Games That Nobody Plays Anymore: Duke Nukem 3D

[Games That Nobody Plays Anymore is a weekly series written by Nathan Hardisty with a little title card help from Juan Houter. It’s an on-going series about the forgotten games of yesteryear, and doesn’t totally reflect the title. Remember; nobody stops playing these games; it’s just a title. Don’t make something of it or I will come down to your house and ask you politely to stop. If you have any suggestions for future titles to ‘GTNPA’ don’t forget to leave me a comment!]

It’s time to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and I’m all out of other games to do. Damn I’m good. I’ve got balls of steel to try and tackle this masterpiece. Duke Nukem is so good that I oughto break a broom handle off and blow it out your ass! I’m gonna kick its ass and… blah blah catchphrases! Good evening and welcome to Games That Blah De Blah De Blah! This week we have a massive male power-fantasy as our fine specimen of a game that nobody plays. I’m going to try and sneak Duke Nukem catchphrases everywhere, if you can count how many there are, and leave the number in the comments below you will win nothing. Now, who wants some?

Damn, that was annoying. My name’s Duke Nukem and I’m gonna kick your ass. Don’t get your panties all in a bunch, there is a little bit of ‘game retrospective’. Duke Nukem 3D is the type of first-person shooter that makes you think “Damn, I’m good!”, while Duke himself says “Damn I’m good!” So it’s the type of game that strays completely from the modern era of first-person shooter. Every damn game you’ve played in the last two years, how many of the protagonists have squirmed and cried? Who needs emotion when you’ve got Duke Nukem? He doesn’t need a deus ex machina, he’s too damn awesome for that. Hail to the king baby.

Say hello to my little friend. His name is outdated first-person shooter mechanics… and he’s nowhere to be seen. Yes, the graphics look as retro as retro can be. But who cares? If you do care, then you can eat shit and die. Now; good, Duke Nukem? What’s the difference? Nothing. I’m trying very hard to sneak in catchphrases from a (practically) dead videogame character who (in all honesty) is overrated. It’s pathetic journalism really, but who cares, this is Duke Nukem and it looks like it’s time for me to go postal. Or something.

Nukem decides that instead of taking a realistic approach to anything, it decides to glorify the male power figure. I feel that women will have a hard time trying to relate to this game, maybe even enjoy it. There are strippers, chicks, who Duke must rescue or something. SOMETHING. MALE POWER FANTASY, I SHOULD BE AGAINST THIS. IT FEELS SO DIRTY. As someone who wrote an essay about girl gamers, it feels like an escape. I think there’s a reason why there is so many games centred around giving power to the male figure. Because it feels good. But it’s dirty, let’s let Duke have his fun but lets make progress.

This was much of a retrospect as it was much of a satire. Although I’m not sure how you review a Duke Nukem game. For the most part, you’re supposed to comment on gameplay and story. Pretty much you’ve got a nice retro first-person shooter. Storywise, you can go ahead and make my day because that all goes out of the window. Duke Nukem. Aliens. Catchphrases. Story doesn’t matter in videogames unless it’s actual videogame storytelling. There’s a taster of a certain essay that will be out in a few weeks. Anyway, enough boasting my ego, let’s finish this.

Duke Nukem 3D is not a bad game, it is a very good game, but it is old. It’s from a time when the ‘male-o-meter’ was filled to the brim, but it’s nice. It’s nice to see when games were still sorting themselves out, experimenting with audiences and making their own industry second-guess everything. The game came out when I was three years old, but I didn’t play it until way into my teens. I’m still in my teens, but that was then, this was now. Revisiting it puts a smile on my face, because we’ve come so far, we’ve done so much. Duke Nukem 3D may not be the most important game ever made, but it sure is fun.

See you in hell.

Next week: Le Saboteur

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  • Wow Duke Nukem! This post brought back some childhood memories, man I used to love this game!

  • Molly

    Nobody plays Duke Nukem any more because you can’t buy a version that’ll play on Windows. I’d go back to playing it every day if I could get a version that’d run on Windows7!!!! Someone PLEASE tell Apogee to bring back an up to date (NOT 3-D) version!