It had been sitting on my shelf for about a year. It had come into my possesson as part of a "3 for $30" deal, packaged alongside two superior games. I knew it had a reputation for sophomoric, often misogynistic humor. Still, but it couldn't possibly be that bad, could it?
Wow. Not since Leisure Suit Larry has the phrase "sophomoric, often misogynistic humor" been such an understatement. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that Duke Nukem makes ol' Larry seem like a suave gentlemen of refinement and class. Duke Nukem Forever is not merely bad; it transcends the concept of mere badness. It's one of the worst games I've ever played, and I've played E.T.
Come with me, as I explore the first room (not level, room) of Duke Nukem Forever. By the time I'm done, you'll understand what I mean.
After a mildly entertaining opening credit sequence, I find myself looking into a urinal. A "helpful" little instruction appears on the screen, telling me to pull the right trigger in order to "piss".
In a game that was billed as an extreme first person shooter, the first thing I get to shoot is a urinal. Using pee. A lot of pee. It just keeps coming - as long as I hold in the trigger, Duke keeps right on peeing.
Feeling vaguely soiled, I press the X button to exit the urination simulator. Looking around, I see that I'm in a very large, multiroom bathroom facility of the sort used by sportsball teams. Taking a cue from nearly every other game I've ever played, I thoroughly explore the bathroom. One never knows where a useful powerup will be hidden.
Sinks, hot tubs, showers...nothing seems to be particularly useful. Oh, look - more toilets! This time, it's the sit-down model. An onscreen popup informs me that, if I want, I'm able to pee some more.
As I turn away from the toilet, I see the popup message change for just an instant. What was that? Could it be a hidden gun, like in The Godfather? Carefully, I re-orient the camera to get the popup back. Sure enough, it says "(X button) Grab." Obliginly, I press the X Button.
Oh, no. No. That did NOT just happen.
I just grabbed a turd. I'm holding a fistful of poop. Somebody else's poop. I'm still wondering what possessed the people behind this game to make it possible for me to take a turd out of a toilet when I hear a familiar sound and see a new message appear on my screen.
I just unlocked an achievement for picking up a turd.
Believe it or not, it actually gets worse. Duke Nukem Forever is plagued by badly dated mechanics, poorly designed minigames, and a script that was clearly written by the sort of mouth-breathing neanderthals who still chuckle like Butt-Head every time they hear the word "boob."
Now, if you'll excuse me, I suddenly feel the need to take a shower.