“it’s a fake!”
“It’s a Rick Roll! Just you watch”
That’s just a small sample of all the remarks I heard while waiting in line at Gearbox’s Duke Nukem Forever booth. You read that right! Duke Nukem Forever has a booth at PAX. It’s not for some slideshow of concept art. It’s not for a teaser. It’s most certainly not for a striptease show! Well I wish it was, but that’s besides the point. It’s for a trailer featuring in-game gameplay sequences. And also for… you know… A hands-on demo.
Before we get to it, a quick couple of points about the trailer:
- Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox assures us that Duke Nukem Forever is absolutely coming out in 2011.
- In Gearbox’s hands, Duke seems to be even funnier.
- Plenty of self referential jokes about being delayed for… 12 years? I’m getting old.
- We were allowed to take as many pictures as we want, so everything you here see are offscreen footage.
Enough of that! Onwards to the hands on!
This here is the first thing you do in the demo. Classy.
The hands-on was in two parts. The first should be familiar to anyone who has finished Duke Nukem 3D. It’s basically the final boss fight where you fight a big alien cyclops… thing with rocket launchers for hands. It even ends the same way with the field goal and all that. The other one shows off a little bit of driving before you’re back to just shooting the hell out of anything that moves. You start off with only a handgun, but you eventually get shotguns, shrink rays, and even a sniper rifle. Near the end of the level, you’re put onto a turret wherein you have to mow down a good handful of enemies before a ship swings by and shoots a missile at your turret. Before he passed out, Duke gives the ship the middle finger.
Relax. They give you way more than a peashooter to take down this beasty.
The game follows most modern shooter standard like regenerating health, or Ego as its called in the game, and being able to carry only two weapons at a time. Despite the many updates, Duke Nukem Forever is without a doubt a Duke Nukem game. Dukes’ unforgiving, fratboy-on-steroids personality has remained completely unchanged, and the many one liners he throws out are just plain old hilariously repulsive, just as it should be. How such a crude, immature character like Duke somehow ends up being endearing is beyond me, and it really makes Duke Nukem Forever stand out from every other FPS out there. Is it crazy to think that the 12 years it took for the game to come out might’ve actually done the game some favors? In this environment of military shooters with dead-serious tones and just utter lack of humor, Duke Nukem might very well be the ultimate time capsule. One that doesn’t just remind us of the past but infused the present with something we’ve long forgotten.
Wow. Just wow.