Gearbox co-founder Brian Martel feels that the criticism Duke Nukem Forever received from critics was unjust, and that they did not take the game’s whole purpose and context into account.
“Name another game that’s in a similar situation. This is a game that was around for 15 years and it went through a number of engine cycles. It could never be everything for everybody, right?” Martel asked Eurogamer .“[The game] was what it was meant to be, which is a more old-school style game in what is today’s technology.”
“Would Half-Life today be reviewed as highly as it is, you know, even today? As a new IP coming out with the same sort of mechanics Half-Life had,” he said.
“I think we all have a nostalgia and love for that particular brand. But the current gamer, would they have the same love for that? It’d be interesting. I think the same kind of thing happened with Duke.”
He said the development team did not change the game according to their needs or wants, just let the game be as it was, so it could retain its feel. “We let that be what it was supposed to be. Gearbox made sure the world got to see what they made and I think everybody should really be thankful that it existed to some degree at all.
“Because it really would’ve just gone away. Is it a Gearbox game? No. When and if another Duke comes out it’s going to be more consistent with what I think people would expect out of a Gearbox product. But this is the vision that 3D Realms had and that’s awesome. It’s just great that the world gets to see it.”
We, frankly, despised the game as well. Why? ‘Coz it wasn’t good. And no, I still play Half-Life, and I still love it every bit as much as I did back when I first played it so many years ago. But the franchise is not totally beyond salvation. Read this feature we did some time ago to read how we think Gearbox can fix this franchise.