The Man Who Brought Duke Nukem Forever Back To Life Likens It To A Greasy Hamburger

Who cares if Duke Nukem Forever is "good" or not? It is at least as satisfying as a greasy burger, as catchy as a Ke$ha song or maybe as enjoyable as a performance of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark in which no one suffers a debilitating injury. (Or does. Which would make that superhero musical better?)

Randy Pitchford, founder of Gearbox Software and instrumental in seeing that Duke Nukem Forever finally shipped on a disc after more than a decade, took to Twitter this week to, well, if not defend his company's new game, then put it in some context.

(For the record, I've not played Duke Nukem Forever, so I can't comment on its quality, but I'll defer to my colleagues who label the game a "full-priced mess" and "not in a good way" offensive. I just wanted to pass on Mr. Pitchford's take.)

"With sales data, It seems like *customers* love Duke," Pitchford tweeted post DNF release. "I guess sometimes we want greasy hamburgers instead of caviar..." That's likely Randy's response to Duke Nukem Forever's critical drubbing with reviewers.

Today, he continued the comparison between Duke Nukem and less selective tastes, writing "looking at DNF for narrative depth: 'It's like Rolling Stone magazine trying to find a deep meaningful message in a Ke$ha song.'"

And on launch day, Pitchford remarked: "So... Spiderman on Broadway finally opened the same day that Duke Nukem Forever shipped. COINCIDENCE?!?" In that they were both reviewed poorly and repeatedly delayed, yes, it is a little eerie.

What's the takeaway? If you're not sick of talking about or defending the long-in-the-making Duke Nukem Forever and you're a fan of grease, pop pap and/or U2 musicals, you may have a kindred gaming soul mate in Randy Pitchford. Me? I'm just excited Gearbox is freed up to get that Borderlands sequel done.


    enough with the redemption storys about duke nukem alot of people may not like it but thats there problem if they made duke nukem any other way it would not of been duke it would have been fake i think its just fine and for those who havnt played the pre duke games i pity them

    I dunno why people always directly relate early sales data with how many people like a game. A lot of early sales undoubtedly come from people who haven't bothered reading reviews, would prefer to formulate their own opinion or are fanboys/girls and would buy a game no matter what's been said about it. It doesn't mean that the person who bought it would like the game after they've played it.

    Like someone (it might've been one of the Objection articles with Mark and Junglist?) said a while ago, Duke Nukem being the gaming equivalent of a greasy burger is fine, if that's all people expect and want from games.

    But for an industry that's been bleating for decades about being taken more seriously - and that gets annoyed with stereotypes about players being misogynistic, immature adolescent males - Duke is hardly a step in the right direction.

    Yes, it's fine for a throwback to a less PC age, it's fine that games can be tacky entertainment rather than have narrative depth. But it's hardly an adequate response to critics who accuse the medium of lacking artistic merit.

    The same people who argue for gaming to garner more attention worthy of proper 'art' can't then turn around and claim that they'll make greasy hamburger games just because they sell well.

      You make a point; DNF is no exemplar of games as art.

      But, whilst many gamers would like games to be considered art, no one will suggest that cinema ceases to be art just because there are plenty of brainless Summer Blockbusters.

      No one will suggest that literature ceases to be art just because of trashy romance novels.

      Naturally, you are correct that quite a few haters of video games will sieze upon DNF and claim it is 'proof' that video games are a Danger To Our Children, but should the production of video games be 'politicized' (by this, I mean 'geared towards convincing the general population that games are art')?

      I think that the kind of person that would accuse DNF of being proof that video games must be suppressed For The Children is precisely the kind of person that will never be convinced by any number of MGS2s, LA Noires, BioShocks, etc.

    Hey gearbox fuck off with the shit games and start borderlands 2 already, like fuck....

    I've started to enjoy it more towards the middle but the first hour or 2 sucked.

    I'm viewing the release of DNF as a cork. I'm not that impressed with it but I'm hoping it means the next thing I get is better. With DNF out of the way maybe the franchise can spawn something better from this century.

    The rape-iest hamburger you'll ever taste!

    I just finished dnf tonight. It was actually fun. Yes, the first hour is an annoying "tutorial". But the media beatup over the offensive parts, which consisted of about 5 minutes total gameplay out of the 10 or more hours, was more over-the-top than anything in the game.

    And why have no reviews mentioned multiplayer? There is even more fun to be had there.

    So over variations of ak47, pistol, shotgun and enemy army man #412. Thank Duke for freeze guns, shrink rays, lasers and big fucking explosions.

      I agree about the multiplayer. The Shrink Ray alone has created some amazingly fun encounters for me so far :)

      Though it takes FOREVER to level up for some reason.

      Also, the phrase "The Man who brought Duke Nukem Forever back to Life" reminds me of that short story by Harlan Ellison about 'the Man who rowed Colombus ashore'... which seems very fitting for DNF haha

    I definitely think they should continue to grow the Duke Nukem franchise, now that Broussard and the botched 3D Realms studio is out of the picture.

    and what would be caviar then?

      Something like Heavy Rain? Or an RDR/Mass Effect story-focused RPG?

      Maybe even something quirky like Flower, Child of Eden or Journey.

      The food metaphors probably aren't helpful, it might be easier to compare it to arthouse movies vs Z-grade exploitation 80s films.

        For every Dead Poets Society... there is a Dude, Where's My Car?

    I've got no problem with some games being greasy burgers and others being caviar. But the games business must be one of the few places on earth where greasy burgers cost the same as caviar.

      Very good point!

      Don't "greasy" movies have the same ticket price as The King's Speech?

    Sad thing is all my friends know I mean Duke Nukem Forever when I say Dikatana 2 :p.

      I don't recall Gearbox claiming they were going to make us their bitch

    Keep in mind gearbox probably didn't have to do a *great* deal with this game to make money, and probably picked up the license for a pittance too.

    Shoddy game that's seen a decade of advancement pass it by, but has a great character and will move copies regardless of quality? Money in the bank. More money to make BL2 IMO.

    If this was a gearbox original from day x, i'd be a bit more harsh on Randy n co, but they seem to be more facilitators allowing the game to actually get out there rather than anything else.

    more like a turd sandwich

    Some of Ke$ha's songs might be catchy, but is that really all we want from music? So much talent and effort goes into making a song, it seems a waste to settle on 'sticks in my mind'. Likewise, after over a decade, hundreds of staff, probably millions of hours of work, and reportedly $20 million of Gearbox's money, the best we can get is vibrators and arsehole doors?

    I have a query.

    I'm not here to defend the game's quality, we all know what it is. I'm not going to lambast the critique of said quality because again, we all know what it is.

    What I would like to know is perspective.

    Why has nearly every single review criticized the game for being shallow and offensive when A) It is intended to be shallow... and B) It is intended to be somewhat offensive?

    Why have many reviews and editorials claimed the game is making light of rape when the reference is obviously meant to be Japanese tentacle porn?

    Why has Japanese adult culture not received similar criticism?

    Why have reviews criticized design choices and puzzles reminiscent of 2005 when we know full-well the game has been in limbo since then? When Gearbox stated before release that they were releasing the game "as it would have been"?

    I know it's not the same thing but when I studied critique in screen class for my journalism degree (I haven't finished yet), we were taught that fair critique come from percieving things to be "successes" or "failures", not arbitrarily "good" or "bad". That we aren't to critique based on what we wanted but on what the creator intended against our educated expectations.

    Now to me, it seems that if a movie were locked from release by a studio for 20 years and suddenly re-edited and completed. I doubt we'd get editorials complaining of how archaic it was and we certainly wouldn't have any expectations that it could've magically been brought up to today's standard of effects.

    Like I said, this isn't about the quality of the game per se, it's about what kind of reasonable perception and expectation was attributed to the game. Is it right to hold a game that should have been released a decade ago to the same standard as say, Bulletstorm? Keep in mind that the game was never stated to be a remake or an update, just a release. And before the price debate heats up, old films cost the same as new ones upon release as well.

    I look forward to the Duke Nukem game made by Gearbox.

    Although, their new Brothers in Arms game has me nervous.

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