Friday, February 11, 2011

Duke Getting Mediocre Previews

I can't say I'm surprised, really. Disappointed, maybe. Everything that I've seen so far of gameplay from Duke Nukem Forever has not blown me away. Kotaku, IGN and Arse Technica all ran articles that pretty much read the same.

Part of me wants to believe that these guys just don't get it. I mean, IGN's distaste for something is usually a very good barometer of how much I'll enjoy it. Kotaku is well, Kotaku. And I've never heard of the other one. But as Jaison would say, sometimes even the blind squirrel catches the nut. I'm slowly coming to grips with the fact that Duke Nukem Forever could suck.

Maybe suck is the wrong word. From what I've heard, they have put a lot of effort into the humor and interactivity of the levels, which is what we all love Duke for anyway. If I get some laughs out of it, I can forgive a lot of things. I did buy Deadly Premonition after all...

I think part of the problem is definitely people's unrealistic expectations. The original Duke 3D was very much a product of it's time. Like the invention of shrinky-dinks, the conditions just happened to be right at that exact moment in time and lightning struck. Duke never had what it took to become a franchise. What made it great was that it was so different. Even when I saw the first screenshots of Duke Nukem Forever in my cousin's PC Gamer magazine in '98 I didn't think it looked that interesting.

Of course so much of the reason the game is getting any attention is because of it's troubled history. I mean, waiting 12 years for anything is a big deal. I thought Shadow Warrior and Blood were both better games than Duke Nukem 3D, but when was the last time you heard someone talk about them?

Judging by the previews a lot of people have already made up their minds about the game. I think this is going to be polarizing to say the least. Some people will embrace it, despite it's faults and be glad to have another Duke game to play. Others will declare it a failure for not living up to their unrealistic expectations and talk smugly about how they predicted this failure all along. Well as my father would say, "Opinions are like scrotums. Everyone has one, and they're all hairy and covered in wrinkles." I'm still not sure what he meant by that.

All I can say is that after playing enough boring Call of Duty shit and Halo shit, I'm ready for something else. Even if it is just a different flavor of shit. Gearbox is taking a risk by bringing Duke back, and for that I think they at least deserve the benefit of the doubt.

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