An iPhone app.
That's what Duke Nukem's come to - a talking app that spews out worn catchphrases like "Anybody mind if I take off my pants?" and "My job is to kick ass, not make small talk". I mean, really - is this what people really want?
Not that it's too far for Duke to fall, when you get honest about it. He was really only ever a one-note character, and the original games knew when to shut him up and concentrate on the action. But for Duke Nukem Forever, both the devs at Gearbox and publisher 2K Games seem to think that all that matters this time around are peurile one-liners and even worse press releases.
"On June 10, 2011, a date which will live in pop-culture history, Duke Nukem Forever will explode at retailers nationwide like dynamite."
Maybe it's a hangover from the hype-fest that was Homefront, maybe it's the fact that in the three-plus hours we've already spent with the game in hands-on sessions, we've not seen a single thing to make us look forward to the game's release.
We really do believe that the game was better off being left as the most epic piece of vapourware ever conceived. Sadly, Randy Pitchford, an otherwise sane man and great guy, is way too personally involved to let the game die.
He was at a multiplayer event a few weeks ago, and spoke about his personal involvement in the first game, and how he still felt a very personal attachment to it. Perhaps it's that attachment that has blinded him to the fact that Duke is, well, past his prime, no matter how many superlatives the PRs keep piling on him.
We'd certainly hate to think that it's any kind of hubris-like belief that there is actually a great game hidden under all the nostalgia and shit-jokes (trust me, sitting in a room with three grown men, while one of them giggles "See, you can throw shit at the walls - it's great!" is not our idea of a fun preview session).
And we most definitely hope it's not a cynical attempt to cash in on that same nostalgia.
Or maybe we're just old and grumpy today. Who knows, but regardless, the Duke Nukem release has got to be our least-looked forward to game of the year.