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Lamenting a Lost, Assuredly Mediocre Friend

Why would anyone in their right mind lament the loss of a game like to Duke Nukem Forever? This title was the laughingstock of the industry for too many years to bother counting. This title had more broken promises than every politician in Washington put together. This title, more than anything else, looked to be based on a style of gameplay that was laughably outdated from anything that could even remotely be considered modern.

I'm not debating a word of any of that. In fact, that last bit about the updated gameplay is precisely why I wish the game had managed to do the impossible and actually land on store shelves.

See, I've noticed a disturbing trend in first person shooter games lately. With every new release comes more boring space Marines, more sickening trips through fake World War II games glorifying a horrible war, and more games furthering the maddening trend of realism in their gameplay design.

To be quite frank, I am sick of all of it. I miss the days when my shooter's protagonist could spout crappy one-liners with all of his might. I miss the days when my guns weren't based on meticulously detailed real-world weapons, but were instead simply designed to be as kickass as possible. I miss the days when my character wasn't forced to limit his arsenal to a couple of measly guns, but could instead carry the weapon load of an entire army on his back and still have room for more.

Now, these newfangled gameplay trends aren't bad things in and of themselves. I am fully aware that they were perfectly logical reactions to games like the original Duke Nukem vastly overstaying their welcome. Just as I am tired of all the modern warfare and crippling arsenal reduction, gamers of yore got tired of endless protagonists cracking wise and horribly unbalanced weapons sets.

What I envision isn't either of these two styles in their pure form. I wish for a world with some of the welcomingly wacky trends of old mixed with some of the epic and more gamer friendly tweaks of modern day.

Truth be told, I'm not nostalgic for "better days". I don't want a simple retread of games that we've already seen before. All I ask for is a little less seriousness. All I ask for is a little less realism. I think those are modern trends that have gone more than far enough, and this extends to plenty more genres than just shooters.

Is it too much to ask to put a little wackiness back into the gaming scene?

While Duke Nukem forever would surely have been released to cries of mediocrity and fits of laughter from gamers the world over, had it actually seen the light of day, it might have at least inspired some developers to try something a little different. Its taste of a world gone by might just have been enough to kick us out of our realism rut.

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