Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Few Complaints About 'Duke Nukem Forever'

First: read this post at Socimages.

Copy and pasted from that site:

Just to tally up, we have:
  1. Fetishizing and infantilizing women by putting them in outfits associated with children.
  1. Referring to their breasts as “bazookas,”  both objectifying women and equating  their bodies with a military weapon.
  1. A lesbian encounter presented as titillation for the male viewer.
  1. Watching women engage in sexual activity with one another, and even threatening women with weaponry to continue engaging in sexual activity with one another, is your reward. You deserve it – you deserve to be sexually gratified.
People learn by watching. This can be good and bad. It can make us more accepting of others’ opinions and outlooks, and it can also desensitize and normalize harmful opinions and behaviors. In regards to Duke, the latter is where the risk lies — the more one sees images like those presented by Duke Nukem, the more likely they are to be seen as what is acceptable and usual. Normalizing harmful, degrading, and insulting stereotypes of and behavior toward women seems like a high price to pay for a video game’s success.

That's the true problem with DNF, and is what makes it such a revolting game.

All of that has been said elsewhere at great length and nuance though, so I want to gripe about some other aspects.

The audio design in the game is awful.  Nearly everything in the game sounds like placeholder material.  Duke's voice-actor sounds like a bad imitator of the original character, the music is boring, the weapon effects are underwhelming, etc.  To quote Yahtzee, "If I didn't know the history of this game I would say it seems rushed."

All of that is better than the gameplay though.  What made DN 3d fun was how it seamlessly blended together insane numbers of possible actions.  Jetpacks, shrink rays, missile launchers and convoluted level designs meant that there always were more ways to beat a level or kill your deathmatch foes than pedestrian games like Gears of War could ever dream of.  DNF trades all of that in for the agonizing boredom of lame scripted sequences and hallway crawls littered with uninteresting set-pieces.

And for all of its boasting about 'interaction' and 'being politically incorrect' you can't even smoke the cigarettes from vending machines.  Bioshock let you do that.  WTF?

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