I feel a strange urge to own weird relics from gaming's history. I would have bought a copy of E.T. for the Atari 2600 — the game that caused the industry to crash — but I didn't end up making the purchase because my Atari was still at my parent's house. I will probably seek it out at some point, just like I will most likely end up with a copy of Zero Wing (originator of the oft-quoted engrish phrase "All your base are belong to us.") now that I have a Sega RetroGen that will play PAL Genesis games.
So, it should come as no surprise to you that, despite my complete lack of interest in first-person shooters, '90s snark, and bro-attitudes, I will very likely be picking up Duke Nukem Forever upon release, good ratings or bad. I won't rush to the store, but it will very likely be in my collection sometime down the road. Why? Because it is already a piece of video game history.
Duke Nukem Forever's first magazine cover… back in 1997.
Upon it's (hopefully accurate, finally) release early next year, it will have been almost 14 years since it was announced. It certainly has been quite a journey, and along that way it has been ingrained in the mind of gamers… as one, giant joke. When 3D Realms called the game quits in 2009, the response from the gaming community was joking first, remorse for a last game second. Articles like "Things I've Done in Duke Nukem Forever's Lifespan" were not uncommon, some including everything from graduating high school and college, meeting someone, getting married, and having a kid.
It was safe to say that not many people held on hope that the game would ever return from it's grave, but it has, in the able hands of Gearbox Software. And while it feels like a vast majority of gamers are all joked out, there is still a huge amount of understandably skeptical people out there. If Gearbox actually puts this thing out — and there's no reason they won't unless the whole project is somehow voodoo cursed or something — I don't really see it failing. Everyone who even mildly follows the game industry is curious about how it will turn out, so I'm willing to bet it'll sell gangbusters. And even if it really sucks, people like me will swipe it at a low price just to have it in our collection. At least we're sure to get our fill of crass jokes.
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