Sometimes, it is still hard for me to believe that Duke Nukem Forever actually released this year. It’s even harder to imagine that single player DLC managed to make it onto our consoles; but, somehow, it has. The Doctor Who Cloned me is the second piece of DLC for DNF, and the first that expands the single player campaign. All that makes Duke special is here, but the developers have obviously learned their lessons from the mess that was the original game’s campaign. Fans of Forever, and Duke in general, would do well to check this expansion out.
Without spoiling too much of the core game, TDWCM takes place after the events of the original campaign. Duke wakes up strapped to a chair inside Area 51 a la Call of Duty: Black Ops. After throwing down with a Terminator-inspired robot, it is time to kick ass and chew bubblegum. Your old nemesis, Dr. Proton, has returned and is creating an army of DukeBots, clones of your awesome self. The story is more fleshed out, and all the characters return to voice their parts, including Jon St. John who voices Duke.
Everything about TDWCM is more efficient and better paced than the original. Those of us who enjoyed DNF for what it was will still admit it had some serious pacing problems. Segments of the game went on far too long, and some were just downright broken. Does this DLC fix all the problems? Not hardly, but it does make it a more streamlined experience. All of the tricks from the original game are here, but they make more sense. The driving segments are better worked in, although still annoying in some places. The interaction with objects now has a purpose in most cases, and the overall presentation just feels more put-together. It gets me excited to see where the next DLC and sequels will go.
There are a couple new weapons in this DLC, including the expander, which plumps enemies up to ridiculous proportions and causes them to take 4x the normal damage. There is also the impregnator, which is a modified creature from the first game that shoots loads of-well you get the idea. Neither is all that innovative, but they also don’t force them down your throat. There are a couple well-paced boss battles and one segment towards the end that will have you cursing the game and it’s ridiculous mechanics. The horrid load times return, making the penalty of death just as high as it was in DNF.
Fans of Duke Nukem Forever will, no doubt, enjoy more of the campaign, especially since this is a rather meaty selection complete with a chapter select and tons of side activities to toy around with, and even new Ego Boost increases to collect. There is also a nice selection of new Achievements/Trophies to earn. The developers finally get to piece some original content together that feels surprisingly cohesive, unlike the lopsided campaign in the original. The asking price may seem steep considering you can buy the game for just a couple bucks more now, but for those of us who ran out to pick the original up at launch, this new content is definitely worth diving back in.
Review copy of the game provided by publisher. Primary play on Xbox 360.