Duke Nukem Forever Is A Terrible Game
Sun, 06/12/2011 — Rev. Ragu
I suppose Duke Nukem Forever is finally being released, or has been released; due to Gearbox's bizarre staggered release date, I have absolutely no idea. When you read this, if you read it, which considering the amount Andore Jr. has been updated over the past two years, PROBABLY NOT, it should be out. As a writer for Andore Jr, Ecchi Attack!, and also an idiot, I can sympathize with the fourteen year development cycle - considering my history at prompt delivery of content. Sometimes banging your head against the wall is much more fulfilling and interesting than producing timely video game funnies; sometimes jerking off to Dead or Alive 2 on the Dreamcast in spectator mode is much more fulfilling and interesting than delivering a much-hyped video game on its twenty-seventh deadline extension. However, a lot of things change in fourteen years, the inexorable march of time spares nothing, not even a teenage boy's sex-deprived misogyny and underdeveloped sense of the transgressive. As such, Duke Nukem Forever has long since become more enjoyable as a punchline than it is anticipated by persons like myself, and I personally have no real need to play it.
There is better objectification of women than Duke Nukem out there; better mindless, bloodthirsty action; better toilet humour and sexism presented without a hint of irony. None of us are twelve years old anymore. None of us, because the human race spontaneously became sterile in 1990 and all you goddamn kids pretending to be a decade and a half younger than me are full of shit. Most of us have touched the genitals of another human being with the intention of giving pleasure. Come the hell on. We're too old for this shit. Women are human beings and not blowjob machines for our adolescent power fantasy avatar, we shouldn't still be excited by illicit thrills that we hope our parents don't catch us in the midst of when we walk into an adult movie theatre, and poop... Is still funny, I'll give it that. Duke Nukem should, by all rights, be completely obsolete.
But of course, we live in a time when children's toys are given Hollywood films targeted toward young adult demographics, and, for better or worse, there is still a place in this world for a video game where you can pick up your poop. So Duke Nukem Forever came out, and is apparently a competent but uninspired first person shooter. After fourteen years it set no one's brain or pubes on fire from its explosively innovative gameplay. All the things that Duke Nukem Forever promised are now standard features in the genre; the physics, the huge setpieces, the lack of irony or perspective. The only thing that makes it at all worthy of note is that we played some game in the mid-nineties and then they spent fourteen years doing research for the sequel into a wool sock - that, and the old, bearded prospector from the trailers.
The Prospector made his first appearance in the 1998 trailer for the game; a trailer that showed off a game which was impressive looking for the time, and one which showed no indication of needing fourteen years of refinement to get the boobies and poop jokes ~just right~. In a game known more for its sex girls (no one is ready for) and macho men, a wizened old prospector in an old west looking town seemed an ill fit for a trailer designed exclusively to show off how explodey their game was. Yet the old prospector became a favourite among an elite core of video game players. Perhaps in order to be able to see what a then-modern graphics card could do with that scraggly beard, wondering if he has any interminable stories to tell about how his far-off youth, of the bitter cold, wolves circling the camp waiting for him to die of exposure and all that was there to keep him company was the tight hole of that claim jumper he shot. Would he be a sidekick? Could he even be a playable character? Will Duke Nukem be there as merely a feint and will the game actually wind up being the story of our trusty prospector's journey into a web of lies and intrigue? Only one thing was certain: We wanted more Prospector.
3D Realms gave a little wink to all the Prospector fans out there, promising bigger and better things to come, at the end of the 2001 trailer which shows the Prospector enjoying a little R&R at one of the series' signature strip clubs. Sure, by this point the game was already a running gag, largely considered to be an elaborate prank by George Broussard on people who wanted to pay him money to play his video games. Prospector fans, though, sparked with breathless anticipation now. Here was our Prospector, out of his element, his beard more fluffy and magnificent than we had seen a game do yet. Could this be confirmation that the Prospector would play a central role in the game's overarching plot? Could the one behind all this bull shit be... The Prospector? Eagerly, When It's Done couldn't be fast enough.
Now we come to the current incarnation, the final incarnation, of Duke Nukem Forever. What we wanted to hear was: Where is the Prospector? Could Gearbox be trusted with our favourite character, or would they simply discard the complex and fascinating fan favourite for something more marketable to the mainstream, like another girl with a considerable bosom? Well, we finally know for sure:
This Duke Nukem Forever, this pretender-game, is a fraud. Without the Prospector, this game can scarcely be called Duke Nukem Forever. Maybe Mr. Misogyny's Gun Shooty Shooting Bullet Shoot, but the game is clearly unable to live up to the fourteen years of legacy surrounding it. I have not played the game. I will never play the game. But when such an integral detail is ignored, I can feel secure in the pronouncement: Duke Nukem Forever is a Terrible Game.
Gearbox: You have made an awful game, an affront to all the True Prospector Believers out there. If you even care and aren't just rolling around naked in your Uncle Scrooge-style money bin, rubbing hundred dollar bills on your nipples, the only way you can possibly make amends is to release the Prospector as DLC. We are talking full-on expansion-pack style content here, with THE OLD, BEARDED PROSPECTOR writ large upon its ad copy. If you don't, well, it's going to become pretty well known that Gearbox Software exclusively releases shitty, prospector-less games, and then you're going to go bankrupt because I am pretty sure you are underestimating the far-reaching influence of Prospector fans, distinguished folks from all walks of life with discerning eyes and delicate tastes. Do you think you can do that, Gearbox Software? Do you have the wherewithal, the huevos, to do so? Duke says that he has BALLS OF STEEL, but from where I'm sitting, Gearbox Software, in your neglecting to include the Prospector, you may as well just have him admit that, as Gearbox Software's rendition of the character, he has but only testicles of styrofoam packing peanuts. C'mon guys. I dare you.
Oh, yeah, I still won't buy it. I'm not twelve anymore, for Christ's sake.