|Posted on June 20, 2011 at 10:20 AM|
After almost a decade and a half in development hell, the elusive Duke Nukem Forever has finally been released onto an unwitting public. The sequel to 1996's Duke Nukem 3D was dogged by delays, poor management, layoffs, and unrealistic expectations, and has been regarded as vapourware for the past few years, until it was suddenly released last week. And after 14 years being made, critics are wondering what was done during the other 13 and half.No-one expected the game would be a masterpiece, but the lack of ideas; the lack of polish and the endless load-screens is really quite shocking. The 360 had better looking launch games than this.And of course it's all compounded by the obnoxious adverts for the game, proclaiming the "King is back, baby!"
I guess my own disappointment comes after reliving these old trailers of the game: One from 1998, and another from the 2001 E3 conference. Why couldn't we get these versions of Duke Nukem Forever? They actually look more exciting and innovative than most current FPSs, let alone the stale, generic, souless turd that is Duke Nukem Forever. I mean, even the voice acting is better. Imagine if this had been released before Halo. It could have changed the entire trajectory of the shooter genre. Supposedly, it was 95% complete, but then a new game, like Half-Life or Doom 3, was released and some executive at the top of 3D Realms (George Brossaurd) got jealous, and made them scrap the whole game to build something better. Maybe one day they'll release a ROM of it or something. So sad...
I'm seen a few different sites and bloggers actually trying to defend this game as some sort of 80s action satire, and that it's supposed to offensive and dated, and that's part of the charm. And to that I say: What satire? This game isn't making sly parody so much as it is simply referring to things in the most crass and unsubtle way imaginable. I don't think this incarnation is even in on the joke anymore. Something can satirise a genre and still be a great entry into that genre (see: Kick-Ass). This game does neither. There's nothing charming about the protagonist of Duke Nukem Forever. In fact he's thoroughly witless, and at times, downright detestable. He just cribs lines from Duke Nukem 3D, and all that does is make you wish you were playing that game, instead of this steaming mess. And my God, the misogyny. I mean who wrote this garbage, a repeat sex offender? There's nothing charming or witty about shooting a girl because she's been impregnated by aliens, and then whispering "it's better this way". That's just psychotic. They took a fun, action hero schtick, and turned him into this leering, revolting prick.