DNF makes the Wired vaporware list again

And frankly, I’m not convinced that this new Duke game really will be all that and a bag of chips. I mean, I’ll believe it when I see it, but I wouldn’t put any bets on seeing it. Even Duke 3D was a somewhat overrated title. The environmental interaction was neat, but it contributed little to gameplay, and most of the best parts of the game were in the free demo. The last 2/3 of the game was pretty mediocre.

I think time has ruined the perception of Duke 3D. Remember that this was one of the first FPS (along with their highly underrated Rise of the Triad which also featured some of the best weapons I’ve seen in a FPS, bring back Drunk Missiles!) to feature morphing of the player. The Shrinker and guns like it haven’t really been seen since. There was also the freeze gun which only reappeared in Metroid Prime (which is of course an extension of Super Metroid’s frost beam). Duke’s highly interactive levels provide all kinds of gameplay features in multiplayer. Dukematch is still a ton of fun. Pull it out if you don’t believe me. Compare Dukematch, with its destructable levels with say UT2K3 and its largely hollow, unyielding structures.

Lessee…there’s also Holodukes, the Jet Pack, Laser Trip Mines, the breakable levels before anyone thought you could do that… I mean, the game wasn’t a huge hit for nothing. Duke himself is still pretty relevant. I’ve got a guy sitting next to me that’s a huge Duke 3D fan. He’ll probably buy DNF day one, no questions asked. Big shit-kicking action movies are still popular in general with people. Same with big shit-kicking games. NOLF hasn’t struck the chord many would’ve liked because it probably doesn’t reach the audience a game like Duke 3D was able to. The testosterone drinking action genre needs a game like Duke 3D again. Grand Theft Auto succeeds on the same principles Duke flourished on…the illusion of control of the gameworld…and mature content.

I think you guys, like usual, are selling short something that was pretty much the pinnacle of its genre at the time. The guiding hand is still there. Like I said, they’ve got a knack for getting the right talent together and making top quality games. George and Scott have been saying how important the franchise is to them for a long time now. Before their self-imposed forum exile on the Internet, they were talking about the importance of making the “right” game and not just a sequel. They seem to take it pretty damn seriously. With their track record, I just don’t see how you can dismiss it so easily. Given the success of Max Payne, a game a lot of people were also writing off because of its lateness, I’m inclined to believe that Duke Nukem Forever will be a pretty big event. Go watch that movie they put together a couple years ago…it still looks like a heck of a lot of fun.

–Dave

It has nothing to do with hindsight: that was also my opinion then. The Duke 3D freeware was some really fantastic stuff, but the rest of the game was disappointing. And my position in the then-popular “Duke 3D vs. Quake” debate was that both games were way overrated. Neither one was half the game that System Shock was, or that Descent was, both years earlier. Quake had some great tech, and Duke had some amusing gimmicks, but both were pretty standard shooters other than that. I don’t think either was the “pinnacle” of the genre at the time.

With their track record, I just don’t see how you can dismiss it so easily.

What track record? They haven’t released a game–at least not one developed in-house–since Shadow Warrior! And Shadow Warrior was mediocre, at best. With that kind of track record, they are lucky that I take them seriously at all.

Yeah I think Duke rocks, and I liked the game too. The single player was more fun than Quake. The MP maybe wasnt, but the weapons were more clever and less in your face. I loved setting pipe bomb traps.

As far as Duke the character he is a badass and a much more entertaining than anything I have seen mentioned in this thread. I think there is a big market for the type of character that Duke is, the Arnoldish throwback. Its just that no one has filled those shoes on the big screen. Stallone and the Oak are old now and they never handed the reigns to anyone else who was charasmatic enough to hold them. Seagal? New age crystal hugger. Van Damme? Short karate guy whose movies are really hard to watch because they are so bad. Dolph Lundgren? The least charisma out of all three, and that is saying something.

Vin Diesel was really cool in Pitch Black, but to me he has been nothing but cheese in everything else I have seen him in. The little import car movie was retarded and XXX I didnt see because it looked way too over the top. Will Smith as an action hero? Hmm to who? The Matrix stuff is very popular, but I dont think the Duke target audience is the same as the Matrix’s.

I think that when DNF is finally released it will be an enjoyable and successful game. No clue when that might be though.

olaf

The Rock was actually pretty good in The Scorpion King. Too bad the film sucked, but if he ever gets a good script and director he could be the next Schwarzenegger.

What track record? They haven’t released a game–at least not one developed in-house–since Shadow Warrior!

Who developed Manhattan Project?

And my position in the then-popular “Duke 3D vs. Quake” debate was that both games were way overrated.

Well, that about says it all. I mean, seriously, you can call them overrated if you want, but these two games defined a genre. They’re two of the biggest hits in PC gaming history. People logged countless hours with both games. They invaded the mainstream. Many Duke and Quake fans didn’t play another FPS until Half-Life in 1998. They reigned for two years.

I loved System Shock as much as the next guy that actually played it, but it sits proudly next to both Duke and Quake as top notch games IMO. Run and gun action doesn’t make them any less a game than System Shock. Descent was fun, but good luck finding people to play it with back then. The single player game didn’t stand up that well either.

–Dave

The Rock was actually pretty good in The Scorpion King. Too bad the film sucked, but if he ever gets a good script and director he could be the next Schwarzenegger.

He’s been rumored to play Duke Nukem in a film version.

–Dave

DOOM defined a genre. Quake just made it prettier. Duke 3D did neither.

And I’m not making any argument, either way, for which game was more mainstream. I really don’t care, so don’t go all wumpus on me and start compiling Game Rankings and PC Data figures. Popularity is not a reliable indicator of quality. As a GameCube fan, you should know that.

Sunstorm Interactive, a small developer based in Indianapolis, of all places. They also developed a couple of add-ons for Duke 3D, and a whole lot of hunting games.

Dave’s doing a fine job countering Ben’s underestimation of Duke 3D (Ben, you’re crazy: not only is Duke Nukem 3D is the seminal ‘bad boy’ game, but it paved the way for the sort of level interactivity that resulted in Half-Life), but I wanted to interject something quickly:

Whoa, whoa, whoa, my Metroid loving friend! The shrinker didn’t really take off (there was a great one in a UT mod called Unreal 4 Ever), but there have been plenty of freeze guns since Duke. IIRC, there was even a carbonite gun in the Mysteries of the Sith expansion for Jedi Knight. Heck, I’ve even got a gun that freezes enemies in Phantasy Star Onine (Ice Handgun +4).

Okay, that it all.

 -Tom

That’s strange. I always thought a `couple of times’ would mean twice. A few times would mean three and several would be 4 or more.

But I guess a couple of times CAN mean more than 2 (I looked it up). Seems `wrong’ to me though. I guess I’m weird.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, my Metroid loving friend! The shrinker didn’t really take off (there was a great one in a UT mod called Unreal 4 Ever), but there have been plenty of freeze guns since Duke. IIRC, there was even a carbonite gun in the Mysteries of the Sith expansion for Jedi Knight. Heck, I’ve even got a gun that freezes enemies in Phantasy Star Onine (Ice Handgun +4).

Hmmm…I’m curious where a freeze gun was used again. I didn’t play Mysteries of the Sith, so I’ll give you that one. Phantasy Star Online is a good pick, but not FPS. Where else were you able to freeze people in online play and then blast them (or better yet, kick them!) into tiny bits? I thought Metroid Prime was stretching it since it’s a single player only game. Mods don’t count for what I was thinking about though. I mean, the shrinker and the freeze ray were both standard weapons. IIRC, they’re not in the shareware version either. You have to buy DN3D to get 'em.

Damn…all this talk about Duke has me fired up to play it again. Rise of the Triad too! That game didn’t get its due. Poor Tom Hall…he’ll probably be remembered for the Ion Storm implosion more than RoTT, which was one of his best games. Dog Mode!

–Dave

I guess. It elevated the ripping off of Army of Darkness to an art form, certainly. I don’t want to give the wrong impression here, because I liked the game quite a bit. Or at least the shareware portion of it. Dukematch was also quite fun. However…

but it paved the way for the sort of level interactivity that resulted in Half-Life

Huh? How do you figure? And since when has Half-Life been known for its environmental interactivity? Mostly the levels were noninteractive, aside from gameplay items (such as the health stations and items directly related to game puzzles) and a (very) few gratuitous interactive objects such as the soda machines. And if you are implying that Half-Life’s greatness derives from the soda machines, Tom Chick, then I’m going to fly out to LA and sock you.

I mean, it was neat that you could play pool in Duke 3D. But I don’t think that Duke 3D even came close to creating the sort of visceral realism that Half-Life had, mostly because it wasn’t trying to. Duke was a comic book, filled with tongue-in-cheek distractions meant to amuse the player. Half-Life was all about verisimilitude. It went out of its way to strip out all the elements that screamed “game”–level loads, power-ups, cut scenes–for the sake of maintaining tension and drama. It never took control of the game away from the player, and it at least made the attempt to justify everything (even health boosts) in terms of the game fiction. The two games had different approaches and different results, and I’m not convinced that the one derived much inspiration from the other.

Weapons that let you toy with your opponent are sorely missing from deathmatch these days. Bring back the shrinkers, the freeze guns, the Morph Ovums! It is so much more fun to peg a friend if you can make them suffer a bit before the end comes.

The nearest I can think of in recent retail releases are the poison bullets in NOLF and NOLF2. In NOLF deathmatch, people would sometimes beg to be shot with poison bullets so they could see the floating goats (the pigeons in NOLF2 aren’t as good as the goats, IMHO). Mod-wise, I think U4E is the winner for these types of weapons. Tom mentioned U4E’s shrinker, but it also has the singularity generator to suck in unsuspecting players and the Fleshbomb gun that’s darts heat you up until you explode.

Now is probably as good a time as any to mention that ROTT’s source code was just released. Best of the Wolf3Ders, in my opinion, so I’ll look forward to seeing a Windows port.

As for Duke 3D, who cares how innovative it was? The entire game is exactly what would happen if you could take the fantasies of two simpering man-children, purge out the puzzled wonderings of what a breast actually feels like and elaborate, Mission-Impossible-style plans to anonymously touch one of those breasts in a crowded elevator someday, then beam it directly onto the Software Creations BBS. Maybe there’s a good game there underneath, but I can’t get past the implied, extended “Boo-yeah!” from Scott and George every time I use those strippers. That game is to embarassing juvenalia what Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS is to Hogan’s Heroes. Chew on that, cinema afficionados! And for those who will counter it is all tongue-in-cheek in Duke3D, play Shadow Warrior.

As sort of a disjointed thought, even if I could get past the hydrocephalic stupidity of the humor itself, I’m still a bit skeptical that these guys know how to put together a fun game. Seems like their main priority is interaction, by which they seem to mean “able to push buttons and use coke machines”. That stuff is all well and good, but interactivity is meaningless unless it is the mechanism by which a central component of the gameplay is exploited. Maybe that is what they are aiming for, but the interviews I’ve read haven’t really hammered that point home to me, making me think all this delay for an interactive environment isn’t going to make the game better one lick.

"Weapons that let you toy with your opponent are sorely missing from deathmatch these days. "

I’m for that. Using the alternate fire for the rocket launcher in Jedi Knight to stick a round in a opponent and see them run around was a blast. Better yet hearing the elevator come up and sticking a couple of shots into the shaft back wall to kill them just as they get to the top. The diffrent traps were fun too.

I’m curious where a freeze gun was used again.

Unreal 4 Ever also had a freeze gun. Mysteries of the Sith’s carbonite gun, which I think let you smash your opponent after freezing him. Phantasy Star, which has almost as much claim to first person shooterdom as Metroid Prime, has a freeze gun. I think there was freezing in Azurik. Do the frost giants in Age of Mythology count? :)

That’s all I can come up with off the top of my head. At any rate, I’m just saying Metroid Prime doesn’t have any exclusive claim to bringing back the freeze gun.

And since when has Half-Life been known for its environmental interactivity?

Yeah, you’re right. I guess what I’m getting at is that Duke Nukem 3D pulled 3D shooters away from being only about shooting stuff. It fleshed out the levels into these sort of believeable worlds that you could move through and experience without just shooting stuff. This is the trend that led to Half-Life.

Maybe I’m reaching here, but Duke Nukem 3D really did elevate shooters. It took Half-Life to fully realize this.

BTW, I’m pretty skeptical about Duke Nukem Forever. I personally think the industry has moved past that sort of stuff. But I don’t see how you can deny that Duke Nukem 3D was a significant development for first person shooters.

the Fleshbomb gun that’s darts heat you up until you explode.

Yeah, more griefer weapons like these! I was recently showing a friend Timesplitters 2. His favorite part was hitting someone with a plasma grenade, which sticks to your opponent until it explodes (Halo had this, too).

You can also set people on fire in Timesplitters, and when you’re burning, if you manage to bump into someone before you die, you set them on fire. Great stuff.

 -Tom

For all the nay-sayers, Shadow Warrior kicked all ass. Who want’a some wang?

Anyways, Blood 2, retail abortion that it was, had some of the best deathmatch gameplay EVAR when it comes to creative and various weapons (and was hella fun in single player also). Of course the standard fare including knife, pistol, machine gun, sniper rifle, rocket launcher, shotgun, etc. Had two shotguns actually, one was a double-barrel big-bada-boom type and the other was a high capacity semi-auto throw-shit-everywhere type.

The other weapons were the tesla (electricity) gun, high-speed minigun, howitzer (not a rocket launcher, this thing lobbed rounds instead of firing straight ahead), flare gun (sticks to victim doing repeated burn damage), packs of dynamite (time delay, instant, or motion sensing), a green-laser gun which ricocheted and had a sweet lighting effect, a bug spray plunger thingy, the black-hole/singularity gun, something called “the orb” which was like the quisinarts of horror movie fame (alt-fire was cool, you actually would fly the thing yourself), voodoo doll which hit anyone in line of sight or damaged yourself if noone was there, and the voodoo stick which shoots out energy balls that drain the targets health and give it to you.

Plus each item had alternate fires, akimbo modes, etc. It is too bad Monolith shit on the series. Some of these weapons were first seen in Blood 1, (1997) by the way, but others were first in B2 (1998).

BTW, I’m pretty skeptical about Duke Nukem Forever. I personally think the industry has moved past that sort of stuff. But I don’t see how you can deny that Duke Nukem 3D was a significant development for first person shooters.

I don’t think that it was insignificant. I just think that it was overrated. And I don’t think that it was so significant that it could be described as the “seminal game that defined the genre” (along with Quake). Most of the things that people love about it (and I agree that these things were very cool) were in the first third of the game. The rest of the game was more of a letdown.

And to get back to the original point, I have little confidence in 3D Realms’ game-making abilities. Duke Nukem Forever has been in development for six years, gone through at least one complete redesign, and had as much team turnover as Daikatana. Dave argues that we should afford 3D Realms the benefit of the doubt based on their rock-solid pedigree. This pedigree consists of Duke Nukem 3D and… what? Rise of the Triad? Shadow Warrior? That’s a pretty short pedigree consisting of games that are either mediocre (Shadow Warrior) or developed nearly a decade ago (RotT, Duke 3D) by people that no longer work for 3D Realms. Duke Forever might end up being a great game. In fact, I hope that it is. I like great games. But until I see something tangible on the project, I remain skeptical.

But does any of this really mean anything? After all, Duke Nukem Forever is just a product, in a vast stream of similar products, and I suspect no one’s life will be significantly richer for its appearance or poorer for its non-appearance.

Would the public rather publishers released games into the market before they are ready (i.e. even less ready than they are now)?

To my thinking, the problem here isn’t so much the DNF developers, or the creators of any of this “vaporware,” as a mass media that relentlessly hypes (or participates in the hype of) products it hasn’t road tested and a public that allows itself to be duped into thinking it all matters.

Peter