Duke Nukem Forever (DNF) was a long awaited game by many including myself. It was also a major disappointment to everyone who played it, with the highest praise I ever saw being a comment about the executable itself being stable. It has been slagged, slandered, and slapped in numerous languages, and much of it is deserved, however I would like to illustrate that not only are these complaints not wholly correct, but that their rear-view prognostications, “If only they had” scenarios, were also doomed. Their own suggestions in many cases would have resulted in an equally bad game.
Duke Nukem is raucous, crass, ludicrous, sexist (but not misogynistic), over the top, simplistic, juvenile, and unreserved. He is not deep or complex, and if he were we wouldn’t enjoy him nearly as much. Duke’s depth comes from our steering of him, we act out within his skin (and muscles). In Duke Nukem 3D (Duke3D) he is a cartoony figure in a comparatively realistic world, he has fame for his world-saving antics, but he is the exception and his behavior is tolerated in the immediately appreciable wake of his results: the world persisting. More specifically, he doesn’t talk all of the time, and though possibly an artifact of the technology of 1995 and 1996, it meant you didn’t get tired of him. Continue reading