Duke Nukem For-Never

By Chris Brandrick


Character Duke Nukem - icon of cheesy 90s gaming | Photo: Gameguru

Gamers will never have the chance to experience 3D Realms’ Duke Nukem Forever, as the Texas based game developer closed last week after going bankrupt.

Duke Nukem Forever was the game planned to follow 1996’s Duke Nukem 3D, and since being announced has been struggling through development for well over a decade. The games storyline and play-style changed several times throughout the lengthy development, becoming somewhat of a mystery as time passed.

The games cancellation is perhaps the best thing that ever happened to it, as it was somewhat of a joke within the industry and with gamers alike. The developers can finally move on from this disheartening¬†endeavour, which they have worked on for more than a decade for seemingly no reward. Gamers can forget about the game that has been “coming soon” for what may seem like a lifetime.

But it is key that gamers don’t forget the Duke completely, as earlier games, as crude as they may have been, provide a notable encapsulation as to what gaming in the 90’s represented. The games’ playstyle, visuals and detail provide a snapshot of what gaming was, and what was accepted, even if reluctantly.

If Duke Nukem Forever saw a release in today’s high expectation and high definition landscape, it would be immeditaly clear that what is expected from games today is far different from that of 10 years previous. The gaming industry moves fast, and now the Duke appears to be a casualty of modern gaming, as he has been attempting to play catch up for so long, iteration after iteration.

The Duke has been entertaining since 1991, starring in over twenty titles, but as for whether gamers will see him again remains to be seen. Yet if the hyper-masculine digital dude ever does make a return, he will need to check the trends in order to be accepted by the demanding gaming masses of today.

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