Last Saturday, I spent some time with Duke Nukem and the long awaited sequel. To be frank, it wasn’t a very good time. If this game was under any other name, I wouldn’t have even given it the time of day. But nostalgia is a powerful force, so I took advantage of the early access privilege and downloaded the demo from Steam.
Duke Nukem 3D was a smash hit. So in hindsight, I can see why George Broussard and 3D Realms thought they could go for a repeat performance. They had the funds and the talent, but so do many others out there. But they didn’t factor in the fact that all the stars and planets aligned for Duke Nukem 3D, soto recapture that exact moment requires a monumental effort — especially from a tech perspective.
Chasing technology from not one, but two technological powerhouses (Epic and id) was not the smartest move. And for what? Somewhere along the way, 3D Realms forgot what made Duke Nukem 3D awesome. It wasn’t the tech, it was the interactivity and personality; that’s what people remember when they think of Duke. But somehow they forgot that.
Too much money, independence and passion was associated with Duke Nukem: Forever; a victim of its own success.
First, 3D Realms isn’t dead. The Duke Nukem developer lost funding and had to let go the development team behind Duke Nukem Forever which explains all the work being posted by employees. 3D Realms is now a much smaller studio and hopes to continue licensing and co-creating games based on Duke Nukem. Hopefully, some brave studio will pick up the pieces and continue creating bad ass games with Duke!
Next piece of good news comes courtesy of Nintendo Power and Capcom. Tatsunoko vs Capcom is braving the licensing storm and making its way to the west. Capcom confirmed “Mystery Game #1” via their blog today. There are rumors that this Wii fighter will be boasting new features such as online play and of course Capcom is tight lipped about it.