GAME CRITIQUE CORNER.
By the way, nothing has changed apart from the graphic style. So, technically, nothing has been rebooted at all.
Duke Nukem Forever is a massive great big joke that just sits and farts in the hall of the video-game industry. It’s sat there for fifteen years and, finally, this June we’ll be able to shoot it to death and put it to rest once and for all. I’m not hyped, I don’t care and I know it’s going to suck. Sounds cynical, yes, but I don’t expect the game to be anything special. It’ll be a fun romp but it won’t blow the doors off and be an interesting mesh of interactivity and player-focused narrative. It’s going to suck, it’s going to be sub-par and it won’t be quite a fun game.
But Duke Nukem Forever is coming out. Read that again. Duke Nukem Forever will be playable. After a decade and a half we’re treated to a video-game that should never have happened, ever, yet masses of millions have sunk into this project to keep it running. We’re looking at a piece of millions of man-hours, money and disappointment. Disappointment. That word haunts the industry today and Forever was going to forever be a disappointment. Some guys at Gearbox Software decided it’d be fun to revive the dead fat joke and now we’re going to play Duke Nukem Forever.
I often criticise games for a lack of quality, or for a lack of basic interactivity bits or something. With Forever I don’t think there is anything to criticise as I just won’t help at all. It’s a big massive joke and it’s about to hits its punchline, and I cannot wait. With Forever however there is one thing I’d like to say to Gearbox: do not hype up the game. Do not drum up even more support, do not show off how good the game is, do not make us have faith in the quality of the game – just deliver us some marketing that’s just fun. We’ve already seen that, so keep at it.
Don’t show gameplay, use a fun CGI trailer or show some bits in-game but don’t blatantly throw the game at the public. When that demo hits the fanbase, all hell will break loose. I already know a demo is coming and I think it’s a bad decision, so how about make that demo the best gameplay in the box. Make it sing, show us how good the game could be and make us believe in that fraction. What I don’t want you doing is getting us to believe a fifteen year old video-game is worth the years it took to get here. Fun, yes, but to deliver on that level would require a whole reboot in my opinion.
Let me get this straight, Duke Nukem 3D is the second FPS I ever played and it blew my mind. On every single level, that game delivered, why? I knew about it just as I played it, not knew about it for years before playing something. It’s what ruined GTA IV for me and it’s what ruins a lot of video-games nowadays, it’s all bullshit and marketing the cinematic bits because gamers are stupid and publishers don’t care on changing that. The only developer that have never disappointed me, in any way, is Valve and they (right now) have got the gaming community by the balls.
I like it when a company hypes up something that delivers, but instead hype it on some other merit such as its character traits. Portal 2‘s ad campaign focuses on the adorable robots and not the mind-bending gameplay. Why? Because people are stupid and they all love Pixar movies. If you want to make sure that a game sells well, without ruining anything and making sure you don’t hype up their vision of the game itself, don’t market the game. Market the character or the setting or the story (if it’s made out of cut-scenes, there’d be no point but if it’s told in-game then hell yeah).
Duke Nukem Forever can’t deliver on the promised gameplay front, it’s impossible, but it can deliver through character. I hate middle-man narrative but a few cases are completely excused when they’re done not to the purpose of supporting interactivity but of parodying it. Duke is that guy and I can’t wait to sit back and have my control utterly removed. It’s not meant to be played as much as it is to be heard and just felt. Forever can deliver on the character given how strong he is, but the gameplay can’t deliver given how detached we already are from it. The story isn’t personal to us and neither is the interactivity, but who gives a crap, it’s Duke Nukem.
I have faith in Gearbox to do the right thing, they own Anthony Burch for god’s sake, but I’m not sure on their marketing. Whether or not it’s done in-house or not, don’t show the PR company the gameplay – show them the character – I wouldn’t be surprised if you do this anyway but it’s just a small tip from a little lonely teenage. I’ve waited for Duke, not for his video-games, Forever will suck and I do not care one bit. Give me the game, give me Duke and I’ll give you 5/5 stars in my second opinion review for Screenjabber.com. Oh I’m completely serious by the way.
Reboot by @FlashJB