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Duke Nukem Forever… in my heart

Duke Nukem

Duke Nukem Forever will be the real deal. It’ll be one of the originals, with over the top weaponry, one-liners, fundamental interaction, inventory, pinball tables, babes and more. This high level of energy is a welcome one; all delivered via an extremely modified engine. The early gameplay videos demonstrate how everything brilliant about Duke Nukem will remain both uncastrated and updated. Searching for leaked gameplay footage gives a good indication of the attention to detail that’s been happening behind the scenes. The glass/mirror effects look incredible, sections of armour can be blown off enemies, limbs detach and some FBA (full body awareness) similar to FEAR is there. So here it is, the story of one man’s love for another who’s muscular, pixelated and well deserved.

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When Duke Nukem Forever was officially announced, I wore the grin of a Cheshire cat on my face for the whole day. I scoured the internet for news and came across an article published on this very site. It was the first thing I’d read on Thunderbolt; and it was fair to say I disagreed a little. The King will never die.

To say I’m imploding with exhilaration over the release of Duke Nukem Forever would be an understatement. The opening piece of music to the 2007 teaser trailer still raises the hair on my arms and gives me goosebumps. Watching it channels back memories of the FPS genre’s finest days – running through porn shops, mowing down pig cops, kicking mortally wounded alien scum, checking myself out in the mirror and finishing it all off with a visit to the bathroom. This high standard of gameplay and interactivity will return; along with a single player campaign that has balls of steel.

With regards to First Person Shooters, over the past few years we’ve mostly been given faux-gritty 24-esque stories and future civil war scenarios. New FPS titles look like nothing more then clones of insufficient Call of Duty sequels. They all have the same attributes, the same movement and the same guns. The Godfather of FPS now returns to save us all from this homophonic time, and he’s looking for some alien toilet to park his bricks. Who’s first? We all know that the persona will be in full force too.

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Duke Nukem is a real personality; a personality with 110% attitude. Nukem could become 10% flaccid, and still be 100% Prime American Meat. This whole persona came from 3D Realms’ love of the ’80s action hero. Bruce Willis’ John McClane, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch, and Roddy Piper’s George Nada are timeless characters. Who wouldn’t want to be one of these people in real-life, even for just a day?

DNF will give you the chance to get as close as you ever will to blowing the hell out of everything whilst keeping the cool to be incredibly witty. Hell, you’ll even get the babes too. Don’t be ashamed to laugh at Duke Nukem Forever, because you will and if you don’t, what are you? Some bottom-feeding, scum sucking algae eater? Embrace the overblown character. I mean, who hasn’t muttered a Duke Nukem quote under their breath at work, or shouted one out at a rowdy party?

This game will be the ultimate two-man party. Together you’ll kick arse, blow holes through walls, jetpack through windows, take steroids to run at inhuman speeds, Shrink Ray pig cops, all whilst maintaining the humanity to tip strippers working their night shifts in the darkest hours of mankind. Duke Nukem = FUN. How many games released over the past few years will still be played in twelve years’ time? I’m still playing DN3D on a regular basis thanks to XBLA, and DNF could very well be played as a classic in twelve years time. Let the satisfaction of pipe-bombing some alien scum to pieces and wild interactivity return.

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Environments in games are often restricted and no different to pictures in a children’s pop-up book. They look nice, but the reality is they serve no further purpose. DNF starts with Duke Nukem taking a piss. A piss that’s interactive! The act and result is ultimately pointless, but it assists in creating immersion – to keep the player involved in the gaming world. And causing a giggle or two is always good too. Then the following room has a fully functional whiteboard. Draw a throbbing member, a smashing pair of jugs or Yorick’s skull – the choice is yours! Two rooms into the opening level and you already have more interactivity than most full campaigns. There’s laser trip-mines you can attach to anything (pig cops’ heads included), gambling machines, fully functional pinball tables and a huge 4×4 to hotfoot around the Nevada Desert in. Remember at the end of the first game where you field goal kicked an eye after defeating the final boss? Well now you actually get to take that kick yourself via a QTE. The insane levels of interactivity have been stepped up to the next level, a level that was previously unsurpassed. One player at the PAX convention even believed he saw an enemy commit suicide after he shot it in the balls; priceless.

Many of the original jokes, such as the O.J. Simpson car chase on a TV, or finding the Terminator in a crushing machine, will be replaced with parodies of modern culture. Master Chief (It’s time for the Master Chef to get back in the kitchen) will not escape unharmed. There is no doubt that this game will be funny, that the dialogue will be razor-sharp and most definitely rude. After all, The King invented talking in FPS. You are guaranteed to smile, chuckle, and maybe even cry; although the Duke won’t be doing that with you.

I’m Duke Nukem. And I’m coming to get the rest of you alien bastards!

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Thirteen years have passed since I first fell in love with Duke Nukem. He has been gone so long I thought he’d passed away, leaving me heart-broken forever. Now we are merely months away from finally being reunited once again. If Starcraft II and Diablo III can be released over a decade after their respective games, then so can Duke Nukem Forever. Thirteen years is a long time, but fortunately other developers have provided us with other games to snack on during the delay. There is no doubt in my mind that this game will be worth the wait. With the release date announced, a preorder has been placed and a long weekend booked off work. Beers are already cooling in the fridge. It is time, once again, to get medieval on their asses.

The author of this fine article

is the Deputy Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in December 2010. Get in touch on Twitter @shaneryantb.

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