Duke Nukem Forever is worth playing, but only so you can gain some insight into a torturous 14 year development project quite like no other, according to Edge's stinging 3/10 review.
Pointing out that the FPS genre grew from infancy to stardom during the period DNF was in development, the mag says: "Here, by way of hasty fudge, outright theft and obvious retrofit, you get to see an entire genre growing up. It's not pretty, but it's still fascinating to witness, and it makes Duke Nukem Forever an awkward botch of a game worth playing exactly once.
"QTEs, rechargeable health, limited weapon slots and destructible cover: all are elements from other games that clearly caught 3D Realms' roving eyes as the team slogged onwards, moving from confidence towards desperation and, with the advent of each new hardware generation, running a little faster just to keep up."
The game features countless technical shortcomings, which are particularly noticeable on the console versions and only get worse the further you progress into the campaign, according to the review.
"This, ultimately, is the biggest tragedy: Duke Nukem Forever's epic development period has turned out a game that isn't, now, particularly ambitious," Edge says. "It isn't even that competent. Compared to the current crowd of artfully mindless blasters, Forever fails to measure up.
"This is a project that consumed a considerable chunk of its creative team's lives, and while everyone who encounters it will be engrossed in the eternal mystery of where all that effort actually went, there's not even much pleasure to be found in its failures," the mag concludes. "A kind of disappointed embarrassment is the eventual reward for completing Duke Nukem Forever, then."
Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford told us in February that Duke Nukem Forever review scores wouldn't make or break the title. If true, that's a good thing, seeing as the game's been overwhelmingly negatively received.