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Duke Nukem Forever

aka: DNF

Description official descriptions

The manly tough-guy stereotype is on the verge of retirement, over a decade after he saved the world from aliens in Duke Nukem 3D. America is awash in hero-worship of the man who conquered the aliens with movies, books, restaurants, and action figures (to name a few things) of their favorite muscle-bound action hero. One day, on the way to his own talk show, Duke learns that aliens have landed on the earth once again. However, this time their intentions seem to be unclear and Duke is asked by the president to restrain himself, for fear of offending the aliens and provoking another war. Duke reluctantly agrees - only to find out, much to his relief, that the aliens are hostile after all, which means that the pop culture icon is finally back to his old ways!

Duke Nukem Forever is a first-person shooter that largely relies on the gameplay style of its predecessor, known for testosterone-fueled gunplay and humor. A few elements characteristic for modern shooters have been introduced: Duke has a health bar that refills over time, and carries only two weapons at a time, similarly to Halo. Duke Nukem also spends no time ducking behind cover, attacking, and bounding forward to cover in the way squad-based or tactical FPS titles do. Rather, players will charge through stages, running and gunning for most of the game.

Beside weapons, Duke can use pipe bombs and laser tripwires to damage the enemies, throw items, consume steroids and beer to increase his strength and reduce the damage he takes, respectively, as well as use a jetpack to fly short distances (multiplayer only). He can also use a holoduke, which creates a hologram of himself, confusing the enemies, and activate the Duke vision if the area is too dark. As in Duke Nukem 3D, it is possible to interact with parts of the environment; some of these interactions bestow benefits to the protagonist, including permanently increasing his ego bar (substitute for health bar).

The game also features various set pieces and levels that focus on driving, platform jumping, and light puzzle-solving. In certain levels Duke will shrink in size, and will have to overcome obstacles before he can be restored to his old self again. Other activities include driving a monster truck or a radio-controlled car, turret-focused gunning segments, mini-games (e.g. Duke Nukem pinball machine), massive boss battles, and the classic visit to a strip club. Of course, it just wouldn't be a Duke Nukem game if it didn't feature the Duke's crude, dry commentary throughout the game.

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Credits (Windows version)

737 People (666 developers, 71 thanks) · View all

Executive Producers
Associate Producer
VP of Product Development
Director of Central Development
Chief Financial Officer
VP & General Counsel
VP of Licensing And Business Development
Executive Counsel
VP of Marketing
Marketing Coordinator
Marketing Artist
Community Manager
Web Applications Director
Director of Central Engineering
[ full credits ]



Subject User Date
forever in development Rola (8132) 2013-01-02 22:12:18



Duke Nukem Forever became notorious for having been fifteen years (!) in development, marked by changes of developing teams, repeated announcements, delays, retractions, and cancellations.

The game was originally in development under 3D Realms; George Broussard, one of the creators of Duke Nukem 3D, first announced it in April 1997. In 2001, the company stated that the game would be released simply "when it's done". In 2009, 3D Realms suffered financial losses, dismissing the development team and ending the work on the game. In September 2010, Duke Nukem Forever began development under Gearbox Software, resulting in a long overdue release in June 2011.

According to Scott Miller, the reason of the long development time was the self-funding and the subsequent small team size. They fell behind the current technology and tried to catch up in order to deliver the perfect game. Because of the too small team, this cycle repeated multiple times. Only when they finally started to work with a publisher, they could bring the team up to size. Also according to Miller, about 95% of the PC single-player campaign was developed by 3D Realms. Gearbox did the console ports and multiplayer.


  • After a kill in the chapter "Vegas in Ruins", Duke will prompt "Tonight, you dine in Hell." This is a reference to the movie 300, where at one point Leonidas says "Tonight, we dine in Hell!"
  • In chapter 2: "Damn! It's Late...", at one point Duke will find an actor yelling at someone, shouting phrases like "Do you want me to trash your mics? DO YOU?" and "You're a nice guy, you really are but you're a fucking amateur". This is a reference to Christian Bale, when he freaked out on the set of Terminator: Salvation.
  • In "The Hive" chapter, at one point the player can come up to a dead EDF soldier, who is wearing Isaac Clarke's (the main character of Dead Space) helmet. Upon revealing him, Duke will prompt: "That's one dead space marine." Duke Nukem has a similar line in Duke Nukem 3D when he comes across the bloodied top half of the protagonist of Doom in the third level of the first episode and remarks "That's one doomed space marine."
  • In the "Vegas In Ruins" chapter, in the beginning the player will come up to a van with weapons, which also contains the same armor that the player carries in the Halo series. When a nearby standing EDF soldier suggests Duke to pick up the armor, Duke responds: "Power armor is for pussies."
  • In the chapter "Duke Nukem's Titty City", in the room where the player can microwave the popcorn, there is a desk where he can use the security camera. On the desk is a spinning top, just like the one Leonardo DiCaprio uses in the movie Inception.
  • On random occasions, Duke may shout "Duke wins, Fatality!", as such making a reference to the Mortal Kombat series of video games.
  • In "Duke Nukem's Titty City", above one of the urinals the player can find a graffiti which reads "Jenny - 867-5309". This is a reference to the Tommy Tutone song "867-5309/Jenny".
  • In one of the levels, Duke will have to climb up a set of stairs and dodge exploding barrels along the way. When finally getting to the top of the stairway and discovering the pig cop who was throwing the barrels, Duke will say the following line: "Huh, I was expecting a monkey." This is a reference to Donkey Kong.


  • PC Games (Germany)
    • Issue 01/2012 - #3 Biggest Disappointment in 2011 (Readers' Choice)
  • PC Powerplay (Germany)
    • Issue 02/2006 - Delay of 2005
    • Issue 02/2006 - #1 Hype Disappointment
  • Vaporware Awards (wired.com)
    • 2000 - #2
    • 2001- Winner
    • 2002 - Winner
    • 2003 - Lifetime Achievement Award
    • 2005 - Winner
    • 2006 - Winner
    • 2007 - Winner
    • 2008 - Winner
    • 2010 - #11 of 10 (honorable mention)

Related Games

Duke Nukem Forever Collection
Released 2012 on Windows, Macintosh
Duke Nukem: Waiting for Forever
Released 2004 on Windows
Duke Nukem
Released 1991 on DOS, 2013 on Windows, 2022 on Linux
Duke Nukem
Released 1999 on Game Boy Color
Duke Nukem Mobile
Released 2004 on J2ME, BREW
Duke Nukem Arena
Released 2007 on BREW
Duke Nukem 3D
Released 1996 on DOS, 1997 on PlayStation, SEGA Saturn...
Duke Nukem 64
Released 1997 on Nintendo 64

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by ResidentHazard.

OnLive added by firefang9212. Macintosh added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Xantheous, Unicorn Lynx, Daedolon, Alaka, Zeppin, Medicine Man, Patrick Bregger.

Game added June 20th, 2011. Last modified May 5th, 2023.