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Mercurio Has Balls of Steel

June 19th, 2011 by

So, after the lifespan of a small, whiny, spotty teenager, Duke Nukem Forever has finally come out. And what do we all think?

I’ll take your silence as a universal hatred for the game, that’s what the online community seems to be screaming, at any rate. The level of offence taken by some people is astounding. Now, I may not be the most liberal of men, but even I can accept that Duke is ridiculous in the most literal sense.

I sympathise with Duke to some degree. Aliens stealing our chicks is as noble a cause as any, and after saving the world from an alien invasion force, Duke’s absence seems acceptable. Consider this: if you had singlehandedly seen off an alien invasion, wouldn’t you want to retire and live off the proceeds of your talk show tours? When I faced a similar situation in the late 1800s, I did the very same thing, and all I did was sneeze on a confused looking octopus.

The entitlement of the gaming community is quite astounding at times. Just because a game took fourteen years to make does not mean it therefore must be an astonishing work of art to justify the wait. Were you sat there, refusing to buy any other game, pouring coin after coin into the development fund like beer down the throat of your underage compatriots? Are you, in fact, Take 2, funding this bloated mess of a game for the last decade and a half? Did the game, in fact, cost more than any other game?

Have some perspective. The game may well be poor, and this is by no means the words of a man who cannot accept that people do not like a game he managed to eke out a strand of juvenile enjoyment from. I can accept that people are offended by the content, or find the jokes flat, or resent that the game feels like its from 1997. Those are all acceptable flaws, but declaring them worse because the game took so long to produce is frankly laughable.

For all those years, what was DNF to you? It was a name, an idea on the limits of your gaming conscience. It was the game that hadn’t come out. What videos there were had been few and far between, the screenshots tiny and barely worth mentioning, the only thing you had to latch onto was the bravado of the designers. And what did all this cost you? Nothing. The hype got inside your head, coloured your vision, and you allowed it to. Worst of all, it is hype of your own making, nothing to do with what 3DRealms did or said, it is born entirely of your own lack of perspective.

Perhaps I would forgive you, if the development had progressed smoothly over those many years, but we all know that the game had been riddled with problems. Restarting on new engines, an overly accepting head designer, all sorts of things had been known about before the release became a reality. For years we had known one thing: Duke Nukem Forever was not a magnum opus of perfection, it was a typical game trapped in development hell. It is not fourteen years of work, it is the same two years of work seven times.

Now then, as a game, yes, it is flawed. That said, there is a place in this world for mindless games. If people can find enjoyment playing Facebook games, or Occupation of Patriotism 9: Contemporary Conflict 5, then Duke Nukem having a market is hardly a stretch. Despite the clamouring to the contrary, the gaming is art brigade betray their true nature when they wax lyrically about the protracted development time.

But then, it was never really about that, was it? I’ve heard you all, sidling up to each other and cawing about the latest bit of totty you nabbed on a drunken evening at the local discotheque. Been plying her with cider and a party drug of choice, having illicit relation behind the club’s wheelie bins. You know you are the sort of people who should love this game. Hell, I still engage in such activities from time to time, and I am able to embrace that.

So why are you so defensive? It’s alright, I can answer that for you. You’re ashamed. You didn’t even fall afoul of the hype brigade, you built your own foolishness from the ground up.I t was you that put this game on a pedestal, with nothing other than the empty assurance that, one day, something would come out. A smart man would have lost all hopes of it being an epic super-title after the eleventh delay, but you allowed yourself to lust after it still.

It’s okay. We all make mistakes. Well, I don’t, but I’m not you. I won’t judge you too harshly, just gain a bit of perspective. Hate the game for what it is, not what you wanted it to be.

Unless you work for Take 2, then feel free to hate away. You’re not getting that investment back, chaps. Not even close.

Mercurio Silver is a grumpy misanthropic immortal with bold statements and a narcissistic need to force them on others. With his sharp tongue he shares his most recent realisations and thoughts right here on Midlife Gamer every Sunday.

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2 Responses to “Mercurio Has Balls of Steel”
  1. avatar antman says:

    Quite right, Mr Silver. It really does sadden me that even major media outlets have thrown huge buckets of scorn over DNF just to jump on the controversy bandwagon.
    In the weeks after playing DNF I have come to think of it as the runt of the litter. Okay its gimpy legs and over-sized head mean it cannot have the guile or agility of the healthy siblings, but does it deserve all the hatred that has been directed at it?

  2. avatar Jurassic Prinny says:

    If a baker told me he’d been working on a new kind of doughnut for fourteen years then I’d expect it, not unreasonably I think, to meet the following criteria:
    1) It would be frosted with edible diamonds that taste like kisses from an Angel. Cate Blanchett would also be acceptable.
    2) It would be filled with some kind of liquid-gold cream filling that instantly transports me to Nirvana, but then brings me back again after a few hours because foreign water often gives me the runs and there might not be anyone left here to let the dogs out.
    3) It would be fresh.

    If instead of said wonder-doughnut I received a fairly ordinary looking doughnut, that turned out to be frosted with sugar and filled with jam, I’d definitely call the baker an antique brass pillock, to his face, because he would be, but I’d eat that doughnut too, as long as it was fresh.

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