Always bet on Duke, they say, and I did not listen. I bet against Duke, I wagered every last dime, an arm and a leg and my mother’s good name on everything but Duke, and year after year the bets paid off. Betting on the release of Duke Nukem Forever was an exercise in futility, like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the insurmountable hill. So when the recent announcement came that Gearbox Software would be taking the 13-year old reins, the only thought that entered my mind was here we go again. Time to watch another legion of fanboys push the rock up that hill. Duke Nukem Forever was never going to happen, and in a weird sort of twist, a lot of us preferred it didn’t.
You see, Duke Nukem Forever exists as this sort of laughable non-entity/vaporware in the same way non-gamers discuss the discovery of Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster, the Red Sox winning the World Series, or the Guns ‘N Roses album Chinese Democracy. Except Chinese Democracy actually did come out, and the Red Sox have won two World Series in the past ten years. The difference with the two examples is that a sports championship can never really be cheapened, barring a massive officiating error. Chinese Democracy, on the other hand, could never live up to the almost mythical aura surrounding it, and many rock fans feel the loss of the album as an inside joke far outweighs whatever positive came from the actual music. The same anxiety holds true for Duke Nukem Forever. The hype will be enormous, and this will invariably drive up sales. With all the legal haranguing at an end and much of the development already done by 3D Realms, it seems there is nothing to stop DNF from being made. The question now becomes, will it be good, and more importantly, will it be good enough?