserk pig cops, capable of killing you in two hits. They always seem to be in tight areas with no cover. The Octabrains are also incredibly agile, capable of hurling things at you (including ammo from certain weapons you fired and your own pipe-bombs), and has an attack that can take out a large chunk of your ego bar, in addition to usually attacking in swarms, pulling double duty as Goddamned Bats.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: One of the less popular aspects involve the Capture the Babe mode. When you grab the other team's "babe", sometimes she'll start to freak out and struggle as you take her back to your base, so you have to give her a smack on her behind to quiet her down. It rekindled the debate on sexism in games.
    • During the part in the Hive, Duke runs into the twins who (along a considerable amount of other women) are being raped and impregnated by the aliens. Duke's response? "Looks like you're....fucked" Not funny, cruel, and totally out of character for Duke, since while he's always treated women like objects, he was previously shown as loving and taking good care of his "babes," treating them much more like fine cars than just slabs of meat.
  • Fan Hater:
    • From critics as well as average gamers; for example, one such reviewer labeled DNF's fans as "gullible twelve year olds."
    • This guy goes so far as to call out pretty much all game critics who didn't express disgust at the game's sexism and condemn the game as terrible, whether or not they even liked the game.
  • Foe Yay: The audio recordings of Doctor Proton that plays in the training chambers of the Me, Myself and I chapter in the The Doctor Who Cloned Me DLC makes you wonder if he has feelings for Duke especially when he gets to the love part. Adding to that is he's making clones of Duke, of all people.
    • Lampshaded with the achievement you get when you finally defeat Doctor Proton: Heart To Heart.
      • Unless they mean that Doctor Proton is only capable to love something he created himself, which would fit well his personality. Also, Heart To Heart could be a lost pun, given how Dummied Out audio files reveal that Duke was originally supposed to rip out Doctor Proton's heart, which was replaced with ripping off his head in the final iteration of the DLC.
  • Goddamned Bats: Octabrains. They tend to attack in swarms of two or more, they fly, they're incredibly agile, and if they're not throwing things littered around the game environment at you, a blast of their energy ball can knock helluva lot off your Ego bar. And did we mention that they can grab large ammo projectiles you fired (say, RPGs, devastator rockets or your pipe-bomb) and hurl them back at you? And fighting them underwater just makes things more difficult.
    • Somewhat mitigated by the fact that you can detonate pipebombs while the Octabrains are holding the projectile to hurl back at you, guaranteeing that they'll be caught in the blast radius. This is actually one of the best ways to beat them.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Randy Pitchford left 3DRealms to form Gearbox Software, which went on to finish the game.
    • Gearbox, the company now in charge of Duke Nukem Forever, is also the one which ported Halo to the PC. In game, Duke finds Spartan armor and calls anyone who wears it a "pussy".
  • Hype Aversion/Hype Backlash: Given Duke Nukem Forever's reputation and the sheer length of its development history, in addition to the additional hype generated when it was close to release, this reaction was inevitable. Other than the reviews posted all over the internet, we'll just leave it at that.
  • Internet Backdraft: The cover art seen above is rather unpopular with the fan base. Just head on to the Gearbox forums and look in this topic. Try and say the cover represents the game accurately, how Duke looks cool, or that his left arm looks perfectly fine to you.
  • Marty Stu: The Duke is played this way for laughs. He's absolutely perfect. He practically owns the world at this point. He's worshiped by his women and audience, and he's so strong that he can lift 600-pound weights, force open high-tech doors using just his arms, and take down an alien fleet by himself.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Always Bet on Duke", a tagline printed on one of the early promotional posters for the game; upon the announcement of the game actually getting released, people started saying they can finally cash in their bets.
    • Interestingly, now that the game's been released, the Vaporware poster boy has become Half-Life 2 Episode 3.
  • Misblamed:
    • Certain reviewers have put the blame for the finished product's various flaws wholly on Gearbox; some even seem to be under the impression that they restarted the game from scratch after they took over the project. In actual fact, the finished product is about 80-90% the product of 3DRealms, as George Broussard himself has frequently bemoaned. Whether Gearbox should have done a complete reboot of the project is a legitimate question, but most of the content was the product of 3DRealms. However, Gearbox did remove Duke's Distaff Counterpart who would basically put Duke in his place.
    • Gearbox also came under fire for threats to blacklist reviewers who rated the game poorly. It was actually The Redner Group, a public relations agency with Gearbox as a client, who was responsible for that statement. Gearbox promptly fired them.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Duke has exactly one grunt sound effect for when he jumps.
  • Older Than They Think: Most critics tend to forget that the "ego is health" mechanic first appeared in the Playstation game Land of the Babes and Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project, where doing things like shooting members of the women's resistence would lower your health (in the former), and that rescuing women and killing enemies would raise it (in the latter).
    • Critics also forget that the alien-impregnated chicks in the Hive level are nothing new. Duke Nukem 3D featured many women captured by the aliens, stripped naked and imprisoned in pods or otherwise bound, begging Duke to kill them. Sometimes they were also surrounded by clutches of alien eggs (from which Protozoid Slimers would hatch and attack Duke if he did nothing).
  • Porting Disaster: When the game was first released on the Xbox 360, the textures didn't load properly, the blood decals flickered constantly, the frame rate was very uneven, and the loading times were atrocious. However, after the release of The Doctor Who Cloned Me, it seems like most, if not all, of these issues have been rectified.
  • Pungeon Master: Debatable on whether Duke is one. Some of the one-liners are offhand puns of the situation.
    Duke Nukem: (After mauling a pigcop with a forklift in Forkstop Part 2:) Fork you!
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Both air hockey and pinball. Made worse because both are required for Those Two Achievements.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: During the course of the game, Duke can play video poker, pool, air hockey, pinball, throw basketballs into a basket and throw a freesbee.
  • So Okay, It's Average: After the dust has settled, the general consensus about the game is that it's not necessarily bad, but there isn't anything new or interesting aside from having the title character back in action. Some have taken note that the game most likely would have been more well-received had it been released in a previous console generation.
  • That One Boss: The Octaking.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Duke Nukem 3D was considered one of the best FPS games ever made - and given that this game had an absurdly long development cycle, people were bound to be more critical toward the sequel to that game.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Capture the Babe mode has your team capturing "Babes" (Duke Nukem Forever's version of a flag), and slapping said babe's bottom to calm them down when they try to distract you.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Most critics state that the game is a huge offender in this respect, due to the long development time and Duke Nukem 3D being rather emblematic of The Nineties. Then again, this may not be as unintentional as some think.
  • Win Back the Crowd: The Doctor who Cloned Me is considered by some to be better than the base game.

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