Skip to main content

The Brilliance Of Duke Nukem Forever

More and more, it seems the entries here are something I wrote elsewhere that I realized would probably make a decent blog entry.  Here, another Broken Toys comment, where I refute professional reviewers talking about a game I never played the full version of, though at least I played the demo.  Hey, not the best of platforms, I know that, but let me see if this point I'm making holds solid nonetheless.

Personally, I thought the Duke Nukem Forever demo was a brilliant game in that it was a mediocre FPS but excellent lampoon of a FPS. As a FPS, it had an unsatisfying balanced experience, it didn't feel as tight as it should, and the two-weapon limitation felt like it had been neutered by excessive consolitus. However, as a lampoon of a FPS, it was a self-referential humor experience that, while you've played much better, is nonetheless definitely worth at least one play-through simply to see Duke Nukem being a ridiculously overblown Duke Nukem. 

If you pay attention to the game, you'll notice that Gearbox did not spare any effort to achieve that exact aim, just about every single thing they added to it was basically an in-joke that went like this: Duke Nukem lives in a fantasy world that exists wholly to support his colossal ego.  These reviewers disappoint me in that they seem to have missed the joke, many of them idolized Duke Nukem and wanted to see him treated with respect and reverence, delivering a hardcore experience worthy of 15 years of development. But, sorry to say it, they're wearing the nostalgia glasses, Duke Nukem is just a 90s pop icon who deserved nothing less than a misogynistic, egotistical tongue-in-cheek focus.

If the game had ended to see Duke Nukem trussed up in the corner of an asylum padded room while doctors talk to each other about him being a victim of pronounced delusions of grandeur and the whole game taking place inside of his addled mind, it would have been perfection.  It would have ground the point home that this is exactly what you're looking at.  But it doesn't: Duke Nukem has potential sequels to make, after all.  Instead we're to understand that Duke Nukem's delusions are real within his world.  That works, it's a punchline of a different color, albeit one not quite as solid.

So, why am I judging it on the demo, then? Why don't I go out and buy the game, right now, and see just how bad it really is?  Because I know that, in this day and age, with many great game choices available, some of them free to play, paying $50 for a game which is mostly hype and then being delivered a running joke feels like they're charging an idiot tax and you fell for it.  However, $20, the price they probably should have been charging initially, and perhaps removing any annoying fluff content that would have been injected to make it seem like it should be worth more, probably would have you laughing along with them.


Popular posts from this blog

Resonant Induction Really Grinds My Gears... In A Good Way

From about 2pm yesterday until 8pm today, I've been dabbling with my latest custom mod mix for Minecraft 1.6.4, which is this time very much Universal Electricity focused.
Aside from the usual GUI enhancers and Somnia, the primary contenders in this mix were:
Calclavia Core - Of course: this is the base of the Universal Electricity system.Resonant Induction - This seems to be largely focused on increasingly more advanced methods of refining ores divided across 4 ages of technological progression.  It also includes some really cool things such as assembly lines.  I'll primarily be talking about just a few blocks out of this mod today.Atomic Science - A mod dedicated to generating more of those lovely universal electricity volts via the power of splitting the atom.  Build your own nuclear reactor!  Deal with nuclear meltdowns!  You maniac!ICBM - A mod dedicated to generating more destruction using those lovely universal electricity volts (and more than a little gunpowder), it cer…

Empyrion Vrs Space Engineers: A Different Kind Of Space Race

In my quest for more compelling virtual worlds, I have been watching Empyrion: Galactic Survival a lot this bizarro weekend, mostly via the Angry Joe Show twitch stream.  What I have concluded from my observations is Empyrion is following in Space Engineers' shadow, but it is nevertheless threatening the elder game due to a greater feature set (the modding scene notwithstanding).

Empyrion is made in Unity, whereas Space Engineers is built on a custom engine.  While this does put Empyrion at a disadvantage when it comes to conceptual flexibility, its developers nevertheless have a substantial advantage when it comes to adding features due to a savings of time spent that would have gone into developing their own engine.  Examples include:
Planets.  Empyrion already has planets and space to explore between them, whereas in Space Engineers planets are in the works but still awhile away (so you just have asteroid fields to scavenge).Enemies.  Space Engineers' survival mode boasts onl…

Greasing The Grind: Adding Lasting Appeal To Virtual World Sandboxes

Game design, being about entertainment, is not as much science as art.  We're coming up with interesting things that the human mind likes to chew on that "taste" good to it.  Different people find different things, "Fun," and a game designer is tasked with coming up with fun, appealing things.  As pertains to virtual world sandboxes, I identified three of them.

Challenge Appeal.

Dwarf Fortress and Fortresscraft Evolved have the same end game appeal preservation mechanic: wealth equals threat.  The more money your Dwarf Fortress is worth, the bigger the baddies who will come for you, including a bunch of snobby useless nobles who do nothing but push dwarves around and eat.  The more energy you make in Fortresscraft Evolved, the more and bigger bugs come to shut down your base.  Rimworld does something a little different based off of which AI Storyteller you choose, but it generally adds time to your wealth accumulation when deciding what kind of threats to throw a…