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Duke Nukem Forever: Performance Analysis

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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  • 2 Hide
    kcorp2003 , July 19, 2011 4:37 AM
    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.
  • 5 Hide
    wiinippongamer , July 19, 2011 4:59 AM
    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.
  • 4 Hide
    megamanx00 , July 19, 2011 5:26 AM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    lmlim , July 19, 2011 5:31 AM
  • 9 Hide
    RazberyBandit , July 19, 2011 5:33 AM
    Your benchmarks show some rather obvious CrossFire and SLI issues, yet you chose not to even mention it. Why?
  • 4 Hide
    cleeve , July 19, 2011 5:42 AM
    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.
  • 3 Hide
    JMcEntegart , July 19, 2011 5:43 AM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    haplo602 , July 19, 2011 6:05 AM
    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 :) 
  • 1 Hide
    tomc100 , July 19, 2011 6:15 AM
    Is this a joke? Might as well do a benchmark test on the Sims.
  • 0 Hide
    youssef 2010 , July 19, 2011 6:27 AM
    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.

  • 0 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , July 19, 2011 6:31 AM
    It took 13 years to make it...after buying it and playing it, I wish I'd waited another 13 years to purchase it.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , July 19, 2011 6:46 AM
    Why so much work for a review of a very bad and simple game, that you can run on any low end system ?
  • 0 Hide
    professorprofessorson , July 19, 2011 9:15 AM
    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 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 19, 2011 9:20 AM
    The next Duke should be a prequal.
  • -5 Hide
    kingius , July 19, 2011 10:20 AM
    Where are the six cores in the CPU charts?

    Toms is biased to Intel yet again...
  • 3 Hide
    Zeh , July 19, 2011 11:43 AM
    There really wasn't an improvement from 3 to 4 cores on a Phenom II, it's assumed 6 cores wouldn't help.
  • 2 Hide
    Parrdacc , July 19, 2011 12:25 PM
    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?,13089.html
  • 4 Hide
    Owenator , July 19, 2011 1:06 PM
    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.
  • 6 Hide
    cleeve , July 19, 2011 2:24 PM
    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...
  • 1 Hide
    Th-z , July 19, 2011 3:04 PM
    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.
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