The tubes are alight with new rumors that Gearbox – creators of Borderlands and one of those WWII games, Medal of Brothers or Call in Arms or whatever – has been tapped to take over development of Duke Nukem Forever, a game that’s been in development since the Paleozoic and finally got canceled in 2009 when 3D Realms, its creator, went belly-up.
Of course, for my money, Gearbox doesn’t make very good games. And mock 3D Realms all you want for taking an eternity and failing to deliver Duke Forever, there is was a lot of innovation, both in technology and gameplay, lurking inside 3D Realms. Gearbox… not so much.
I’ll admit that I’ve been playing Borderlands splitscreen with a buddy and find it an altogether different experience than when I was playing single, but deathless art the game ain’t. Duke Nukem 3D, meanwhile – the game of which Forever was/is supposed to be the sequel – was brilliant. Yes, yes, strippers and urinals. Whether people liked its crudeness or not, D3D was a revolution in the world of the FPS, and every single shooter made since owes something to it. Whether or not Duke Nukem Forever would have been the same is, obviously, an open question; but with Gearbox at the helm I doubt we can anticipate more than the company’s usual mediocrity. One hope is that the team will work with the assets 3D Realms had already created… there are rumors that the team had made enough for like five great games, but perfectionist George Broussard just wouldn’t let it ship because it wasn’t quite awesome enough. He may have fallen victim to his own obsession with making the game better than it could possibly be.
Gearbox is staying mum right now, though company president Randy Pitchford mentioned that he might have something to say on the subject at PAX, which means we can pretty much assume this is true.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if there were some rumor, and an exec said “I might have something to reveal at PAX,” and then PAX happens and he’s like, “nope, it was nothing. Ha ha.”?
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