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Is Gearbox doing a good job handling the Duke Nukem IP?



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Article - No Pressure at All

by Kaisersoze on Tuesday 28 November 2006

Why Duke Nukem Forever doesn't need to be the best FPS of all time.

Come get some!

If you're reading this, there's no doubt you're well aware of the lengthy development process that has surrounded one of PC gaming's most anticipated (if not most anticipated) games ever--Duke Nukem Forever.

The direct sequel to Duke3D, Duke Nukem Forever will feature the return of the swashbuckling, cigar smoking, alien ass kicking, buff blonde Duke who also likes his women (in diminishing states of undress).

There's no point going over the development history of the title. We know about it. It's beating a dead horse. We can talk about it til we're blue in the face and frankly it's about as old as the lame "Duke Nukem Never" jokes. We stopped thinking that was funny 5 years ago. So is repeatedly bringing up the development process.

However, it's a safe bet that once Duke Nukem Forever does hit retail (and what a glorious day that shall be), fans, casual gamers, and critics alike will pick the title apart from top to bottom to see if all the time spent in development has given 3D Ralms an actual advantage in giving PC gaming it's new FPS champion.

So, what will it take for Duke Nukem Forever to reign supreme and vindicate 3D Realms?

How about simply being "FUN?"

Contrary to what many may feel, there shouldn't be a massive amount of pressure on the developers to deliver us the next gold standard in first person shooters.

If basic game development is followed with the title (hey, I said no jokes!) then Duke Nukem Forever will deliver in spades.

So, what does Duke Nukem Forever have to do to be the next killer app for PC gaming?

Keep it simple stupid!

Be fun!

One only has to look at Duke3D for how Duke Nukem Forever should be developed.

Great one liners from Duke (with Jon St. John returning as the voice of Duke), a great storyline, fun and highly interactive environments, cool enemies to blow up, good art direction, and did I mention "fun?"

There's really not more to it than that.

Let's just get the graphics out of the way first. From what George has shared with the fan community, 3D Realm's newly built engine is basically what I refer to as a turbo charged Unreal Engine 3. Graphics hounds need not worry about how good Duke will look.

Moving on, we know that Duke Nukem Forever will have a good selection of alien bastards to blow up and Duke will have all sorts of ass kicking weaponry (perhaps even a Fan Gun, right Beelze?).

George has placed a priority on having the levels being very interactive and fun. "You can play with about everything in a level." So, we know that the levels will offer gamers a lot to do, along with secrets, and even throw in a vehicle or two Duke can use to run over alien scum or perhaps pick up some chicks.

As for the plot, George has said they've hired professional script writers/story writers to come up with the storyline and there have been random quotes in the past from people close to the production saying it's an "epic storyline." Will it transcend the ages? Dr. Who? Proton?

While it's not known if Jon St. John will definately be back as the voice of Duke, it's encouraging to read that George would like to have Jon back to voice the blonde bombshell.

However, the bottom line with Duke Nukem Forever isn't the pretty graphics, the epic storyline, the funny one-liners, or vile aliens bent on world domination along with stealing our chicks.

It's one person and one philosophy. George Broussard and FUN.

The game's main producer and creative director, George, is the sole person tasked with making sure the game delivers on the above points.

Apparently having a "perfectionist" attitude only rivaled by the likes of Stanley Kubrick (Director of 2001, Eyes Wide Shut) and Shigeru Miyamoto (Legendary Nintendo game developer/producer of the Super Mario Games and The Legend of Zelda) George is the sole person fans and critics alike should be placing their hopes on.

"Sometimes we are trying too hard," George said, circa 2005 on the development of Duke Nukem Forever, when asked about trying to give fans the very best with Duke Nukem Forever.

George, it only has to be fun.

The reviews will undoubtedly bring up the game's historic development length and most likely (and unfairly) base the review on the length of development and ignore everything else that makes the game special.

So Duke Nukem Forever doesn't have to be the best FPS game ever. It doesn't need to reinvent the genre, and it doesn't need to be the "second coming."

It simply needs to be why we play games to begin with: FUN.

Everything else will be icing on the cake.

Here's to 3D Realms and Duke Nukem Forever, see you in a few!