Are you excited about the impeding release of Duke Nukem Forever? No? Well commenter Williagr thinks you should be, and he's going to tell you why in today's Speak Up on Kotaku.
Why I'm excited for Duke Nukem Forever, and why you should be too...
On a different forum someone has posed the question, "Do you think that [DNF] will bomb?" It's an easy question in theory, simple yes or no, yet I sat at the empty text box of my "Reply" page for a good 10 minutes before I started typing. For the record, no, I don't think it's going to bomb. With preorder guarantees selling out everywhere, I think it's pretty clear that financially (for Gearbox at least), this game will be a success. Instead I tried to answer the much tougher question, "Do you think DNF will disappoint?"
That's a much tougher question, and with game forums everywhere it seems the vocal majority are a little more than skeptical. Ever since news first broke the criticisms have hit just about everything. The gameplay looks boring, crappy graphics, regenerating health... these are just a few of the criticisms I'm sure we've all seen. None of these address or relate to what Duke Nukem is really all about.
First and foremost, Duke Nukem has always been about the character. Don't get me wrong, I still feel that Duke 3D did some fantastic things with gameplay that even today some developers are having trouble with in their shooters: nonlinear level design, exciting and FUN weapons to shoot, and tight controls. Everything else, however, has been expanded upon and made better in the years of Duke's R&R. Everything else, except the character. Think about it, the younger generation of gamers have characters like Master Chief, Soap McTavish, and Altair to relate their gaming experiences to. THESE are the benchmarks for character creation in video games. That's sad. Love him or hate him, Duke has a personality a mile wide, and one that stomps all over the relatively cookie-cutter main characters that we've been controlling the past couple years
If Gearbox has made anything clear without repeatedly stating it, it's that they took on this project as a labor of love. Anyone with a hobby knows that you do your best work when you're working on something you love doing. And given the videos I've seen, the attitude that Gearbox is taking with this, and all the promotional material put out since DNF's revival, I'm confident that Gearbox is giving Duke fans what they expect from a Duke game. I only pray that it doesn't go overlooked by the newer generation of gamers (assuming they're of age to play this game, of course). To say that Duke is an icon in this industry is no overstatement, he represents so much more than dirty jokes and an over-the-top masculine persona. He represents video games that don't have to worry about being politically correct to be fun. He represents a game that keeps you playing solely because it's fun to play, not to unlock your next weapon upgrade or perk. He represents a game that, unlike most shooters today, simply can't be mistaken for anything else. In short, he represents video games, and personally I can't wait to strap on the Mighty Boots again. Welcome back Duke, it's been too long. Now, where's my bubblegum?...
About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have a forum on Kotaku called Speak Up. That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best Speak Up posts we can find and highlight it here.