First the good. As the game opens, an Alien Mothership has returned to Earth claiming goodwill. It doesn't take long before they start taking our women, and Duke is calledback into action (against the President of the US's orders) to save them and all of humanity. The levels are linear, but well designed. You'll fight aliens in a stadium, a Vegas casino, a fast food joint high above the Vegas streets, the Nevada Desert, and on top of, inside of, and even deep underwater by the Hoover Dam. The FPS action is mixed up between mini games, turret battles, and little distractions scattered throughout the levels, that once you try for the first time, add to your EGO Gauge (life meter). Things like turning on a hand dryer in the restroom, peeing into a urinal, playing a game of pool or pinball, and several others. There's a few levels mid-way where you are headed to the Hoover Dam (the first part of the game takes place in Las Vegas), and you are given a monster truck to drive. These were some of the funnest levels I played. The truck never felt like it was floating or skating. There are areas where your truck runs out of gas, and you have to go out on foot, find gas, and bring it back to the truck before you can move on. In several places, you are shrunk down to action figure size. These areas consist of mostly platforming sequences that other than a couple of hiccups, work surprisingly well. A lot of this takes place at Duke Burger in Vegas, another area, that was one of my favorites.
The weapon variety is pretty good, although except for boss battles and a few other instances, you'll probably find yourself sticking to the Ripper. There's some fun to be had with the Shrink Ray and the Freeze Gun, but you'll always come back to the Ripper. You can find several "power up" items throughout the game as well. You use them by pushing a specific direction on the D Pad, however you can only carry one of each at a time. Beer will make you stronger, and you take less damage. Steroids make you almost invulnerable, and you get one punch melee attacks. The Holoduke creates a hologram of you, while turning you invisible so that enemies focus on him instead of you. And finally, you always have Dukevision, this game's version of night vision.
As I stated above, this game isn't without it's faults. After you beat the game, you'll unlock some extras, including videos of previous trailers, and art from previous versions. There's also a nifty little timeline for the game. Based on all that, I'm guessing this game was visually finished in 2008. And since I'm guessing, I'll go one further, and say that the visuals are based on the enginefrom another 3D Realms game, Prey, which released in 2006. And it shows. The graphics are far from what is coming out of most games this far into the consoles' lifecycles. And there are some framerate issues. I would be surprised if the game is evening running at 30 FPS in some places. But perhaps the most surprising and disappointing thing about the game is the load times. I could forgive the sub-par graphics and the framerate issues. Between each, level you will wait 40-50 seconds for a level to load. If you die, you also have to wait that long. I didn't die a lot (playing at the normal level), but there are a couple of boss battles that are very trial and error, and it doesn't make things any better having to wait almost a minute after each death. According to the timeline in the extras, the single player was pretty much done in 2009. While they used the extra time to get through legal and ownership issues, as well as add a multiplayer component to the game, you'd think in two years they would be able to fix the load time issues. It's disappointing.
And while there is a multiplayer part included in the game, I didn't play it. Didn't have any interest. I got the game for the singleplayer campaign, so I won't be reviewing the MP.
This game should never have released at a full $59.99 retail. Had it been released at $39.99 or less, I would probably give it an 8 out of 10. At full price though, I can't give it anything higher than a 6.5. I'd recommend it at a lower price point or as a rental.
TL;DR: Fun, entertaining game with 2006 visuals, and enjoy those load times!