Based on the hit A&E program of the same name and published through Activision, Duck Dynasty The Video Game puts you in the shoes of John Luke Robertson, the son of Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson, as he takes an internship working under Jace and Cousin Beaux learning what it means to be a well-rounded Robertson. That means mastering duck calls, learning how to hunt and fish, racing on land and in the water and pretty much anything that the lot of them want you to do.
Essentially the game plays out like a long episode of Duck Dynasty, for better or worse. The music is lifted directly from the show, the cutscenes mostly consist of the crew either sitting around talking, walking around talking or doing something and talking. The cast of Duck Dynasty not only lent their likeness to each of the characters but also recorded original dialogue for the game as well. For the most part it’s stilted, unnatural and wooden, with lots of odd pauses between when one person starts talking and another person starts talking, but since none of them are trained actors and the only original character is mute, I’m willing to be a little more lenient. Fans of the show will likely enjoy hearing all of their favorite characters say or do something they haven’t done before on the show, so I can see the benefit there.
One area I’m a lot less lenient on though is the graphics. They’re downright insulting, especially on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. John Luke’s head seems like it’s on a swivel, faces range from overly glossy to frightening, background textures pop in and out and change colors with dizzying speed and the beards not only have really bad texture issues, but they clip on nearly everything in the game. Considering the show is heavily influenced by beards, it seems odd that they couldn’t even get that right. If I’m being completely honest, these look like they belong on a Playstation 2 not a modern-day console.
On the flip side though, the gameplay is actually fairly competent and fun in small bursts. The gameplay is fairly simple, whether you’re shooting, fishing, racing or calling and pretty much anybody can pick up and play this game with very few issues. The racing has a nice arcadey feel, despite the boat being a little floaty every now and again, the shooting provides a decent challenge if you’re trying to go for all the bonuses and it’s fairly easy to go from place to place in the game. It’s not great by any means, and I probably won’t remember any aspect of this game a month from now, but I’m happy to see a game like this provide a decent amount of entertainment instead of just shilling out the bare minimum and passing it off as a game.
Duck Dynasty The Video Game is by no means a bad licensed game, just a fairly mediocre one. The challenges and gameplay are repetitive but fun in small bursts and the humor and presentation really do make you feel like you’re in the show, for better or worse. The graphics and textures are abysmal, and downright insulting on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, but the voice work and music are certainly above average, if nothing entirely spectacular. In the end, if you’re a hardcore Duck Dynasty fan who needs to own everything related to the show, maybe wait until it’s in the bargain bin. For everybody else, I’d say give it a pass.