Duke Nukem went from being one of the most loved first-person shooter protagonist to being an outcast and a symbol of shame ever since Duke Nukem Forever was released. It may seem hopeless for this grizzled ’90s protagonist and video game series, but I think there is still a chance for him to be respected among gamers from the past or in today’s generation. Duke Nukem 3D was a childhood favorite of mine with Doom, and I feel like it’s right for me to make this blog post. After all these years, I still love these games and still think their some of the best that the genre has to offer. Still down with the king after all these years.
There’s been success with both Wolfenstein and Doom which are both first-person shooter series that were prominent during the early ’90s. They both were kind of in the “downfall” stage with their games before their rebooted versions came out, and the rebooted games ended up being a success commercially and critically. Duke Nukem can fall into the same category since they both combined elements from the older games and modern elements that would be more commonly featured on today’s video games like having a storyline or some sort of character progression or upgrade system.
The campaign shouldn’t be the only thing that matters. Multiplayer and maybe a survival mode or perhaps a SnapMap-like mode could be a suggestion should all deliver with quality too. It’s always nice to have a game that gives you lots of content, but still make them admirable at the same time too. I always thought Duke Nukem 3D was strictly a single player experience for me, but the co-op is rather fun at times and the multiplayer was not for me. If the reboot can rectify this situation, that would definitely make the game more interesting for me to play since I will have more options to have fun with the game.
I also feel like Duke Nukem is just more interesting as a protagonist compared to the protagonist in Wolfenstein and Doom. Both of the protagonists, they’re both your typical “bad ass first-person shooter protagonist” although I did like how MachineGames made the Wolfenstein protagonist more human at times. Duke Nukem is like that too, but he’s also heavily inspired by the ’80s action hero movies with the one liners and stereotypes. I feel like players are going to find Duke Nukem as a character a lot more fun and enjoyable to play as him as long they can find the right writers who can write well with the dialogues and scripts.
Duke Nukem 3D should be the main influence of this reboot. It’s widely regarded to be one of the best first-person shooters among critics and gamers alike. It should take notes of the positive aspects like the city based levels or the unique weapons. I’ve always thought the city maps were the best things about Duke Nukem 3D because they were just well designed in terms of layout, exploration, gameplay, and they also looked good too. If the reboot manage to nail down these things, this will please me greatly and also show the strength of Duke Nukem as a video game series.
And of course, you got the unique weapons. Duke Nukem 3D had some really interesting arsenal like the Shrinker or the Devastator. I obviously would want them back, but it would be nice to expand upon the arsenal and see what kind of new guns that players can use and realize another strength of the Duke Nukem games. I think my dream of a Duke Nukem reboot would be what if Duke Nukem 3D was done today with the stuff that makes the game not feel too old where it feels like it’s stuck in the past, but at the same time, pays strong homage to a game that was released back in 1996.
I don’t know what’s going to happen with the Duke Nukem IP. I really hope it doesn’t go MIA or KIA because there is such potential for it to be properly revived. I don’t know if Gearbox really have an idea of how to market the IP properly, but I really hope maybe in a year or two, there will be a teaser trailer of an upcoming Duke Nukem game that will end all this shame and hate from gamers. It sickens me to see the series is in this situation and it should be respected again like it once was back in the ’90s.