Wednesday, March 23, 2011

TYL: OMG... There's Something Misogynistic in a Duke Nukem Game!!!!

So, I learnt from Penny Arcade that Duke Nukem Forever, the perpetual vapourware product finally come to life, includes a multiplayer mode in which the Capture the Flag is redesigned as "Capture the Babe"... and you'll occasionally have to slap the "Babe" in question on the ass when things get hectic 'cause she'll panic.

Allow me to get in line and shrug.

Here's the thing, the mode isn't going to live and die on whether or not people like spanking women (well, at least for those over the mental age of 13, members of the SM community NWS). For most of us, it's going to live and die on whether or not this mechanic is any fun; in the empirical "this provides something new that isn't entirely cumbersome" sense, not the "hah, hah, I like to beat women sense". If it doesn't... well, there's other modes and maps to play and it can rot.

As "Tycho" alludes, the reality of the original Duke Nukem is that, once you got past all the free press about breasts and swearing and "misogynistic" behaviour, the game was fun to play. In this regard, it pissed all over Quake despite that game being technically superior and me eventually having a Voodoo card installed due to it's influence on the genre as a whole. The world was more alive (single player was full of colourful and varied animated environments beyond the brown/green dungeons of the original Quake), while multiplayer was full of insane chaotic action and creative scenarios (god, I loved finding places where folks would tend to run blind into laser tripwire mines), driven by well designed maps and a list of weapons, and counters, that I really haven't seen surpassed in any game since. Maybe it's a "first love" thing, but that's honestly where it stands on the chart for me so the real question I want answered is can the new game provide any of that.

I say that because it seems like the focus in Shooters has shifted away from creating new and entertaining experiences towards replicating other game experiences resulting in cookie cutter weapon selection (Here's your pistol, your shotgun, your sniper rifle, your machine gun, and your BFG!), and an increased focus on seeing who can mouse-turn fastest and memorize the viable ways to move forward on the map. I mean, BF: BC2 is kinda fun but it's inarguable that some of the exploratory and problem solving aspects you'd find in OG Duke have been tossed in favour of the trend towards "Story Driven" content that makes single player play like a rail shooter. You simply move down a fixed path from objective to objective with the only real challenge before you being to kill the enemy before they kill you. (Which, as long as you put an object between yourself and them now and then, they can't on anything but the hardest modes.) The same thing can be said about CoD SP from my experiences with it too.

Meanwhile, multiplayer is frequently just a meat grinder in an effort to replicate that "reality" in "war". You just move forward through fixed defensive positions and hope you find the one the enemy hasn't blocked off.

So for me, the decision to play or not won't be driven by the "controversy ridden" game launch designed to generate free buzz regardless of the reality that the event in question frequently makes up 1/1000th of the total gameplay. I'll be making my choices when someone can tell me the rest of the game is reasonably fresh, fun and brings back that OG spirit of chaos or not.

No comments:

Post a Comment