Over 14 years, we have been waiting for the follow-up to the 1996 hit game, Duke Nukem 3D. The snide, machismo, ruthless man who has saved the world from the invaders. He is a fictional character, but someone we believed in. 3D Realms gave us a character that kicked ass and chewed bubblegum. Then he ran out. The past decade has been tough for fans clammoring for the 4th game in the series “Forever”. It turned into a joke as the game has been rebuilt time and time again, delayed and delayed. Unfortunately 3D Realms ran out of money and 2K would no longer back them, and subsequently shut-down as a result. Many believed that “Duke Nukem Forever” died in 2009. Miraculously, at PAX 10, Gearbox Software announced that THEY were finishing Duke Nukem Forever and releasing it on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and of course PC. They even had hands-on demos! People actually got to play Duke Nukem Forever.
Last week, Gearbox Software gave us the release date: May 3rd, 2011 and a brand new trailer:
So why does Duke Nukem Forever still matter? It matters because it represents a lost art in videogames: action-driven fun. We never played Duke Nukem for the story, we played it for the action, the strippers, and all the toys. How many games can you think of where you can shrink an enemy, then step on him with your boot? Only one that I can name: Duke Nukem 3D. With current masterpieces like: Mass Effect 2, Uncharted 2, Red Dead Redemption, and the underappreciated Alan Wake – it’s hard to ignore how the games are driven by their storylines and gameplay. The sillyness that DN3D has wouldn’t carry over to a game like Mass Effect or Red Dead Redemption. We need games like Duke Nukem that are just run & gun fun. We need silly games again. Playing Duke Nukem Forever will instill a sense of a nostalgia for most of us. Others it’ll create a memory. It’ll invoke a 13-year old self playing the foul-mouthed Duke, spitting one-liners and laying waste to aliens. It was a different time in the 90’s, different kinds of games were out then. But kids and even some teens today need to know the name of Duke Nukem. He’s the ultimate action hero.
Duke Nukem Forever is a labor of love. Everyone who has worked on the game the past 14+ years has shown dedication. It wasn’t going to come out until it was done. And now it’s done, and it will come out. It’s not too late for the Duke, he is still relevant today as he was in the 90’s. It’s time for him to reclaim the throne.