Son of a Pitch: Duke Nukem Returns

Way to miss the point of the joke.

Well, amazingly, after 12 years of development hell, constant do overs, and legal disputes, Duke Nukem Forever is available, and aparently it doesn't meet the expectation of a game with over a decade of problems based on tired old premise.

In one way, Duke Nukem should feel right at home in a universe that likes Family Guy, what with it's crude attempts at edge and  and hanging on to the nostalgia of better products in a slipshod attempt at holding your attention. ON the other hand concepts like "adult content" and referential humor just aren't enough to sell a game anymore. Not in this age. Since the last  time Duke was around, Grand Theft Auto 3 was released,  Halo was released,  and far too many Call of Duties where released. The Bar is set higher.
Younger Duke Nukem, already trying too hard...

And yet Duke Nukem insists on doing the same tired parody and irreverence bullshit. It's like someone you've known all your life suddenly blowing a raspberry on your belly and going "whosabigbabie!Ppffffft!". The industry is grown up, Uncle Nukem. It's been married for 3 years now!
We have games where you can play as a naked drug dealer now. Stop telling me what your balls are made off.

So where does that leave the franchise? Where should Duke, a sauropod in the world of Homo Sapiens go now? Should he continue to parody people who are now too busy starring in Basic Cable T.V. and hiding their mistresses? My answer is yes...and no...

See,it's like Doom...and I feel like a "but" should go in here...
Instead of playing something really outdated and cool and radical and all that shit, we should play something outdated as something outdated and crazy that doesn't fit a "modern" videogame. You can still have Duke act like he's the greatest thing ever, but every other character be eyerolling at his mind-numbing catchphrases and thoughtless sexism. Make Duke a Quixotic figure, a man who grossly missunderstands the real world. ANd then you can have a rich world with three dimensional characters that have to deal with their only hope being Schwarzstallonsnipe Campbell Van Damme.
We fight as one (highly derivative character)!

Sure, in a way, this is forcing the audience to identify with characters that aren't Duke Nukem, but it's also a clever opportunity to deconstruct the First person mythos in a clever way. Instead of forcing the player to like Nukem, they either get to agree with every character in the game, or decide they're all haters and play the Duke persona "straight". And it;s also an opportunity to set "old school" vs New School. How would a guy who clearly comes from a different world react when faced with modern concepts? It could lead to some good satire of not only the stranger parts of yesteryear's gaming, but of today's prevalent concepts and attempts at edge.

And it's overdue, really.
It's the only way I see it working. You could try to "update" Duke, but that would just wash him of his (not so) original characteristics. And what are you gonna do? Make him a parody of Christian Bale and Sam Worthington? And hey, if a franchise that was never respectable like Bloodrayne can suddenly gain newfound design and respect, why can't Duke Nukem be reimagined?


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