I’m worried about Duke Nukem Forever.
When I was, what, 14? I played a shareware demo of Duke Nukem 3D that came attached to a magazine – probably PC Format. I loved it. The demo actually had a parental lock set on it (I didn’t notice, except there were some corners of the room you could shoot, eliciting blood spatters, but no sprite was evident) – though of course when me and my sister finally finished the demo (we were slow gamers – still are) I got the full version. The full version contained strippers and porn and captured naked ladies. Okay the demo did too, but this time I could see it all.
I just enjoyed it at the time. I was 14. The game was totally juvenile in many aspects – and I never found the dripping misogyny offensive, perhaps because it was so OTT that it made a parody. I didn’t LIKE the character. I “knew” he was “cool” but he was a caricature.
The portrayal of the strippers and other “babes” aside – the gameplay was fantastic. Fast, addictive and pretty innovative. It was PROPER 3D. OK the sprites now look comical, and you’re best not trying to play again (unless you can get a mouselook hack), but it was genuinely brilliant.
I, and a generation or two of others, have spent the last 14 years looking forward to the sequel.
The thing is, in the intervening years, we’ve grown up. Duke hasn’t. I might have found his blurred vision after one beer amusing when I was 14. Now it’s just cheap and pathetic. The idea of being able to ACTUALLY PISS IN THE URINALS was almost unheard of interactivity back then – plus, catering to the sense of humour of, well, kids. I suspect a large proportion of the gamers playing DN3D had pretty limited experience of naked ladies (adult ones at least) so the peep show and pole dancer sections were tittilating. Now? Perhaps not so much.
I want to enjoy it though. I’m hoping the nostalgia will be enough to get me past the early-teenage boy crap that, for some reason, appears to have been amplified not played down this time around.