My relationship with Duke Nukem Forever is similar to that of a batter wife; he glimmers of hope with the tease of a screenshot or trailer, only to get punched in the gut by constantly placing on Top 10 Vaporware lists. He was so good to me in the past. Surely, he will treat me right because he sees how dedicated I am to him. I’ll remain right here by his side – waiting.
Oh. My. God. It’s finally happening! My husband – uh, I mean Duke Nukem – returns! I can’t believe it. Is this real life?
It’s funny to see forum posters inadvertently revealing their age in the wake of Duke Nukem’s (hopefully final) rebirth. Old timers are ecstatic about the seemingly unwavering guarantee that Duke Nukem Forever is finally being released, while the Halo generation asks: “Who’s Duke Nukem”?
Having Gearbox take the helm of Duke Nukem Forever, they will hopefully get a proper introduction. However, before the king regains his throne, allow me to tell you about the greatest hero to ever grace a video game and how he remained close to my heart.
I was the typical freshman in high school with my mind focused on only two things: games and girls. Up until this point, mainstream games were basically all the same. None had an interactive world as deep as Duke Nukem 3D. You could take a piss or drink from a water fountain to regain health; pressing the space bar at the pool table would send the balls rolling to the pockets; going up to the Duke Pinball machine would cause Duke to say, “No time to play with myself”; and don’t get me started on flashing a little green at the single moms just paying their way through college. This game was amazing and it quickly had me hooked.
Apart from replaying the single player experience multiple times and finding all the hidden areas, I was kicking ass in the multiplayer arena. This would mark the first time I played online multiplayer and, boy, was my mind blown. This was a time before matchmaking servers so I remember having to dial my friends’ phone number and wait for his modem to pick up; or if they were calling me I would yell across the house, “Don’t answer the phone!” *sigh* Those were the days.
Duke Nukem 3D was also the first game I modded. It wasn’t a total conversion mod but it’s what I wanted – naked babes. I removed the booby tassels from the strippers and made the girls who were trapped in the green alien stuff more tantalizing.
Another first for me was making my own multiplayer maps. I made accurate representations of my high school, neighborhood, and anything else my imagination could create. I still haven’t forgotten how to use those builder tools.
Fast forward thirteen years and I would be married and have two kids. The entire world dramatically changed while Duke Nukem Forever was being developed. Just look at all the things that happened during that time.
The big question now is whether Duke Nukem is still relevant. I personally don’t see why he wouldn’t be. Besides his striking resemblance to Arnold Schwarzenegger in Last Action Hero there’s nothing that cements him in the ‘90s. His jokes and one-liners were never topical, and the over-the-top narcissism never gets old – just look at Sony’s VP of Everything-Under-the-Sun, Kevin Butler. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy a scantily clad woman doing naughty, naughty things. Oh man, what I’d do to one of – oh, excuse me. My mind wandered off there for a second.
Anyways, the video game market is crowded with games that take themselves too seriously; we need a good comedy game that’s not afraid to offend (I'm not looking at you Postal). That’s why you can count on me being there day negative-one. Why negative-one? Because I’m camping out the night before and throwing Duke a welcome home party. And everyone’s invited!
GamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!