Duke Nukem Forever: Performance Analysis

Conclusion

Duke Nukem Forever certainly doesn’t push the limits of a modern PC, and at medium details you’ll see very smooth performance with an $80 graphics card at 1920x1080. Increase the detail to maximum settings with anti-aliasing, and a $130 graphics card is all you need to get respectable frame rates at the same high-def resolution. When it comes to processing power, a 2.0 GHz triple-core or 2.5 GHz dual-core chip should be the realistic minimum, and this is a very reasonable requirement.

Aside from raw performance, what do we think about the game? Duke Nukem Forever has been in development for more than 14 years, but it feels as though 13 of those were spent on brainstorming sessions and concept art, while the actual programming was rushed in the last 12 months. Because of the massive wait involved, it’s almost impossible to objectively judge Duke's latest foray on its own merits.

If Duke Nukem Forever were a stand-alone indie game with no prior legacy to live up to, the community would have a much more favorable opinion of it. It offers a unique, crass lampooning of first-person shooters in general that might get a smirk out of you on multiple occasions. Folks who never played its predecessor won’t suffer from the incredibly high expectation associated with more than a decade of patience.

On the other hand, if you’ve been waiting Forever for Duke Nukem to push the limits of game world interaction like its predecessor did, you’re almost guaranteed to be let down. After 14 years maybe that’s inevitable, but it doesn’t make it any less disappointing.

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56 comments
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  • kcorp2003
    I have yet to purchase this game. waiting on a nice sale to pick it up. I waited for this game for so long and i will play it! but not on my #1 priority list of games to buy right now.
    2
  • wiinippongamer
    I never played the first title, yet I played only the first 2 hours or so then uninstalled it for good, the game is a turd.
    5
  • megamanx00
    Got it on sale at Target for like $20 ($40 but half price if I bought another game at the same time ^_^) so yeah I was happy with what I paid for it. I'd say for $40 it's not bad since it's funny, crude, and the graphics are all right. It's a shame that some of the effects that probably tool alot of time to develop (like the rain in the first level) were used only once and sparingly. I thought the monster truck stuff towards the end was cool, but the RC driving in the beginning was a little odd.
    4
  • lmlim
    yawn...
    0
  • RazberyBandit
    Your benchmarks show some rather obvious CrossFire and SLI issues, yet you chose not to even mention it. Why?
    9
  • cleeve
    RazberyBanditYour benchmarks show some rather obvious CrossFire and SLI issues, yet you chose not to even mention it. Why?


    From the benches it seems kind of self explanatory that SLI and CrossFire aren't working. This is the case with a number of other titles, so it's not really a huge surprise. SLI and CrossFire are inconsistent at the best of times.
    4
  • JMcEntegart
    Don ... causing Duke to hand money to a topless dancer and say “Shake it, baby!”


    This was literally my favourite part of Duke 3D. Oh, to be eleven again.

    As far as Forever is concerned, I'm waiting for an irresistible sale.
    3
  • haplo602
    do we still get the fying eyes from killed enemies ? like when you hit an alien with an RPG, you got quite identifiable fying eyes :)
    0
  • tomc100
    Is this a joke? Might as well do a benchmark test on the Sims.
    1
  • youssef 2010
    Like the gamespot review put it

    "If Duke Nukem Forever weren't called DNFE, nobody would be paying a bit of attention to it; it's boring and ugly and........"

    This reviewer really hates the game. but after watching the review, I can't help but agree with him.

    I mean, If a game ever took 10 years to mature, then it should be something like Crysis, Far Cry, COD, Medal of Honor.

    I enjoyed Manhattan Project but this sequel looks just.....too boring to play.

    Disappointed
    0
  • JOSHSKORN
    It took 13 years to make it...after buying it and playing it, I wish I'd waited another 13 years to purchase it.
    0
  • Anonymous
    Why so much work for a review of a very bad and simple game, that you can run on any low end system ?
    -3
  • professorprofessorson
    Talk about being late to the party. This article must have been a afterthought considering how long the games been on the market now.
    0
  • back_by_demand
    The next Duke should be a prequal.
    0
  • kingius
    Where are the six cores in the CPU charts?

    Toms is biased to Intel yet again...
    -5
  • Zeh
    There really wasn't an improvement from 3 to 4 cores on a Phenom II, it's assumed 6 cores wouldn't help.
    3
  • Parrdacc
    professorprofessorsonTalk about being late to the party. This article must have been a afterthought considering how long the games been on the market now.


    This review comes after the sales for June put DNF as #2 selling game for xbox and ps3 despite the bad reviews. Hmmm? http://www.tomshardware.com/news/NPD-Duke-Nukem-Call-of-duty-Pc-Gaming-LEGO,13089.html
    2
  • Owenator
    I enjoyed it. And had a lot of fun playing it. A refreshing break from the current spate of rehashed FPS titles. DNF doesn't take itself seriously and that makes it all the better IMHO. But I'm and old school gamer (Duke was new when I was in college). Apparently you have to be "old school" to enjoy the new Duke. So be it.
    4
  • cleeve
    kingiusWhere are the six cores in the CPU charts?Toms is biased to Intel yet again...


    Biased? You have no idea what you're talking about, sir.

    If we wanted AMD to look bad, we'd add Phenom II X6 results, because they would be identical to similarly-clocked X4 results. No game I know of makes good use of more than four execution cores...
    6
  • Th-z
    Don, maybe you can add more samples in core scaling test in future review, at least one more speed in the mix, e.g. 3.5 GHz, and add Intel CPU in the test, thanks.
    1