As previews as started to hit the web from the recent Duke Nukem event that was held in Las Vegas a common theme has developed. Some sites just don’t see Duke Nukem as relevant in the current gaming landscape. Self described as a throwback, to a time in gaming that has been eclipsed by current technologies and trends, Duke Nukem will face strong headwinds when it releases this year.
When Gearbox announced that they would be completing Duke Nukem after a 14 year hiatus, many rejoiced, but quite a few gamers really have no clue what Duke Nukem is. Nor should they, the industry is all about what is relevant. When retro first person shooters become as fashionable as retro 2D side scrollers are today, they may have a better understanding. But as it stands, and from the sounds of the earliest previews, Duke Nukem does feel a bit out of it’s element.
Personally, I think it’s great. I can’t wait to get my hands on DNF. I grew up with the series, and can’t wait to hear and see what Gearbox has to offer in it’s homage. Though I’m not sure that everyone agrees with me. For instance, IGN best describes the conundrum that Duke Nukem Forever faces in it’s preview of the game.
And Gearbox is certainly not oblivious to this. Randy Pitchford sat down with Game Informer to discuss just this and the CEO who is ultimately responsible for the title had this to say.
“I can’t worry about it. I’m not worried about it, but even if I was, I can’t worry about it. I can’t second guess things. It’s a game for today’s gamers that cleverly remembers our memories from Duke Nukem 3D. Those of us that were there will find those nods and homage, and will enjoy those jokes. Even if you hadn’t played Duke 3D it’s still very fun. It’s not the vision from the beginning years ago, it’s a vision that’s been iterated on all this time and evolved and developed with the industry.”
Someone’s got to be right here though. Just recently, industry innovators like Cliff Bleszinski was quoted in an interview, as saying that there’s only room for #1 and #2 before there needs to be some major deviations from the norm. A place where games need to find a voice of their own and an audience. It’s apparent that DNF is going to be a throwback title, but just how many people are going to get the jokes and references? I suppose we will find out soon enough.