Despite games like Modern Warfare topping the charts, why does it seem like Duke Nukem Forever hasn’t moved on from what came before? New footage from PAX 2011 shows that the game is staying true to its roots. 

Duke Nukem comes from a time before games were controversial, because back then no-one really played them anyway. That, and the graphics were so poor it was often difficult to make out exactly what was so scandalous about the whole affair.

Phwoar, "weapon raised" indeed

Things have moved on since then – right about the time the original Grand Theft Auto came out on home consoles and Tony Blair said that it was a wicked game and no-one should play it (which, of course, sent sales through the roof ).

These days, games are big business – so developers need to watch their step and try not to offend too many people. That’s why you sometimes end up invading made-up countries, or killing zombies rather than humans, or use non-lethal methods to dispatch opponents.

And then... well, and then there’s Duke. Duke doesn’t care for your petty morality. Duke runs sideways firing rockets into aliens the size of skyscrapers, and why? Because the bastards used his workout equipment, that’s why.

At least you could have wiped your gross alien sweat off it afterwards

He has strippers dressed as schoolgirls that go down on him while he plays a game starring himself – or they can make out with each other while he watches, it’s all good. He drinks beer and takes steroids mid-fight, slaps women to calm them down if they “freak out,” plays with sex toys, regains health by putting rats in microwaves (somehow) and generally acts like he’s from a less enlightened age. In short, Duke is a jerk.

A jerk with some interesting housemates, though

Now, is this a bad thing? We don’t know, for certain. It’s clearly satire – literally nothing is being taken seriously when this game is concerned. It’s balls-to-the-wall, firing-on-all-cylinders stupid, and it acknowledges this with a wink, a smile, and a wry catchphrase.

Maybe there’s something in Duke’s steadfast refusal to move with the times that has an element of charm to it – refusing to tone down the game, they’ve toned it up instead. Is it so outlandish that no-one’s going to be offended?

Duke Nukem sex toy
For some reason, Duke plays with this dildo a lot. Draw your own conclusions

Of course not (hell, he’s still backhanding strippers) but he’s not without his good points. He saved the world, you know, and there are those lesbian schoolgirls to look forward to. We’ll be keeping a very close eye on his adventures over the next few months.