To review DNF or not to review DNF, that is the question

Now that Duke Nukem Forever is finally available, most gaming sites seem to feel an urge to review the game. Fair enough, it’s a newly released game, and that’s what you do with high-profile releases such as this.

So someone starts to write up a review of the game, and invariably arrives at the following conundrum: the game is 15 years old. How do you deal with that in a review? Do you review the game on terms of modern video games, or on terms of what games were back when DNF was initially being developed. However, if you do the former, and compare it with games nowadays, that presents a long list of problems. DNF is a 15 year-old game, however you look at it. Video games have progressed a long way in that interim, so obviously DNF is going to feel archaic.

Inevitably, if someone is reviewing DNF and comparing it to modern-day video games, they are going to criticize the game and nitpick it because of that. It’s not as good as modern-day games, doesn’t control as well, isn’t developed as well, whatever.

My response? If you’re going to do that, don’t even bother reviewing DNF; it’s a pointless endeavor. Let this game go. Don’t review it. People will buy it and play it for the oddity that DNF is: a game that was delayed 15 years, and almost never released.

So basically, every review that you come across that criticizes DNF for it’s flaws, on being a 15 year-old game, is a pointless review.


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